Dealing with immigration reform
by our readers
Jan 27, 2013 | 1913 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
President Obama is expected to give attention to immigration reform immediately after his State of the Union address. The question? What is immigration reform? The answer? Anything anybody says it is.

My concern? If we are not careful, we may get what we ask for. Alabama’s draconian HB56 was touted as immigration reform. So was the 2007 McCain-Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act. McCain-Kennedy, like all proposals that have come before Congress in recent years, contained provisions for extensions on militarizing the border and extensions of the H2 guest worker visa — two things hostile to migrants and laborers.

What should comprehensive migrant reform look like? At a minimum, it should include 12 things: creating an inexpensive, quickly obtained visa for poor Latinos, Asians and Africans; creating a lawful status for those already in the U.S., including but not limited to citizenship, restoring due process, halting deportations, lifting bars on re-entry for deportees, assisting the return of deportees’ spouses and children living in exile; abolishing the guest-worker visa; strengthening collective bargaining; stopping free-trade agreements (FTAs); providing redress for indigenous peoples pushed from their lands by FTAs; and demilitarizing the border. We don’t need deals. We need justice.

The Rev. Ellin Jimmerson
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