Friday, July 22, 2011

Immigration: Balanced policy badly needed

From Maryknoll News Notes, July/August 2011, Vol. 36, No. 4

On May 10, President Obama gave a speech on immigration reform in El Paso, igniting hopes that this long-neglected issue would move to the center of the national political arena as the U.S. heads into another election cycle. But with little appetite for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) in either the House or Senate, the battle over the fate of millions of migrants and undocumented persons continues to be waged in individual states with disconcerting results. Since the passage of Arizona's notorious SB1070 immigration law, described by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as "draconian," four states have passed similar pieces of legislation. The following article was written by Ashley McKinless, a University of Virginia student and an intern with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

Until the federal government takes the lead in enacting just and humane immigration reform, a patchwork of state laws will threaten the human rights and dignity of immigrants and their families, as well as the safety and solidarity of entire communities across the U.S. Despite the president's commitment to "keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform," the administration's record and rhetoric on immigration are unsettling.

In El Paso, President Obama pointed to the escalation of border security and intensified deportation efforts purportedly focused on violent offenders and convicted criminals, saying his administration has " gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement."  CLICK HERE to read more.

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