A theory of a divided nation
America is divided over two different visions of state and society.
Sometimes you’re simply stunned: She would graduate from Meadowbrook High School on Friday, her blue gown decorated with awards from the National Honor Society, the school’s AP program and the Virginia governor. She was scheduled to be deported to Guatemala a few days later. In the election-year debate over immigration reform, the situation [Heydi] Mejia is in has become one of the most debated of all. What should the United States do with illegal immigrants who come to the country as children, grow up here, break no laws and want to remain?
Eisenhower in War and Peace By Jean Edward Smith (Random House, 950 pp., $40) The histories we write say as much about our own times as about those we study. The current polarization in Washington has prompted a nostalgia for parties that were less ideologically uniform and more prone to compromise. Fashionable “pragmatism” has similarly infected thinking about foreign policy, as the fallout from the Iraq war lingers in the air a decade on.
The economic crisis in Europe reached its latest crescendo last night, as Greece managed, through furious last-minute negotiations, to convince its creditors to give it some more breathing room. But if the Greeks have managed to stave off ruin for a few more minutes, nothing has essentially changed in their situation: Their economy is still in shambles. The burning question on most observers’ minds, and rightfully so, is whether the Greeks will ever manage to pay back their debts. But at this stage, it’s also worth considering how we ended up on the precipice of such catastrophe at all.
This story is one of a series aiming to answer a simple question: Why are undocumented immigrants that the administration says it intends to help stay in this country still facing deportation? For an earlier story on this topic, see “One Family In Limbo: What Obama’s Immigration Policy Looks Like In Practice.” For the first time in years, Mayra Godoy, who came to this country after fleeing Guatemala’s civil war in 1991, ought to have reason for optimism. As an undocumented immigrant with no criminal record and deep roots (including a U.S.
When the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a memo this summer that urged “prosecutorial discretion” in pursuing illegal immigrants, it was hailed by liberals as a step in the right direction. The memo was largely a restatement and clarification of longstanding immigration practice, but with an important new twist: It discouraged the pursuit of undocumented immigrants who would be covered under the DREAM Act, which the Obama administration favors but can’t get through Congress.
As the revolt that started this past winter in Tunisia spread to Egypt, Libya, and beyond, dissidents the world over were looking to the Middle East for inspiration. In China, online activists inspired by the Arab Spring called for a “jasmine revolution.” In Singapore, one of the quietest countries in the world, opposition members called for an “orchid evolution” in the run-up to this month’s national elections. Perhaps as a result, those watching from the West have been positively triumphalist in their predictions.
During the last decade, Guatemala has experienced an epidemic of woman-killing. The bodies are everywhere: turning up in ditches on the side of the road, on the curbs of city streets, and in wooded ravines, often with signs of mutilation and rape.
So says a subhead on the front page of this morning's Boston Globe. The headline reads "R.I. troopers embrace firm immigration role." The story contrasts Rhode Island with Massachusetts. But it might as well be Arizona. Now, the state senate has 33 Democrats, four Republicans and one independent. The state house a slightly more lopsided division: 69 Democrats to six Republicans. But, believe it or not, the governor is a Republican. This is a liberal state, including being indulgent towards ethnic crime. But on illegal immigration it's as tough as Arizona.