The path to actually passing immigration reform is actually pretty simple
When Congress’s recess began, the conventional wisdom was that immigration reform was most likely doomed in the House, and that August, with its throngs of anti-”amnesty” protesters coming out to harass Republican representatives, would offer the final nail in the coffin. But now the month is closing with several positive signs that reform advocates have prevailed in volume over the summer break.
Dear Mr. Cruz/Cher M. Cruz—We’re very sorry to bother you, but it has been brought to our attention that you recently sought to renounce your Canadian citizenship.
Luis Guitierrez has all the makings of a primo pitchman for immigration reform. Few members of Congress have been hounding the party leadership to reform the system for as long as the Chicago representative of two decades. He has expert chops and, as a longtime fixture on Spanish-language news, is widely trusted by Latino voters for his line on the reform effort taking place in Congress.
No sooner had I flipped open a notebook than Mike Cutler pounced. “Who are you with? Let’s find some air conditioning,” he said, altogether skipping the step where he introduces himself and offers to be interviewed. I understood why when Cutler, who is a former INS agent and a go-to anti-immigration voice for media, appeared a little hurt that I couldn’t place him without gentle prompting. We passed a gaggle of geriatric sign-bearers huddled in Freedom Plaza’s sparse shade. “Keep up the good work, Mike!” one yelled to him. He turned to me. “I get that a lot.
After Election Day, the conventional wisdom was that the GOP needed to make gains among Hispanics to win in 2016. Fox News' Brit Hume and Sean Hannity, for instance, quickly assessed the GOP needed to cave on immigration reform. Half a year later, Hume and Hannity have flipped. Hannity doubts that immigration will help Republicans, while Hume says the demographic arguments are “baloney,” since the Hispanic vote is “not nearly as important, still, as the white vote.” Hannity and Hume aren’t alone.
Inside one immigrant family's search for a different American dream
The house in Mexico is a two-story, three-bedroom brick building with a bright blue door and a jacaranda tree in front, set against a hill in the southern state of Guerrero. Atanacio, who cannot give his full name because he has lived as an undocumented immigrant in New York City for 12 years, built it with the wages he earned washing dishes and delivering Mexican food in Manhattan. “I designed it myself,” he said in Spanish as he and his wife, Maximina, who is also undocumented, showed me pictures at their kitchen table one day in March.
It's about low-wage American workers
The consensus among decent people in favor of the immigration bill making its way through Congress is so firm that expressing dissent feels a bit like taking the floor to suggest we chop down the Redwood National Park. People don’t want to hear it, and they also think you’re a nut. That makes this article one of the hardest I’ve ever had to write. It’s not that I’m afraid people will get angry; it’s that I can’t imagine anyone on my side (liberal) is open to persuasion.
Last week, Gang of Eight members called the idea that comprehensive immigration reform should commit more agents to the U.S. Mexico border, advanced in an amendment proposed by Sen. John Cornyn, for what it is: utterly wrong. Senator Chuck Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor, said, “Most experts have told us [border agents] will not do close to as good a job as the drones and the helicopters and the more mobile assets.”
An immigration reform advocate I spoke to yesterday had a fine way of summarizing the tenuous mix of hope and frustration he feels watching comprehensive immigration reform take shape in the Senate: “Even when the ball moves, it doesn’t.”