Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bin Laden was a Pretext for Renewed Anti-Immigrant Policies

My thoughts on Osama bin Laden, 9/11, and immigration policies:

From Huffington Post:

Addressing the challenge of undocumented immigration was a front-burner issue in the summer 2001. A day before 9/11, Mexico President Vicente Fox was making demands that the United States provide some type of relief for undocumented Mexican workers in the United States. President Bush was receptive, pledging a legalization bill by the end of the year. That all changed when the terrorist attacks pushed progressive immigration reform off the table, and the new era of viewing immigration through a national security lens provided a license for immigrant bashing.

For anti-immigrant forces in the United States, 9/11 provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use the tragic events to draw linkages with virtually every aspect of their nativist agenda. For example, the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies argued that "immigration is central" to homeland security because terrorist "operatives have to enter and work in the United States." The Bush White House helped lay the foundation for the neo-nativist agenda in its legislative proposals, arguing that our enemies could "take advantage of our freedom and openness by secretly inserting terrorists into our country to attack our homeland."

The events of 9/11 and the ensuing call to action from the anti-immigrant lobby resulted in far-reaching legislative and enforcement actions.
. . .

Targeting noncitizens of a certain ethnic, religious, or racial background or closing our borders to newcomers or visitors is a national security strategy that does not make our country safe. In fact, those strategies may diminish the opportunity to engage newcomer communities in assisting with smarter law enforcement approaches to public safety. Read more...



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