Sunday, March 31, 2013
It seems as if the nation has been talking about comprehensive reform for decades. The truth is that it has been. Discussion of reform has continued since the draconian 1996 immigration reforms that, among other things, expanded the criminal grounds for removal, expanded detention, and limited juidicial review of immigration decisions.
Talk of reform continues. In the last few days, we heard about a breakthrough with labor, calming objections of the AFL-CIO to easing restrictions on immigrant workers in a reform proposal. On Friday, there was a march on the streets of Los Angeles supporting immigration reform. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) has an op/ed today in the Los Angeles Times on a "conservative approach" to immigration reform.
The need for immigration reform is readily apparent and has been for quite some time, with both Presidents Bush and Obama calling for reform. With Congress failing to act, states, with Indiana and Montana laws enjoined in just the past few days, in the last several years have passed increasingly strict immigration enforcement laws. Such laws have created a hostile environment toward Latinos -- U.S. citizens and immigrants alike -- in a number of states, with Arizona and its famous Sheriff Joe Arpaio probably the most well-known.
There are hopeful signs on the horizon, with bipartisan discussion of immigration reform continuing. Still, when a member of Congress in a radio interview uses a slur to refer to migrant Mexican workers, one can only wonder whether we can expect the promised immigration reform to come. Will we just hear just more talk? Or, will we see action?