Friday, April 29, 2011
Immigration Article of the Day: Thinking Broadly About Immigration Reform by Addressing Root Causes by Bill Hing
"Thinking Broadly About Immigration Reform by Addressing Root Causes" LEGAL BRIEFS ON IMMIGRATION REFORM FROM 25 OF THE TOP LEGAL MINDS IN THE COUNTRY, Mona Parsa, Deborah Robinson, eds., 2011 BILL ONG HING. ABSTRACT: The United States is caught up in hysteria, media-induced fear, and misinformation over undocumented immigration. We have militarized the border through "Operation Gatekeeper" pushing border crossers into treacherous terrain, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths since the 1990s. We have engaged in Gestapo-type raids of businesses, homes, and neighborhoods, sometimes separating children from their parents. We have arrested and deported lawful permanent resident immigrants who have resided in the United States most of their lives. We have rounded up workers in restaurant sweeps. We have prosecuted human rights volunteers in the Arizona desert who provided food, water, and emergency medical care to the undocumented. We have encouraged private vigilantes to enforce a twisted sense of national security that results in armed ranchers pointing loaded assault weapons at teenage girls and the murder of a nine-year-old and her father in their living room. Anti-immigrant ordinances and laws fomented by resentment over undocumented workers have been proposed and enacted in states and towns across the country, causing great division in those communities. In the process, we have harmed countless innocent families, wasted billions of dollars, and lost valuable time that would be better spent working to integrate newcomers into our society. In this book chapter, Professor Hing argues that the time has come to think beyond enforcement-only approaches - to think creatively. We need to re-think employer sanctions and the harsh consequences of ICE raids that are conducted under the auspices of such laws. We need to think about expanding visa categories that reflect the needs of the regional and global economies in which we are engaged. We must recognize that solving the so-called undocumented immigration challenge only will come with an open-minded approach that recognizes the need to begin helping build the economy and infrastructure of our neighbors to the south.