Friday, September 10, 2021

20 Years After 9/11: How 9/11 stalled immigration reform — and inspired a new generation of activists


Image from U.S. DHS website


As we approach the 20 year anniversary of September 11, 2001, news reports remind us of the implications of that fateful day.  In "How 9/11 stalled immigration reform — and inspired a new generation of activists," Meena Venkataramanan for the Los Angeles Times offers an interesting take on a collateral impact of September 11, 2001 that I had not really thought about:

"The Sept. 11 attacks upended U.S. immigration policy, linking it for the first time to the nation’s anti-terrorism strategy and paving the way for two decades of restrictive laws. But it also gave rise to a new kind of immigrant rights movement led by young people . . . . 

[Y]oung immigrants say they were spurred by post-Sept. 11 separations of family members and friends, the government's renewed focus on restricting driver's licenses and, most of all, by a sense that nearly all other paths to immigration reform had been choked off.

Some even adopted the very legal tactics that advocates had used to help immigrants immediately after 9/11 — tactics that would help lay the groundwork for the Obama administration’s landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that has allowed some 800,000 immigrants who lack documentation to live and work in the United States." (bold added).


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