Thursday, May 12, 2022

Biden Must End Racist, Detention-First Immigration Policies

Analilia Mejia in The Nation offers a stinging indictment of the U.S. immigration system.  The introduction offers a flavor of the criticism:

"Dig deeply into the moral foundations of the United States’ immigration policy and you’ll unearth its nasty undergirding of racial capitalism, a concept civil rights and constitutional rights law professor Nancy Leong defined in her 2013 Harvard Law Review article as `the process of deriving social and economic value from the racial identity of another person.' . . . On the surface, we’re taught that good people work hard and bad folks are freeloaders who deserve to be punished. . . . White people are on the top and Black people are on the bottom—economically, socially, and morally. . . . 

Sadly, this belief is exactly why Black and brown immigrants seeking asylum are often imprisoned rather than welcomed with open arms. White Americans warm up to a Ukrainian refugee seeking asylum from war more easily than to someone from, say, El Salvador." (bold added).

And what should the nation do?  Mejia concludes:

"The onus is on President Biden to change this punitive and cruel policy affecting migrants of color by ending Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols and Title 42, reassigning Temporary Protected Status to excluded nations, ending the practice of mass detention, and revoking deputizing authority to local police for immigration enforcement. The time to act decisively has long passed. Our communities deserve real change now.

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