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Immigration reform and immigration politics. Despite all the media attention paid to these topics, the two are incompatible. Immigration reform depends on calm, rational decision-making. Immigration politics, on the other hand, is like spilled oil waiting for a match.

Don’t agree with the above? Make up your own mind after reading the fascinating insights on immigration reform and politics compiled right here just for you.

A False Equivalency: Immigration Client Preparation Is Not Immigration Fraud

California Assembly Committee On Judiciary
AB 60 Bill Analysis, As Amended, January 9, 2015

Recently, I discussed the importance of advance planning and preparation for immigrants. This need, rarely acknowledged by most immigrants or appreciated by immigrant advocates, can make a huge difference in winning or losing.

Rushing headlong towards disaster can often be prevented with a little prudence. On the other hand, carefully calculating the path to a green card, especially during an era highlighted with dubious reform promises, seems a more reasonable strategy.

Yet, in a society which increasingly treasures instant gratification, long term planning is disfavored. One needs to look no further than the California state legislature.

For more, continue here: A False Equivalency: Immigration Client Preparation Is Not Immigration Fraud

 

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The One-Party Blame Game Is A Political Anachronism

The more things change, the more they remain the same. At least in the world of immigration reform politics.

I’ve been involved in political affairs since I was a teenager. I was driven by a desire to help people victimized by a government controlled by a limited set of social and economic interests.

I was an activist in my pre-lawyer days and grew into political campaign leadership roles.

I won some battles. I lost some battles.

The war rages on.

Current battles are aplenty. This week’s news round up has highlighted a few some of these skirmishes.

The story line, as reflected in these accounts, has not changed since my first skirmish. One party ignores Latinos, the other manipulates them.

As a teenager, I was reluctant to trust my initial impressions. Still, as proud as I felt about being on the front line of local, state, and national campaigns, I felt uneasy about signs that I had supported candidates who would not adhere to promises made to certain ethnic and economic communities.

I was subtly being transformed into a Democratic Party hack.

At law school, I met Hank Lopez, a visiting scholar, who had run for a California statewide office in the 1950s. Even though he was part of the Democratic Party ticket, his campaign was not provided the same level of support or resources as the other candidates. He was the only one who lost.

We discussed his story over late night coffee.

His ordeal symbolized what I had learned at the grassroots level.

After finishing my law studies and returning to political battles, it only took a few new campaigns to reinforce my disillusionment.

In the United States, one major political party ignores Latinos, the other manipulates them.

Watching events surrounding immigration reform unfold since Obama’s first election, this should be obvious to anyone not wearing political blinders.

It’s not.

Yet, in a recent article written by Cesar Vargas and Erika Andiola, Co-Directors of the DREAM Action Coalition, I found it consoling to learn some undocumented immigrant youth leaders not only perceive, but also reject the misguided notion of one-party blame for the failure of immigration reform.

Democrats’ Inexcusable Delay In Deportation Relief
Cesar Vargas and Erika Andiola, The Hill, June 4, 2014

By delaying . . . Democrats have abdicated their responsibility to fight against arbitrary deportations and a crisis of family separation. This wait is devastating for the millions of families, which include millions of American citizens in mixed-status families, who are affected.

On one side, Republicans are alienating Latino communities by their harsh, at times insulting, anti-immigrant rhetoric, killing any sort of chance to pass immigration reform. On the other side, Obama is deporting more than 1,100 people every day, and is believed to have surpassing two million deportations. About 41 percent of those deported were parents and workers with no prior criminal record.

With the delay, Democrats and groups are endorsing, between now and Labor Day, around another 97,000 deportations and unnecessary detentions under horrid conditions of fathers and mothers who won’t be with their families.

Ultimately, it is this growing awareness, while not universal, about the realities of our two-party system that allows me some comfort that immigration reform with compassion will be passed later, if not sooner.

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Immigration Reform Does Not Stop At The Border’s Edge

Several years ago, I was appointed to a Congressional committee on immigration issues. The representative who nominated me often asserted that fixing our immigration system was an international matter.

He confided that many of his colleagues refused to acknowledge this connection.

With the news of large numbers of unaccompanied children crossing into the United States, this flawed tendency will be on public display during the coming months.

70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?
Ian Gordon, Mother Jones, June 3, 2014

38,833 unaccompanied minors [have been] apprehended by the Border Patrol in fiscal year 2013. That was a 59 percent jump from the year before, and a 142 percent increase from fiscal 2011; no one knows how many more kids avoided Border Patrol detection, or never got that far. This year, officials have told advocates they anticipate the numbers to double again, to as many as 74,000 unaccompanied children. That’s equivalent to every single student in Dallas’ 81 public middle and high schools getting up and walking across the border in a single year.

The government’s current view of the youthful surge is based on a false premise that all undocumented immigrants seek the American Dream. This short-sighted thinking does not look beyond America’s borders.

But many of these youngsters aren’t looking for the American dream. They just want to get far away from their home country.

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