United we stand, divided we fall.
This theme is more than the title of a popular song in the early 1970s. It is a slogan worth adoption by all immigration reform supporters, by all immigrant communities.
For many years, as a family unity attorney, I have denounced the American public for failing to acknowledge the benefits of cultural diversity which immigrants bring to this country.
My criticism does not exclude any ethnic group.
Whereas members of various cultural groups may appreciate the value of immigration reform for their cultural brethren, they largely ignore the same needs for immigrants of different hues, traditions, and origins.
According to Kim Anderson, former President of American Families United, “U.S. citizens are the most neglected constituency in the immigration debate.”
Hyperbole aside, Anderson raises a critically significant issue that is grossly undervalued by many pro-immigrant advocates.
Simply stated, U.S. citizen spouses are far too minimized in immigration reform discourse.
Can a middle ground be found for immigration reform?
On the surface, the art of diplomacy seems permanently lost in Congress. Compromise appears impossible.
Far too many immigration opponents have adopted a rigid law and order stance against undocumented immigrants. They refuse to negotiate on any issues remotely related to comprehensive immigration reform. In their view, the southwest borders must be locked down in order to stop the hijacking of America.
Immigrant advocates, on the other hand, assert that piecemeal solutions are measures too distasteful for rational consideration. Immigrants arriving at the border, regardless of the strength or weakness of their asylum claims, must be granted full access to immigration courts and constitutional protections.
Joe Biden was in Florida over the past weekend. While there, he visited both Little Haiti and Little Havana, communities with distinct political views.
Although the issues at the two events differed, together they paint a picture of how the Biden presidency plans to handle immigration policy.
Looking forward, the potential for program reversals from the Trump era is ample reason for all immigrants living in the U.S. to support the Biden-Harris ticket.
As the new year dawns, most of us reflect where we’re headed, individually and collectively. Internal strength and resolve are once again at a premium, if our positive thoughts and words are to be turned into actions.
Countless resolutions, based on ideal visions of ourselves in the future, are projected for the year to come.
Unfortunately, when it comes to immigration, optimism is missing in action.
The Happy New Year ended when the clock struck midnight at Times Square.
When I learned about the Obama plan to begin citizenship drives across the nation a few weeks ago, I had mixed feelings.
On the one hand, I wanted to cheer from the top of my lungs.
On the other, I suspected the current effort to push the merits of naturalization was driven by self-serving Democratic Party manipulation.
Politics is a game of unintended consequences.
One needs to look no further than the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
As a San Bernardino immigration lawyer, it is not uncommon to hear immigration activists praise the virtues of the Act.
Yet, a retrospective review reveals that it was politics as usual.
Benevolence was not the foremost consideration of most in Congress.
A few days ago, as I set out for my morning exercise, I noticed a neighbor had recently purchased a nice-looking shiny used car.
It looked like it had been re-polished and a few accessories had been added. It seemed to promise a smooth ride.
Whether the engine was up to the journey was another question. The answer, of course, would be forthcoming in a few months.
When I turned the corner, my thoughts switched to immigration reform.
Nine months ago, many friends and relatives decided to buy into a politically used vehicle.
The Democratic Party.
I refuse to accept laws unfairly slanted against immigrants.
Whether I’m talking to an ICE officer to find out why they picked up a 55-year old lawful permanent resident at his home, while dressed in full combat gear as if they were arresting a well known terrorist . . .
As I read news reports about the HALT Act, my thoughts raced to poor Desirée from the 1973 musical, A Little Night Music.
Repeatedly scorned by her sought-after lover, she lamented her misplaced loyalty.
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought you’d want what I want . . .
Sorry, my dear!
And where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here.
With the introduction of the HALT Act, the president is probably also wondering if it’s time to send in the clowns.