2018 was an incredibly difficult year for immigrants, immigrant family members, immigrant rights advocates, and immigration lawyers.
So what might 2019 hold? Will immigration affairs remain bleak or will daylight start to shine again?
How should immigrants play their cards?
Editor’s Note: If you would like to read immigration predictions for 2019, see this article: Five Immigrant Rights Activists Share Their Predictions For 2019.
By Chasity Alvarez
As 2018 begins, there are several issues which all immigrants and their families will need to face in the coming year.
Before jumping in, I would first like to address a point raised by President Trump last year.
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.
Mae West was right.
An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
She understood the art of false pretenses.
Sadly, this art is common in the world of immigration politics.
Rather than expediting proposals on family unity, permanent residency, and deportation policies, elected officials espouse whatever empty rhetoric seems politically prudent at the moment.
Real immigration reform requires an all hands on deck approach.
With this post, I attempt to kick-start that idea into action.
If you’re looking for information about immigration reform, it’s not hard to find.
On the surface, immigration news is everywhere. But look a little deeper, listen a little closer, and immigration reform vanishes into thin air.
The more the goal posts of reform are moved, the less the proposed legislation looks immigrant-oriented.
And if the bill is not geared to immigrant families, can it honestly be called immigration reform?
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.
Being a San Bernardino immigration lawyer, I was recently asked by a local church to participate at a public forum on immigration issues.
“Are we as Christians,” asked the moderator, “called upon to love our less fortunate brothers and sisters?”
“Are we as Christians called upon to love those sitting next to us, even if they are here as undocumented immigrants?”
I liked his direct approach.
Immigration reform is not just a political and social issue. It’s about morality.