Posts tagged Immigration

Putting Out the Unwelcome Mat

If Repub­li­cans could choose a “Wel­come” mat to grace America’s doorstep, it would look a lot like the one on the right: con­fused, angry and totally con­flicted. On the one hand, Repub­li­cans know they need to find a bet­ter pol­icy on immi­gra­tion because, quite sim­ply, the issue is killing them at the polls. But as we have all learned to our sor­row at var­i­ous points in our lives, it can be really hard to make the heart accept what the brain is telling us to do.

First, let’s exam­ine the nature of the GOP’s immi­gra­tion immo­la­tion. In the recent elec­tion, Barack Obama won between 66 and 70 per­cent of the His­panic vote, accord­ing to Reuters/​Ipsos elec­tion day polling. This comes at a time when the Latino pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing rapidly in states such as Florida, one of eight or so polit­i­cally divided states that were cru­cial in the pres­i­den­tial race, and when high-​​profile Repub­li­cans like Jeb Bush are threat­en­ing that Texas could turn blue before the next pres­i­den­tial election.

The non­white vote has been grow­ing — tick, tick, tick — slowly, steadily. Every four-​​year cycle the elec­torate gets a lit­tle bit more diverse. And it’s going to con­tinue,” says Paul Tay­lor, demo­graphic spe­cial­ist at the non­par­ti­san Pew Research Cen­ter, adding that the num­ber of white vot­ers is expected to con­tinue to decline a few points in each future elec­tion cycle. “This is a very pow­er­ful demo­graphic that’s chang­ing our pol­i­tics and our destiny.”

Com­pound­ing the prob­lem for Repub­li­cans is the fact that while they are mas­sively los­ing the Latino vote, they are not mak­ing off­set­ting gains with any other demo­graphic. The pres­i­den­tial elec­tion results high­lighted the polit­i­cal impact of this. About 80 per­cent of blacks, Lati­nos and other non­white vot­ers cast their bal­lots for Obama in Novem­ber com­pared with less than 17 per­cent for Rom­ney, accord­ing to the Reuters/​Ipsos polling ref­er­enced above. Obama also won about 63 per­cent of total vot­ers age 18 to 34.

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Where Do We Put Them?

Binh Thai Luc

Last week, the Obama admin­is­tra­tion announced the arrest of over 3,000 for­eign­ers who are sus­pected crim­i­nals or fugitives.

Yet what do we do with them when they have served any time asso­ci­ated with crimes they’ve com­mit­ted in the United States, and their home coun­try refuses to take them back?

A few weeks ago, five peo­ple were mur­dered in their home in San Fran­cisco, and the man sus­pected of killing them, Binh Thai Luc, was sup­posed to have been deported to Viet­nam six years ago. This isn’t an iso­lated case; in the past three years alone, nearly nine thou­sand immi­grants ordered deported to their home coun­tries due to crim­i­nal activ­ity found them­selves instead on the streets of the United States, because their home coun­tries wouldn’t take them back. (more…)

A Travesty of Justice

AIDS-​​afflicted Brad­ford Wells (left) and his spouse Anthony Makk

Usu­ally I write arti­cles about facts and fig­ures. It’s my main strength in these parts. But I ran across this arti­cle in Slate today, and it left me simul­ta­ne­ously sad and angry.

Here we have a cou­ple who did all the right things. Anthony Makk came to the United States legally. He has been a law-​​abiding mem­ber of soci­ety for his entire time in the US. He and Brad­ford Wells run their own busi­ness, and main­tain rental prop­er­ties in San Francisco.

And Makk has been car­ing for Wells as he fights off AIDS.

Yet, despite Obama’s asser­tions to the con­trary regard­ing the enforce­ment of the Defense of Mar­riage Act, Makk is being forced out of the country.

This is, to me, a trav­esty of jus­tice. If one of the cou­ple was a woman, there would be no depor­ta­tion. Why should this one fact result in an oth­er­wise upstand­ing, model mem­ber of Amer­i­can soci­ety being sent to Australia?

By the way, if you agree that this is a trav­esty of jus­tice, you can sign this online peti­tion.

A Democrat Foreign Legion?

For the first time in Amer­i­can his­tory, the United States gov­ern­ment is recruit­ing for­eign res­i­dents to become United States cit­i­zens. U.S. Cit­i­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion Ser­vices is spend­ing $3.5 mil­lion for a for­eign lan­guage cam­paign to con­vince up to 7.9 mil­lion green card hold­ers to apply for citizenship.

In an era of $1.6 tril­lion deficits, why are we spend­ing any money at all on this effort? Two data points are reveal­ing: (more…)

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