nadie es illegal

I’ve been following the debate about U.S. immigration reform for some time. Yesterday, in a bunch of East Coast cities, immigrant organizers declared “A Day Without An Immigrant” and encouraged folks to stay home from work, essentially a massive work stoppage by immigrant workers. The strike is in reaction to a pretty horrible piece of legislation that passed right before Christmas that would raise the stakes on both folks who entered the country illegally, and potentially those who aid them, by criminalizing the act of illegal immigration.

It’s pretty amazing to me that this bill has drawn the ire of almost everyone on the political spectrum (except the Minutemen, who, sorry, I’m just not willing to give a link). The idea that a priest or a social worker could be arrested as a smuggler for helping undocumented immigrants in any way is reprehensible to me.

There is no doubt in my mind that the current system is broken and needs repair. But any politician who thinks that rounding up and deporting the eleven million undocumented people in the US is a meritorious plan is just showboating for political payoff. I believe in protecting our borders, but a system that forces that many people to live in the shadows–people who, for the most part, are here to work and earn enough money to support their families here and abroad–is a failure. For the 99% of those eleven million people who want to be here legally, who want to live without fear of an ICE raid, we need to give them a path to legalize. Sensenbrenner, by writing a bill that just gives that 99% another thing to fear, has made himself part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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February 15, 2006. politically motivated. 7 comments.