With Obama's second term approaching very soon, the topic of
immigration reform will become a major concern. The Republicans are still reeling from their unexpected and astounding loss in November, due in large part to their almost complete lack of support from immigrants and minorities. All through the election the lily white GOP showed their contempt for immigrants and racial minorities, yet were still puzzled as to why they didn't get any votes from them. Many of the GOP leaders realized that the party had lost because of their attitude and policies towards immigration. As Obama won re-election due to overwhelming support form minorities, he promised he would push for immigration reform in his second term.
Immigration reform will be a very contentious issue that will surely divide the Congress and the country. With the strength of extremists and outright bigots and racists in the Republican party there is sure to be a great deal of fireworks and hateful rhetoric being spewed about. Already the GOP has shown that they "still don't get it" when they elected party leaders for the new Congress, all of which are old white men.
If you looks at the immigration laws that recently went into effect in Arizona, you can have a peek into what many extremists in the GOP want to do with immigration. I used to love to visit friends in Arizona and enjoy the influence of the Mexican culture and especially the Native American influence and presence there. Now I wouldn't want to go there, as people of Mexican descent live with constant harassment as well as anyone who isn't white or doesn't look "American". If anyone in Arizona had legitimate reasons to fight immigration, it would be the Native American residents, who have lived there for centuries and now live on reservations as second class citizens. Arizona doesn't understand that white people there are the real immigrants.
Beside reforming immigration to assist those people who are already living in the US and have been doing so for many years, proposed legislation also is aimed at uniting families of immigrants. One issue that will surely be contentious is the proposal which would allow American citizens to sponsor their same sex partners, living abroad, for a green card. This will surely fire up the right wing Christian extremists in this country.
One aspect of our current immigration policy which must be addressed is the issues of foreign students who come to the US to study and then are immediately asked to leave the country. Because of this policy America is losing thousands of intelligent and highly skilled professionals. That is why China and India and catching up and surpassing the US in the area of technology. We can only imagine what sad shape our country would be in today if the racists and bigots now in Congress were in charge when our parents and grandparents came to this country.
We recently went through an idiotic fight to ward off the country going over the fiscal cliff, which showed just how irresponsible and dysfunctional our government is. Now many Republicans are upset with Obama for not giving in to their demands. So in retribution they are promising they will never ever support any of Obama's other measures. In other words they care only about their own party ideology and not the welfare of the American people.
|The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives|