Note: The Weekly Immigration Wire has changed its title to The Weekly Diaspora.
After the shadowy Bush years, the emergence of reasonable policy can be a little surprising. Immigration law has suffered from a lack of planning and is often influenced by fear rooted in the Sept. 11 attacks. But the national dialogue on immigration has begun to grow healthier. Activists, immigration advocacy groups and Latino and Asian American communities dug in and are working toward reform. Right wing and anti-immigration voices have less sway. This week we see two tangible and positive developments on this front: An announcement from the White House regarding detention policy reform and a letter against aggressive enforcement sent to the White House from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The White House’s latest announcement on immigration detention reform is encouraging, as it finally addresses the abysmal conditions of the detained, who include families and children. Though, as Michelle Chen muses for RaceWire, what is the overall purpose of these proposed improvements in detention facilities and policies? Are they simply to make the general public more comfortable? After reviewing the latest reform proposals for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, Chen finds a lot of hype and not many details. She writes that despite any makeover, “the central, defining reality of detention remains the banishment of hundreds of thousands for violating a system of rules that is itself guilty of systematically violating rights.” So reason may be returning, but in some cases, it may only be turning the corner, and hardly arrived as of yet.