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Weekly Diaspora: Immigration Impacts Everything

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This post is a weekly feature by Nezua, Media Consortium Blogger.

While many pundits and political analysts are musing about what Tuesday’s mixed bag election results mean for Obama administration, New America Media reports that “there’s another trend to watch; the surprising prominence of immigration politics.”

Even in states where other concerns “like small farms and forestry management” are far more immediate, “immigration has become a litmus test issue for the conservative movement,” and the expectation is, oddly, a “lockstep” goal toward opposing legalization. One has to wonder how the self-destructive choice to oppose immigration at any cost came about.

ColorLines‘ Leticia Miranda asks “What’s next?” now that the infamous Hutto immigration detention center, notorious for myriad human rights violations such as keeping children in prison-like conditions, is closing. Detainees are simply being moved to another detention center in Pennsylvania. So how will we know that substandard conditions and alleged sexual abuse will not be repeated? The problem is not location. The problem is that a class of people have been isolated and assigned lesser worth. making it easy to exploit them. Still, the closing of Hutto is an accomplishment for the ACLU and other activists that worked so hard to make it happen. It’s also a sign that our nation will not tolerate such conditions.

Another positive sign of progress is the reversal of what the Washington Monthly dubbed “a senseless ban” that prohibited HIV-positive individuals from migrating or traveling to the US. Author Steve Benen notes that progress in overturning the ban, which was imposed by the Reagan administration 22 years ago, began with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and then-Sen. Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) in 2008.

In negative news, the anti-immigration group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) have released a bizarrely antagonistic press release calling Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL) a “traitor,” as The Washington Independent reports. The full press release is here. In it, William Gheen, President of ALIPAC, happily warns that ALIPAC is “ready to organize and channel the backlash wave of anger that is coming into peaceful civic action” and for no apparent reason, employing a Dirty Harry quote beseeching an unnamed person to “Make my day, punk!” People like Gheen and Lou Dobbs are forever talking about a culture war and are obviously not interested in human beings.