“Immigration Reform: Know the Players,” a series published on
MaribelHastings.com (an America’s Voice website) between November 5th
and December 17th, 2009, is an indispensable reference for anyone
following the issue of immigration reform.
The series, in eight thematic installments and an introduction,
discusses the roles played in the urgent battle for reform by law
enforcement; undocumented students; anti-immigrant groups; the
pro-immigrant movement; faith communities; farmers and agricultural
laborers; business and labor interests; and, of course, the defining
actors: the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.
Each part was published to coincide with events in the last months of
2009 relevant to its subject, although the articles offer a general
perspective, offering background, statistics and detailed information on
The installment discussing law enforcement, for example, appeared in the
wake of a Los Angeles Times op-ed written by outgoing Los Angeles Police
Department chief William Bratton, concerning the role of local police
departments in federal immigration policy and public safety in areas
with large immigrant communities.
Similarly, the article examining business and labor concurred with a
talk given at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, at
which Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke
discussed the economic impact of immigration and the expected benefits of comprehensive immigration reform.
The section covering the Obama Administration and Congress analyzes the
balance of powers in the Capitol, identifying factions, such as the
conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats, who could become particularly
influential in deciding the outcome of the 2010 legislative debate.
Each article contains quotes from experts and those whose fortunes are
bound up in the debate – such as Juan, an undocumented student who advocates for the passage of the DREAM Act on behalf of his fellow “DREAMers.”
One central theme, continuing throughout the series, is the contrast
between current efforts and the failed attempt to pass federal
immigration reform in 2007.
The series was conceived and written by Maribel Hastings, a Senior
Advisor at America’s Voice. Rafael Prieto Zartha, now the organization’s
Spanish Language Media Advisor, collaborated on the articles.