As we pause to commemorate the historic achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., protest the horrid abuses of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and come together to help Haiti rebuild in the wage of tragedy, one can’t help but wonder exactly what sort of America members of Congress like Rep. Steve King wish to create.
The Center for American Progress has a great snapshot of public opinion on immigration today. The piece begins: “There’s no doubt the politics of immigration reform are very complicated and that getting a bill through Congress will not be easy. But it’s important to be clear that the public is quite supportive of immigration reform, especially reform that is comprehensive and does not simply focus on punitive measures. This has been true of the public for some time and a new Benenson Strategy Group poll for America’s Voice demonstrates that it is still true today.”
This is a guest post from Reprentative Mike Honda and originally appeared on his blog and the Asian Pacific Americans for Progress blog. “The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), H.R. 4321, includes CAPAC’s top immigration priorities, including: Ensuring a robust family reunification system, earned legalization for undocumented workers and DREAM Act students, the restoration of due process and judicial review in our immigration system, humane treatment of immigration detainees, and the integration of new American communities. CAPAC members joined a diverse coalition of Members of Congress as cosponsors to the legislation.”
New polling released by the Pew Research Center today explores racial attitudes one year after the historic election of President Barack Obama. While the phone-based (land line and cellular) poll found increasing optimism among African Americans, and decreasing racial tension among white and black Americans, it uncovered deep concerns about race among Latinos– perhaps unsurprising given the unresolved immigration debate in this country.
“The Stop Terrorist Entry Program (STEP) Act, first introduced in 2003, also would have required all persons from these countries on student visas, temporary work visas, exchange and tourist visas to leave the United States within 60 days, despite their legal status in the country. Residents and nationals of Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen would be affected.” It’s time for certain members of Congress to quit playing politics with incredibly serious issues like our national security by introducing measures that serve merely to scapegoat communities, not to solve the crucial issues at hand.
The anti-immigration wedge issue that was supposed to materialize in 2006 and 2008 failed spectacularly – as Ford personally found out. This is because swing voters want solutions and the hostile, anti-immigrant minority produces a lot more noise than they do votes. Here’s hoping that New York State follows the lead of Bloomberg and Schumer, and reject the outdated politics of Levy and Ford.
Here’s to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for using the occasion of his recent inaugural address to make a definitive pledge of leadership on the pressing issue of federal immigration reform. Managing to address the issue even within a brief speech, Bloomberg promised to organize a bipartisan group of elected officials from around the country to move forward on President Obama’s call for real, comprehensive immigration reform, in the New Year.
“This is the bill puts an end to this kind of unchecked corruption. It is a bill that America’s hardworking labor community wants. It’s the bill that American employers need to operate effectively and ethically. And we owe it to them to reward the hard work they do to sustain us every day.”
The time for waiting is over. Today, Congressman Luis Gutierrez is introducing a bill that would bring 12 million people out of the shadows and into the full protection of the law. Today is the first step in what I anticipate will be a six month, all-out-fight to pass real, comprehensive reform that restores justice to our broken immigration system. When it is signed into law, this legislation will be one of the largest leaps forward for civil rights that our nation has seen in over 30 years. It is urgent that we start the fight strong – that’s why we need your voice now.
“This is a crisis. It’s a crisis of human and civil rights, it’s a crisis of our economy and our workforce, and it’s a crisis of national security. This is why we cannot wait any longer. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009 is a solution that we, as a nation of immigrants, can be proud of.”