Latino leaders silent in the face of immigration policy crisis

That is why I sincerely cannot understand the support that some organizations and politicians are giving to bills in Congress that are primarily focused on enactment of legislation designed to maintain a cheap labor force that is kept waiting. Waiting – without being allowed any public benefits, including health care. Waiting – and placed in a probationary legal status for what could be 13 -40 years — depending on a determination by those in power – whether border security targets have been met. In order to meet these security targets – what is being proposed is more of the enforcement policies that have resulted in record level deportations that have risen to an annual average of nearly 400,000 since 2009.

Instead of supporting $3 billion for surveillance technology, including unmanned drones and military-grade radar and $1.5 billion toward the construction of a double-layer fence – what is wrong with pressuring our coalitions to call on President Obama — to listen to the mandate of our communities — to use his executive power to immediately stop the deportations of most undocumented, who are not hard-core criminals, but whose only crimes are to work to feed their families here and abroad?

While we can support the policies of an expedited citizenship path for those immigrants who were brought to this country as children (regardless of their age) and agricultural workers, – we must work for a speedier process that results in the immediate legalization of the 4.2 million who have been waiting in line – some up to 20 years. – and fight for a speedier process for the legalization of the 12 million. In my view, it is heroic to question whether those bills in Congress truly benefit our immigrant communities – to question why all the funds are being allocated for enforcement and not used, if there is sincerity in a just legalization process, for a more efficient means of doing away with the backlog – and doing away with anyone having to move to the back of the line for an endless period of time.

Jose

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Latino leaders silent in the face of immigration policy crisis

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