Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to Close the Distance Between Washington and the Reality of Immigration

By Pablo Alvarado, Huffington Post
May 2, 2013

Last week, an exchange between Jeff Flake, Janet Napolitano, and Chuck Schumer exemplified all that is wrong with the way in which immigration gets discussed within Washington and how far removed the beltway is from the daily reality and aspirations of people who are marching for immigrant rights this week.

When the topic of immigration enters the beltway, it gets reduced to an issue and divorced from the people whose lives hang in the balance. The dehumanizing view of migrants promoted by people like Sheriff Arpaio and Jan Brewer in Arizona finds a home inside the Capitol. At the Senate Judiciary Committee witness table, nativist "experts" share tables with self-identified undocumented Americans and continue to call them 'alien.' But it isn't just the xenophobes intent to block reform who attempt to deny migrants' humanity.

Recalling the so-called "Gang of 8" visit to the Arizona border, Sen. Jeff Flake openly mocked a woman who was apprehended by Border Patrol. [...]

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