Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Immigration Reform: The View From Below

By David L. Wilson, Upside Down World
July 8, 2013

Washington’s latest effort at comprehensive immigration reform, S.744, sailed through the Senate on June 27 by a vote of 68 to 32. The “historic session” followed weeks of heavy media coverage. We learned about the maneuvers of the Senate’s bipartisan Gang of Eight; about the counter-moves of the Tea Party faction; about the various deals cooked up by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, the defense contractors, and the magnates of Silicon Valley. We learned about what all the major players thought about border security, the path to citizenship, the need for immigrants “to wait their turn in line,” and the importance of “fixing a broken system.” And now the media coverage is moving on to the legislative deal making in the House of Representatives.

As usual, the one thing the media aren’t covering is what the immigrants themselves think about immigration reform.

This was a central issue at a meeting that some 40 to 45 activists--some of them visiting New York from Mexico and Central America--held in the basement of a mid-Manhattan church on the evening of May 23.[...]

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