Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Update! A Nation of Immigrants... Our Origin and Destiny

The Obama Era Continues (Now let the Republican games begin!) 

This from Politico today:
"President Barack Obama will announce Thursday that he is shielding about 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, according to sources familiar with the planning.

In calls to immigration reform proponents Wednesday, senior administration officials said the executive actions will cover 4 million undocumented immigrants who would qualify for deferred deportations by using criteria such as longevity in the United States and family ties, according to sources briefed on the discussions.

Another 1 million would receive protection through other means, two sources said.

Obama will promote the executive actions at an event in Las Vegas Friday."

"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.” Ronald Reagan (1984 debate with Mondale)

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 brought almost three million people “out of the shadows” of fear and exploitation into the hopeful daylight of American life. In contrast to the lamentations of certain conservative voices that the Act failed in its promise to stem the flow of “illegals” across our porous borders, we might look at its benefits to the economy and the fact that in the “land of the free” millions were liberated from the exploitation of those who prey on the vulnerable who had no status to demand any Rights. Since 1986 no less than another three million persons have received amnesty under various extensions of the IRCA.

Throughout our history people have come to this country in pursuit of a better life. Some come to escape wars and famine, others just in search of greater freedom and better economic opportunity. For whatever reasons...this is a land of immigrants, by immigrants, for immigrants. We come here and we give our talents and our blood and the blood of our children to build and to secure the “land of the free and home of the brave”. The absence of homogeneity is what makes us unique as a nation. We are more than “a people”. America is a product of the whole human experience, offering the richness of what it means to be a person to all who are courageous enough to venture into the formative splendor of its melting pot.

As Americans we have a duty to cultivate a vision of our society that is greater than that which is reflected in the convenient political opportunism that colors the ambitions of myopic individuals. Those who want to close the door behind them once they and their households are in will find that door constantly battered by the winds of human opportunity that brought the first ships to these shores. This country is a force of nature powered by the aspirations and the inspirations of the immigrant. Ours is a hope hinged on the hopes of those who dare to rise up against hopelessness.

According to our census experts there are close to 12 million people living illegally in the USA. They build our houses. They help us care for our children. They do our landscaping. They work in our restaurants and hotels. They do our dry cleaning. They work in our livestock industry. They raise and kill and pluck the chicken that is an irreplaceable staple of our daily diets. They do the work that many of us think is too hard. They are forced into prostitution. We underpay them because they are afraid to speak out against exploitation. They are forced to forego any recourse to Justice because of fear. And they are not the factor that they should be in the tax base that goes toward the building of a more viable society.

We are a nation of laws, but we must be more than that. Laws evolve. Let us be a nation of Justice. Let us author laws that nurture the hopes and dreams of the widow and the orphan. This nation must continue to be a refuge for those who seek safety from cruelty and famine. Let us be fair to those whose only transgression is seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

President Reagan knew in his heart that to maintain the status quo with regard to the undocumented immigrant was wrong. IT WAS WRONG THEN, IT IS WRONG NOW. We need to be guided now by the magnanimous-ness of Reagan's vision. We are called to abandon the blithe-full political rhetoric that reflects an impotent view of American possibility. Justice dictates that the time is ripe now to grant another amnesty.

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