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Migration is Beautiful: Efforts for Humane Immigration Reform

Migration is Beautiful: Efforts for Humane Immigration Reform

On May 7, 2013, the battle lines were drawn in the senate when members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Immigration Reform filed more than 300 amendments. This kicked off what is expected to be several weeks of hearings While Republicans introduced several measures to ensure that no one will be able to cross into America, those are expected to fail; Democrats hold more than half of the 18 seats on the committee.

The immigration reform bill, introduced by the bipartisan group known as the Gang of Eight, attempts to overhaul immigration — one of President Obama’s top priorities this year. The bill’s goal is to create new programs that will require all employees to verify their workers’ legal status while allowing tens of thousands of workers to enter the U.S. legally. The bill also aims to give legal citizenship status to the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. The bill also presents measures to tighten border security.

The bill has many notable supporters. The Migration is Beautiful campaign released an open letter to President Obama and the members of Congress on May 7 detailing all of the ways in which immigration reform has currently fallen short. They detail how inhumane it is to detain someone indefinitely before they are deported, and to rip apart families who have now waited more than 25 years to be reunited with their loved ones. They are urging politicians to come up with a more humane immigration policy: “Creating a just and humane immigration process is a moral and cultural imperative that secures the future of a vibrant nation.” According to the campaign’s website, such a reform will do five things:

End the detentions and deportations that cause separation and suffering for families; Preserve families by expediting the visa process and retaining longstanding policies that reunite and stabilize families; Ensure all immigrants have basic workers’ rights; Provide equal immigration rights to LGBTQ individuals and families; and Create a clear roadmap to citizenship that includes all 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Some of the letter’s famous cosigners include actress Stockart Channing of “Grease” and “West Wing” fame; feminist author Julia Alvarez; comediennes Margaret Cho and Sarah Silverman; poet and author Alice Walker, writer of “The Color Purple”; and the bands R.E.M. and My Morning Jacket. Check out the full list here. It looks like supporters of humane immigration reform are in good, and artistic, company.

It’s no surprise that so many artists support immigration reform. Creativity knows no boundaries — or borders — and, often, writers and artists feel the need to travel in order to experience what they want to write about, photograph, paint, etc. Remember Hemingway’s famous running with the bulls to write “The Sun Also Rises”? This is not a new concept, and if borders are closed, such travel, let alone immigration, will be near impossible. Furthermore, many of the cosigners of this letter are first- or second-generation U.S. citizens, making the struggle for humane immigration reform all the more real to them.

We need immigration reform in this country, so why not concentrate on policies that treat immigrants like the beautiful human beings they are rather than treating them like a sub-human species? I believe Migration is Beautiful – do you?

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Photo Credit: Julio Salgado, courtesy of Colorlines

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73 comments

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5:35PM PDT on May 26, 2013

Baffling! These politicians speak of "creating a pathway to citizenship" for the eleven million who are in this country illegally. If there is no such thing currently in existence, then how did countless numbers of us migrate to these shores and subsequently become fully fledged citizens?

12:41PM PDT on May 24, 2013

So who is going to pay for all these new "immigrants" and all the freebies they get. I can hardly afford my taxes now.

4:54AM PDT on May 23, 2013

It's a matter of choice

11:04AM PDT on May 22, 2013

Will... does the country in which you live have immigration policies? What happens when someone ILLEGALLY enters your country, or enters legally, but overstays their authority?

Curious as you chastise us for trying to defend OUR borders, our SAFETY, and our JOBS, what are the laws you live under, and what are you doing to change THEM.

My guess is that you are speaking rather hypocritically of us while tolerant of the laws in your country.

10:50AM PDT on May 22, 2013

Disgusting to give amnesty to criminals - all Mexican, all catholic - of course there is an agenda!
I, too am an immigrant and I could not afford to bring my mom, dad and brother to America the legal way. They still live in danger in the land of my birth. So should I smuggle them in and break the laws of America?????? I think not.

10:32AM PDT on May 22, 2013

Here is link to full story:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/21/union-blasts-immigration-agency-as-percent-dreamer-petitions-approved/

10:30AM PDT on May 22, 2013

Illegal immigrants seeking a reprieve under an election-year program implemented by the Obama administration are being approved at a rate of over 99 percent -- a situation that has the immigration officer union raising concerns about fraud and security risks.

The program in question is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allows some illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to seek tentative legal status. It was the administration's answer to the "Dream Act," a bill Congress drafted but did not approve.

The union representing thousands of employees in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which processes these applications, complained this week that workers were being compelled to "rubber stamp" all kinds of applications.

But it drew particular attention to the deferred-action program, noting that the approval rate is now north of 99 percent.

Union President Kenneth Palinkas said agency leaders have "intentionally" set up a process that "bypasses" traditional screening methods - like in-person interviews with the applicants.

"These practices... guarantee that applications will be rubber-stamped for approval, a practice that virtually guarantees widespread fraud and places public safety at risk," Palinkas said in a statement.

Numbers provided by USCIS show that, of the applications that have received a final judgment, 99.2 percent were approved. Nearly 292,000 have been approved as of April.

Read more: http://www.foxn

2:56AM PDT on May 22, 2013

Treat yourselves like a sub human species! You are the immigrants you fools!
To cut down on ALL illegal immigration would mean sending everyone who isn't Native American back to their respective origins. Your country is an immigrant country. 99% of the people there are immigrants or descended from immigrants! Some people are so rude! Cheeky, audacious! Arrogant...Everything should be done humanely! Everything!

7:50PM PDT on May 21, 2013

Thanks

7:22PM PDT on May 21, 2013

Illegal is illegal and allowing those to thumb their nose at our laws is just plain wrong. If an American tried that they would find very quickly that other nations take immigration very seriously.

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