Victoria Defrancesco Soto: The STEM jobs act would essentially staple green cards to the diplomas of 55,000 foreign students. But, the legislation does not help the millions of undocumented immigrants, mainly of Latin American descent already in this country.
While this bill provides a strong starting point for Congress to honestly debate meaningful immigration reforms, many wonder whether obstructionists in Congress will continue to use immigration as a political piñata in the name of election politics or put partisanship aside and fix our broken immigration system.
Seth Hoy: Although the President has pledged his support for the DREAM Act, mounting GOP opposition will make it increasingly difficult for Sen. Harry Reid to find the 60 votes necessary for cloture on the amendment next week, assuming the Defense Authorization bill makes it through round one, the motion to proceed, next Tuesday.
Seth Hoy: While Governor Brewer’s opening remarks meltdown is at least understandable, her inability/refusal to defend controversial anti-immigrant statements—which has become the centerpiece of her re-election platform—is not.
Andrea Nill: The FBI crime statistics show that as undocumented immigration has increased, crime in Arizona and other border states has gone down. Data from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) additionally shows that the violent crime rate in Arizona has been declining since 2006 and in 2008 and is at the lowest level since 1973.
Seth Hoy: Notwithstanding the fact that many GOP strategists and other leaders are arguing against using immigration as a wedge issue, politicians eager for votes gravitate toward each new anti-immigrant message like moths to a flame.
Seth Hoy: Conservative religious leaders made the case for common sense solutions to our immigration system—comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) that secures our borders, follows the rule of law and provides a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
Michelle Waslin: Research has shown that the DREAM Act would be a boon to the economy and the U.S. workforce. Moreover, the DREAM Act create an opportunity for many young people to get on the path to permanent legal status, improve their education, invest in themselves and their communities, and serve their country.
Michele Waslin: Once again, those who call for “enforcement first” have been put on the spot. Will any amount of enforcement ever be enough to move them to the next step? Will they continue to move the goalposts? Or will they finally recognize that comprehensive immigration reform is ultimately about securing our borders?
Seth Hoy: Although Secretary Napolitano trumpeted DHS’s new border initiatives as well as past achievements, she also acknowledged that the border can never be hermetically sealed and that stalling immigration reform by highlighting border security issues is not the answer to our immigration problems.
Seth Hoy: Harvard sophomore, Eric Balderas, knows why the DREAM Act is important to so many. Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picked up Balderas in Boston on his way to visit his mother in San Antonio, Texas. Balderas now faces the possibility of deportation at a hearing next month. The 19-year-old biology major was valedictorian of his high school class and is on a full scholarship at Harvard.
Andrea Nill: Lucas Restrepo, M.D., published a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that provided a whole new angle on the effect SB-1070 will have on the medical profession. Restrepo points out that, under the law, health care providers who treat undocumented immigrants could be considered criminals.
Seth Hoy: While President Obama and Gov. Brewer agreed that “federal inaction on a comprehensive immigration overhaul is unacceptable,” she has done nothing to substantiate that notion. Meanwhile, Gov. Brewer admits that crime is down in Arizona (as well as other border towns), even though she has repeatedly claimed that her state is “under siege” from border crime
Seth Hoy: Tens of thousands of protesters from across the country gathered in Phoenix over the weekend to protest Arizona’s SB 1070. According to some reports, as many as 20,000 protesters carried flags, banners and signs reading “Do I Look Illegal?” and “Where’s the change? Mr. President, how can we trust you for re-election?”