Seth Hoy: One of the biggest myths perpetuated by restrictionist groups is that the roughly 12 million unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S. use a variety of public services yet paying nothing in taxes.
Michele Waslin: Until we focus on policy reforms that improve our immigration system in an honest, fair and effective way instead of disseminating myths and misinformation that divide us, we are destined to keep spinning our wheels with no real improvements to our system.
Andrea Nill: Immediately before the vote failed, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took the Senate floor to tell the young DREAMers who have come to his office that they were “wasting their time” because the border hasn’t been secured.
Andrea Nill: In their attempt to block any action during the lame duck session of Congress, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) have callously resorted to questioning Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) faith for potentially keeping Congress in session through the start of the new Congress next year.
Andrea Nill: Graham voted against the DREAM Act in 2007, so it’s not a huge surprise that he’s against it now. However, that doesn’t excuse his distorted justification.
Marcu Stern: even though the DREAM Act has drawn Republican support in the past, it’s unclear whether the White House can win over enough Senate Republicans to make up for the handful of Democrats who are expected to vote against the bill.
Andrea Nill: Thursday, Capital Wire posted a press release issued by the conservative Latino Coalition denouncing the controversial ads released by Latinos for Reform, another right-leaning political group, which told Latinos not to vote.
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.
Andrea Nill: It sounds like President Obama is likely on board with the strategy, telling La Opinion last week, “I just don’t want anybody to think that if we somehow just do the DREAM Act, that that solves the problem.”
A study released by the Migration Policy Institute this summer estimated that out of the 2.1 million potential beneficiaries of DREAM Act legislation, 38 percent (825,000 people) would actually obtain permanent legal status due to the bill’s strict requirements.
Obama can narrow the enthusiasm gap by aggressively campaigning, but it will be up to labor and environmental groups to rouse their disaffected supporters to the polls.
Andrea Nill: Fixing the broken immigration system by creating a flexible number of opportunities for economic migrants to work in the U.S. without sacrificing border security is a much more practical and realistic solution.
Andrea Nill: Labor and business appear to agree on one thing: on its own, the $600 million border bill won’t solve any of these issues and will do little to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.