Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of FIRM’s parent organization, the Center for Community Change, has a blog post up at the Hill Blog about why immigration reform is not only a priority, but an urgent one.
Our immigration system is broken. We all know it. And it’s time to do something about it. Why now?
- Fixing our immigration system is critical component of fixing our economy. Just and humane immigration reform will protect all low-wage workers, punish unscrupulous employers who undercut their honest competitors, create a level playing field for workers and employers, and increase tax revenues for cities, states, and the federal government. The President gets that putting America on the path to brighter economic future is not merely about fixing banks – it’s about better education, fixing our health care system, achieving a sustainable energy future and reforming our immigration system
- The election created enormous political momentum towards immigration reform. The 2008 election was a game-changer, and it’s now clear that the Democrats need to deliver on immigration reform and Republicans need to change course. Pro-Reform candidates beat hard-liners in 19 of 21 battleground House and Senate races. The lesson of the 2008 election when it comes to immigration reform is that immigrant voters want respect and swing voters want solutions.
- Immigrant workers and families are under siege. Many are being exploited. Families are being divided. Hate crimes are on the rise. Raids in workplaces and neighborhoods are terrorizing immigrant workers and families. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are being detained; scores have died in detention. Hundreds die each year crossing the desert in hopes of a better life for their families. As human beings and as Americans, we find this kind of treatment of hard-working people who come to pursue the American Dream unacceptable.
This is a challenge to who we are as a nation, who we are as human beings, and whether we are going to stand up for American ideals and reject those who appeal to our worst instincts. Let’s do the right thing and fight for fair treatment and practical solutions that benefit us all.