|October 31, 2011||Today, I Changed My Mind… Because it Can Never be too Late or too Hard to do What’s Right||no comments|
|September 11, 2011||9-11. A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE||no comments|
|April 25, 2011||Deborah Interviews Gary Endelman (VIDEO) (MMIGRATION REFORM SERIES) IMMIGRATION IS DEMOGRAPHICA...||no comments|
|April 25, 2011||Deborah Interviews Bill Ong Hing (Immigration Reform Series) America has a Debt to Pay to Mexico||no comments|
Today, I changed my mind. Although I’d teetered with the issues of illegal immigration and border control, I hadn’t fully resolved where I stood… until today. So, today, what happened to change my mind? And from what to what?
Today, I decided to stop and have a salad at my favorite deli, Jason’s Deli. As I pulled up, two police officers were talking with two young men who looked to be from Mexico. After about ten minutes or so, very calmly, one of the officers pulled out his handcuffs and gently took the right arm of one of the men. The man didn’t resist. Instead, he turned around and extended his left arm to the officer. He was handcuffed and within minutes, he was sitting in the back seat of the police car – arrested. Now I don’t know why he was arrested, but I imagined it was because he was illegally in this Country. But, the truth didn’t matter. He could have been wanted for murder or any less serious crime. The reason for his arrest was irrelevant to me at that moment. Only my thoughts of what could have been true mattered.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I considered the inhumanity of being arrested for simply ‘being’. ‘Being’ in a place where a group of people decided he didn’t belong. I began to feel overwhelmed as I walked by the police car, imagining what would happen to the young man in the back seat. Will he be deported and sent to a land he may not know? Will he be separated from his family? What will be the cost of his arrest?
Everything within me – my humanity – feels it’s not right to confine a human being to only one part of this vast land we live on. Everything within me – my humanity – feels it’s not right to build a man-made border across any part of this God-given earth. I know, I know, I know. I’ve heard all the arguments against open borders. I’m not even sure that’s what I’m saying. But, it’s what I’m feeling. Maybe I’m feeling the spirits of the Native Americans who believed they did not and could not own or prevent others from sharing the land they were blessed to inhabit. So, they welcomed the European immigrants, knowing that the land and natural resources were vast and plenty enough for everybody. If only we believed that way. I’m beginning to feel it. I haven’t worked it out in my head, but my spirit says the Natives were right. And it can never be too late or too hard to do what’s right.
I know you’re saying, ‘But, Deborah, if the young man was here illegally, he should be sent back to his country.' Well, we determine what’s legal and illegal. My humanistic view on life puts humanity first above everything, even the law – especially the law. But to keep humans from breaking the law, maybe it’s time we decided that simply ‘being’ wherever you want to be could never be illegal.
Today, I changed my mind, because it can never be too late or too hard to do what’s right.
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Deborah Robinson is an award-winning journalist, author, producer, documentary filmmaker and television personality. Her latest book is Legal Briefs on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country. Her life’s passion is to reveal and communicate truth through the media. Deborah’s media work can be found at www.RobinsonOmnimedia.com.
9-11. A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
Literally every day since September 11, 2001 - no matter where I am or what I’m doing - I look at a clock at exactly 9:11. I feel a connection with that day that I cannot explain. Like most Americans, I can tell you where I was and what I was doing when the second plane hit the south tower of the World Trade Center. But, although I feel connected, I have a very different perspective of that day than most Americans.
We are upon the 10th anniversary of the horrific event that took the lives of 2,819 people and changed the lives of every American forever. Every day at 9:11, my heart goes out to those who lost a loved one. But I don’t feel the sympathy for America that comes every year at this time. Why not? Because I value every life the same, whether it’s an American life, a Palestinian life, a Jewish life, a Christian life or a Muslim life. I value humanity and it doesn’t matter if that human lives in Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa or America.
So, what does that mean?
That means that the Arabs and Muslims that have been killed in Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank are just as human as the 2,819 that died on American soil on 9-11.
That means that the 56,000 military plus 3,500 civilians – all Muslims – killed in Desert Storm were just as loved by their families as the 2,819 that died on 9-11.
That means that the 32,000 civilians killed in Afghanistan since 2001 were just as valued by their country as the 2,819 that died on 9-11.
That means that the 100,000 people who have died due to UN sanctions on Iraq were just as important as the 2,819 that died on 9-11.
Every death is equally important. No more. No less.
So, when we – Americans – speak of 9-11 as if that one incident started the war on terror or signaled the end of the world, those in other countries who know what terror really is and those who know what war and the end of the world really feels like because they live in it every day, wonder why we – Americans – can’t see the hypocrisy, the arrogance, the elitism and the national supremacy that is so obvious in how we look at what has been happening to them over many of their lifetimes compared to what happened to us on that one day – September 11, 2001.
When we, the most powerful country in the world, begin to value life – every life – as much as we value an American life, others will do the same. They will value American lives just as they value their own lives. Maybe then we can prevent another terror attack on American soil.
Watch this interview in two parts at www.YouTube/DeborahInterviews.
With so much debate on illegal immigration, we rarely discuss legal immigration—our laws and policies—and how they can be used to lessen the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. I recently interviewed Attorney Gary Endelman about his contribution to the book, Legal Briefs on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country. In his Legal Brief, The Tyranny of Priority Dates, Endelman shed light on a complex part of our legal immigration system known as Priority Dates. He likens this U.S. policy to institutional racism. But before I ask him what he means by this charge, we talk about why he believes immigration is ‘demographically inevitable’. Endelman is one of the top legal minds in the country and the former in-house immigration counsel for BP America Inc., where until recently and since 1995, he handled all U.S. immigration law for the BP group of companies throughout the world.
Here’s my interview with Attorney Gary Endelman.
DEBORAH: You say if America had a more rational system of legal immigration there would be fewer undocumented immigrants. What’s irrational—what’s wrong—with our immigration system here in the United States?
ENDELMAN: First of all, I think we have to realize that more immigration is a demographic reality. What do I mean by that? In the United States, as in all advanced industrialized countries, you have an aging population and you have a birth rate which is falling as women have more education and employment opportunities. Especially with my generation—the baby boomer generation, retires—there is going to be a tremendous pressure on the system. You will have fewer and fewer workers paying social benefits for more and more older people. Since the birth rate will not provide the additional workers to help deal with this, whether it’s the United States or anywhere—all countries, not just the U.S. —are having to look to the only place where we can get additional people in the prime of their working lives. And that is through immigration. Whether we like it or not, whether we want it legally or illegally, more immigration is inevitable from a demographic point of view. There’s no other alternative to get workers to pay for a larger and larger percentage of the population that is retired and living longer.
DEBORAH: Let’s go back for a moment to what’s wrong with our immigration system. Yes, it’s inevitable from a point of view, but what’s wrong with our system now that we have a problem with illegal immigration?
ENDELMAN: There are two things to say about that. One reason that illegal immigrants stay in the United States is that they are afraid to go home for fear they won’t be able to return. They don’t particularly want to stay in the U.S. If there was a circular pattern of migration the way there used to be in the 1950’s, people would come here illegally to find jobs and they would return home; they would not stay. It’s only because they are trapped by our immigration system—fearing that they won’t be able to get back—that they’re not leaving. So, we are in effect producing the very problem we claim to be concerned about. That’s one issue. The other issue in the reason that people come illegally is that there is an economic need for them, but that they cannot come legally because the system does not allow for it. There are comparatively few Green Cards awarded to workers who are—quote unquote —unskilled. And so they come illegally because there is still a need for them to come to work in our fields, to pick our food, to work in our factories and to work in our nursing homes. If there weren’t an economic need for it, they wouldn’t be here. But the law does not allow a legal means for them to come. So since there is an economic need for them to come, they come illegally because that’s the only way they can come.
DEBORAH: So, we need reform. Every president has promised it. Who’s responsible to bring about reform? Congress won’t act. The courts are acting in response to states. And the President is fighting the courts and waiting on Congress. Who’s really responsible to do something about our immigration laws?
ENDELMAN: Well let me just focus on legal immigration because people tend to think that immigration is just about the immigrants and it’s really about us. We have a situation right now where there is a global competition for the best and the brightest; a global competition for talent. We are no longer the only game in town. We are no longer the only place that the best and the brightest can come. They can stay in their home countries where there’s an economic rebirth. They can go to other countries. It used to be that the United States was the only place a person of talent could come. That’s no longer the case. So, you have a situation where in the 21st Century, in a global economy, that country will prevail, will lead, will dominate that has the best talent, the best human capital. Just the way in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Countries that had the best natural resources—physical wealth, physical assets—dominated. Now, it’s talent, human capital. And what is happening here. We have the best and the brightest coming from all over the world because we have the best graduate schools in the world because this is where the exciting research and innovation is happening. And then when they come and get their education here, when they are most valuable to us, our immigration system forces them to leave and forces them to work for our competitors who are in a better position to take jobs and industries out of the United States. It makes no sense. It’s counter-productive to our economic interests to have the immigration system that we have. We should be welcoming people with advanced degrees in science and technology, engineering and mathematics, not making it difficult for them to stay.
DEBORAH: Let’s look at it from a public perspective. Many of the attorneys have the same opinion, definitely, immigration is inevitable. But that’s not very palatable to most of the public. Why?
ENDELMAN: Because I think we’ve done a very poor job on our side of explaining that immigration is in the national interest, not just in the interest of the alien. And that’s because most immigration advocates and most immigration lawyers are pro-immigrant and not necessarily pro-immigration. What do I mean by that distinction? I mean the reason that I support more immigration is not because I think it is good for the individual immigrant, but because I think it’s good for the United States. My focus is on the ability of the immigrant to enhance the national economic interests of the United States. My focus is nation-centric not so much immigrant-centric. I don’t think immigration should be what I think many immigration advocates think it should be and that’s sort of like enhanced international social work. We should always have an element of our immigration policy dealing with refugees and asylees, but the focus, it seems to me, should be on using immigration the same way we use tax policies and the same way we use all other types of national policies; to advance the economic and strategic interests of the United States. So for example, our immigration policy should not be geographically neutral. Right now, India, for example, gets the same number of Green Cards as Liechtenstein. China gets the same number of Green Cards as Monaco. It makes no sense. India is extremely important to the United States right now. We want access to the Indian market, to their economy. Well, they want VISA’s. It seems to me that there is a mutuality of interests there and the United States should use immigration to advance its own national interests. If we don’t have that focus on it, I think we’re doing ourselves a disservice and that’s the reason—to come back to your question—that Americans really don’t understand why more immigration is in the national interest.
DEBORAH: Let’s talk a moment about Priority Dates because you believe that until we really have reform, we need to look at the laws we have and how we might be able to change them or work within them. One of those areas is in Priority Dates. This could really be a difficult discussion, but I want to keep it in laymen’s terms so we can kind of understand what Priority Dates are all about. So, I’ll ask you three questions. What are priority dates? Why are they important to immigration? And what’s tyrannical about them?
ENDELMAN: The United States has a system of so many Visa’s or Green Cards being awarded each year. For example, in employment, it’s 140,000 for the whole world. Not a lot. Each country gets 7% no matter how big the country is. As I was saying, China gets the same as San Marino. Within that 7% it’s broken down into certain preferences or categories. Each category gets a certain amount. The law says that in order to apply for the Green Card, you have to have a Green Card number immediately available to you; you have to be at the head of the line. It’s like when you go to pay for something at a store, you have to be at the head of the line in order for the sales person to take your purchase. It’s the same thing in immigration. You have to be at the head of the line where there’s a Green Card number immediately available to you in order to even be able to apply for the Green Card. Now in some countries, like India, China, Mexico and the Philippians, where there is a very, very, heavy and sustained demand to come permanently to the United States, that has resulted in huge waiting periods. Huge. Enormous. And those places in line are called Priority Dates. Priority Dates are a way to arrange people in line who want to get a Green Card. To put it in simple terms. Now if you have, let’s say, an advanced degree—a PhD.—in engineering from India, and you have managed to persuade the U.S. Government that your work is in the national interest, so they’ve approved a petition on your behalf, it will take 8, 9, 10, maybe longer, years for your priority date to become current. Meaning, in order for you to even apply for the Green Card, even if you’ve been able to demonstrate that your work is in the national interest of the U.S., even if you’ve been able to demonstrate that there aren’t Americans to do your job, it will take years before you can even apply. That is because of the inadequate immigrant quotas and the Priority Dates system which says you cannot even apply for the Green Card until you get to the head of the line.
DEBORAH: You liken Priority Dates to institutionalized racism. Can you explain that?
ENDELMAN: There used to be a law that was passed in 1924 by Congress that was called the National Origins Quota. It was passed after WWI to keep Jews and Catholics from Southern and Eastern Europe from coming to the U.S. It was the law until 1965 when things were made geographically neutral. There used to be laws in the 1880’s that lasted until WWII that excluded Chinese from permanently coming to the United States, making them ineligible for citizenship. It was called the Chinese Exclusion Act. Now we don’t have those laws, overtly, right now. But, the effect is still the same. The Priority Dates system is such that it is becoming almost a mirage—almost a cruel joke—for people from China and India to hope to immigrate to the U.S. They might as well have a ‘do not apply’ sign because that is the effect of the Priority Dates system.
DEBORAH: So, what’s the answer to the Priority Dates system? How can it be corrected outside of Congressional reform?
ENDELMAN: That’s really the answer because we have inadequate quotas, but short of that, there are enormous possibilities for remedial action in the law as it now exists—through Executive action and regulation—that would not wait upon Congressional action or be dependent upon Congressional action. There is enormous flexibility in the law. The Executive, through Executive Order, through regulation, through administrative action, can do many, many of the things that legislation could do. I’ll give you one example. In the summer of 2007, in July, there was a dispute between the immigration authorities and the State Department as to this whole system of Priority Dates; which ones were current and which ones were not. So they compromised and they said for one month, all Green Card categories based upon employment were current. Everyone could apply regardless of Priority Dates; regardless of how many people were in line ahead of you. For that one month, everyone could apply. There was no change in regulation. Congress never acted. They decided this as a matter of interpretation and administrative fiat. They could do the same thing today. We could let people informally submit their applications, not technically apply, but have a provisional submission, giving them many of the benefits in terms of travel and employment that they would get normally as part of an official Green Card application. But, the cases would not be approved unless and until the Priority Dates actually came current. That way, people who are in the United States—who are not going home, whose talents we need—could be allowed to get on with their lives and we as a country can get the benefit of their talent and their energies and their commitment.
DEBORAH: What is the likelihood of that happening?
ENDELMAN: I think it’s very unlikely, although several months ago a memo was written to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas basically arguing for the same thing I’m arguing for now. The memo was leaked by opponents of this who wanted to create a political controversy and defeat the approach. If the administration had the vision and the political will to do it, they could do it now. They could do it tomorrow.
DEBORAH: As a corporate attorney for many years, how have you seen Priority Dates affect the corporations in America?
ENDELMAN: Let me give you an example. It is becoming increasingly difficult for technology-oriented companies to attract the best and the brightest talent which they need and which America needs. And what’s inevitably going to happen—and you’re already seeing it now to some extent with companies establishing R&D centers outside the United States by countries more than eager to have them—if you cannot get the talent you need into the United States because of antiquated and irrational immigration restrictions, then companies will increasingly send those jobs out of the United States to be done at research and development centers where the talent can be employed. And inevitably we are going to weaken our national economic competitiveness by that. And it’s happening now.
Deborah Robinson is co-editor and publisher of Legal Minds on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country.
Watch this interview in two parts at www.YouTube/DeborahInterviews.
Read more about Deborah and Attorney Gary Endelman at www.25LegalBriefs.com.
America’s relationship to Mexico is often downplayed in the midst of the immigration debate. In the upcoming documentary, Reasonable Suspicion, we explore that relationship as we travel to Mexico City. So, when one of the contributors to my latest book, Legal Minds on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country, decided to write about that relationship, I was anxious to read what he had to say. Professor Bill Ong Hing’s legal brief, Thinking Broadly About Immigration Reform by Addressing Root Causes, hints that perhaps America should look in the mirror when considering the illegal entrance of our neighbors south of the border. Hing is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco, where he teaches Immigration Law and Policy, Evidence, Negotiation and Rebellious Lawyering.
Hing’s positions on immigration could be considered rebellious. He advocates for a North American Union that could lead to open labor migration, he supports amnesty for the over 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States and he calls Mexican migrants ‘economic refugees’. One of his most controversial contentions in the legal brief he contributed to the book, is that America should take some responsibility for illegal immigration due to its foreign policies. He goes one step further writing, “There is a good argument that the U.S. has an historical debt to pay for what it has done to the agricultural sector in Mexico.”
I interviewed Hing and that’s where I started.
DEBORAH: The U.S. has a debt to pay to Mexico. Explain.
HING: NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, that was signed into law by Canada, the United States and Mexico in the early 1990’s. The American public was lead to believe that it would resolve the undocumented immigration challenge, thinking it would open up markets—not just in Mexico, but in the United States—for Mexican manufactures and Mexican producers. Everyone thought the jobs would be created in Mexico. The problem, and one of the foremost examples, is that behind the scenes and in the small print in NAFTA, the United States was permitted to continue to subsidize U.S. agriculture, corn farmers for example. Mexico was not able to continue doing that. As unbelievable as it may seem, today, some 15 years after NAFTA has been in effect, Mexico now imports over 95% of its corn from the United States. Mexican corn farmers have not been able to compete. They have actually gone out of business. Their workers are left without work. So, where do they look for employment? They look north of the border.
DEBORAH: So, you’re saying that has done what to immigration in the United States?
HING: It has increased the push factors from Mexico for people to come to the United States looking for work. NAFTA’s just one example. The World Trade Organization, which the United States encouraged Mexico to also join, also hurt Mexico in terms of manufacturing. Manufacturing plants in Mexico have closed over the last dozen years or so. China and other countries in Asia have cheaper workers than Mexico. If Americans look at the clothes they have on their backs, they’ll have to admit that a lot of the clothes they have have been imported from Asia, not Mexico. That’s another example of how Mexico has been caught into this trap of worldwide globalization and the economic impact has affected its workers. They have lost work.
DEBORAH: What do we do now? How do we pay that debt? How do we make it right?
HING: First of all, I wish people would calm down when it comes to the flow of undocumented workers in the United States. The reason I wish they would calm down is because I think if they understood the reasons the folks are coming here, because of economic pressures that are well beyond their ability to control their own lives. You are absolutely right when you said that I am for a North American Union that would lead to labor migration. You’re right that I’m for legalization or an amnesty program for the 10 to 12 million undocumenteds. But, I’m actually more for the right of Mexican workers to stay home to work in Mexico. So, when I talk about a North American Union, I think of the European Union, which is not a perfect example, but when the European Union allowed in poorer countries into the European Union such as Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland, before they allowed them in, the wealthy nations infused big investments into those countries so that those countries could create jobs of their own. And guess what? Whenever those poor countries were allowed in, labor migration was open to all those countries. But in the EU today, fewer than 2% of people born in the EU, live in another EU country; they would rather stay home. And I feel the same thing would happen if we really developed a North American Union where we worked on the economies of all three countries. Mexicans, when you interview them, the vast majority would rather stay home. They would rather be home and feed their families with employment at home. So, yes, I’m for a North American Union. Two things would result from that, open migration, but more jobs in Mexico and less of a pressure to leave Mexico to come to the United States.
DEBORAH: When we talk about NAFTA, when we talk about the North American Union, there are a lot of conspiracy theorists who say that the government is conspiring to bring the three countries together—Mexico the United States and Canada—for that North American Union. I know some people are advocating for it, but do you see that happening? Is the government going that way?
HING: I don’t think the government is going that way in the way that the conspiracy theorists are thinking. I do think that there are smart people in Canada, the United States and Mexico that understand that it’s important to help Mexico develop jobs and work on its economy. Listen, I’m the first critic of Mexico as well. I think that the Mexican government has had some history of corruption and ineptitude. I certainly would not just throw money at the government of Mexico. I think we need to sit down and figure out how to do this in a way that will put pressure on the government of Mexico. It’s not unprecedented. When the World Bank gives money, they try to put pressure on governments. In the EU again, serious pressure on countries to adopt economic policies, human rights policies and environmental policies before they’re allowed into the EU and before they’re allowed to accept the cash. I think we need to at least study; at least develop a commission to figure out how this can be done.
When I’ve given this pitch and I talk about bailing out Mexico, people always say to me, “How can you bail out Mexico when the United States is having its own problems?” I understand that. Everybody’s caught in this economic decline. But if we don’t start at least seriously talking about this, we’re never going to resolve this challenge.
When I talk about amnesty or legalization for undocumenteds, I don’t actually talk about that in isolation. Unlike many of my immigrant rights friends in Washington who are pushing for amnesty, amnesty, amnesty, I’m pushing for legalization—amnesty—at the same time as we look at what’s happening with the Mexican economy. If we only grant amnesty and put more money at the border for border enforcement, in a few years, we’re gonna have another undocumented problem. We cannot just grant amnesty. We cannot just throw money at border enforcement without talking about how to help Mexico with its economy. Otherwise, we’re gonna be in the same situation again in a few years.
DEBORAH: You call Mexican immigrants, ‘economic refugees’. That’s pretty strong. Explain that for us.
HING: It’s actually a term that I borrowed from another academic named George Lakoff. He coined the phrase. But, I think he’s absolutely right. People who are coming from Mexico are trying to feed their families. They’re not coming here to commit crimes. They’re not coming here to rip off the welfare system. They are coming here to find work for the reasons that I outlined at the beginning; because of the economic pressures that have been put on them to migrate. To me, it’s very much akin to political pressures of people who are fleeing communism, fleeing repression in other forms. Those folks are labeled refugees. I believe the same thing is happening in Mexico. Because of those economic pressures, people want to flee in order to put money in their pockets and food on the tables of their families. To me, it’s very, very analogous to being a refugee. And these folks are economic refugees.
DEBORAH: Those who would say that we need to decrease the number of immigrants in the United States, not just illegal, but legal as well, say that’s not our problem. What Mexicans are experiencing in Mexico, or any other race of people is experiencing in their home countries, is not our problem and we can’t take on everybody else’s issues. But, when you look at what’s really happening and how America is infused with our neighbors south of the border, what do you think the real issue is with those who say, “go home”’ to the Mexicans? What is the real issue with a North American Union and with the free flowing of migrants throughout the 3 countries?
HING: Let’s be honest. The people who tout the anti-immigrant line, they are made up of a diverse group of individuals. Some of them are mislead by the economic arguments. They think that immigrants hurt the economy. All major empirical studies demonstrate that the economic argument doesn’t hold. In fact, immigrants help our economy. Even today, in the bad economic decline, there are still many, many jobs that Americans don’t take that only low-wage immigrant workers will take. A lot of people who are on that anti-immigrant side, they believe people come here and don’t want to learn English. Again, that’s not true. Community colleges have long waiting lists of people who want to learn English. I wish people would talk more to immigrants. When you interview immigrants, you find out that they want to learn English. They want their children to do well in school. They want their children to learn English, of course. So, that just doesn’t hold. Unfortunately, there’s an element in the anti-immigrant community—let’s face it—that doesn’t like the race of the folks that are coming here. And I’m talking about legal and undocumented immigrants. There are some folks who continue to look at America through a white western, northern, European lens. That’s what they think America has been and should continue to be. They don’t really believe the United States is a land of immigrants beyond western and northern Europe. To those folks, I say it’s inevitable, unfortunately for them. Things are gonna change through legal immigration and through refugee policy. It’s already started. We waste a lot of money through enforcement. We waste a lot of time and effort bickering through all this and what we ought to be doing is embracing the change and working with immigrants so we can work on inculcating them on the values we call American values and work with them about integrating into our society. That’s how we really should spend our time.
DEBORAH: But why can’t they simply come to America—legally—like any other immigrant before them?
HING: When people ask me that question, “Why are they all undocumented?”, what you don’t realize is there are numerical limitations, backlogs, and there are quotas that are very difficult to satisfy. The waiting list for many categories such as for siblings and for sons and daughters—those backlogs—run anywhere from 5 to 25 years in some cases. Some of the categories from Mexico and the Philippians are 15 to 20 years. So, it’s just not that simple to fill in the forms and become an immigrant overnight.
DEBORAH: So what do we do? We know that reform has been discussed and talked about, but we don’t have it yet. Every president has promised it. Obama promised it within his first year. That first year is gone. He said OK, first term. He’s got two years left. What do we do about immigration to work within the laws that we have to rectify this problem we have with illegal immigrants, now?
HING: What I’m proposing of course is that we sit down and look at a long-term solution with respect to Mexico and its economy. But, that’s not gonna solve the problem overnight. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that’s gonna solve the problem overnight. I think that every year—even under this administration, the Obama administration and especially under the George Bush administration—there have been billions and billions of dollars expended and appropriated for interior enforcement and border enforcement and it hasn’t done anything to slow the flow of undocumented folks coming into the United States. That’s why states are doing what they’re doing trying to keep people out of the states. But most of that is gonna be thrown out as unconstitutional. The answer to your question is in order for something to get done in the next couple of years, people are gonna have to wake up and realize that what we’ve done in the past isn’t solving the problem. Let’s roll up our sleeves and figure out how to open the Visa system a little bit more to let in the workers that we need. But, in my opinion, even that isn’t gonna be enough. We really are gonna have to sit down and work on helping to create jobs on both sides of the border and get Canada involved; Canada is very interested in this proposal. Get them involved to once and for all address the root causes of immigration pressures.
Deborah Robinson is co-editor and publisher of Legal Minds on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country.
Watch this interview on www.YouTube/DeborahInterviews.
Read more about Deborah and Professor Bill Ong Hing at www.25LegalBriefs.com.