19 October 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Does Obama Get a NOPE on Immigration?

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It’s not just ‘the gays’ that are losing hope in President Barack Obama, but a lot of young immigrants are tired of waiting for change as well.

To quote an undocumented friend of mine:

I feel like living on “hope” has made me loose my competitiveness.

I suppose we are what the White House calls the ‘internet left fringe‘ as well. Obama was the great hope of last year, when he promised immigration reform in 2009 and said the DREAM Act is something that could be done immediately.

Representative Luis Gutierrez has proposed a bill by the end of November, but without the support of the Administration and the Senate, it is unlikely to have any impact. With President Obama breaking his promises to immigrant families and reform unlikely to come by till 2010, right now he is scores a big fat zero on the pro-migrant scale.

Due process violations, terrorizing home and workplace raids and malicious immigration enforcement programs continue under the Obama Administration. Janet Napolitano has promised better detention practices, proposing housing immigrant detainees in hotels, but reading between the lines, this is an invitation for further privatization of the detention industry, thereby increasing the archipelago of detention.

Modern-day cowboys like Sheriff Joe Arpaio should have their wings clipped but instead, the Department of Homeland Security is signing new 287(g) agreements to outsource immigration authority to local law enforcement even after detailed abuses of the program by several counties. Additionally, the White House is extending Secure Communities, which would likely ensnare immigrants on minor charges while increasing distrust in local law enforcement.

In the past few months, Obama has stooped to using the hateful rhetoric of ‘illegal immigrants‘ and appeasing nativists like Joe Wilson, backing away from his pre-election claims of taking the hate out of the immigration debate. This hard-line approach on immigrants to appease the right-wing nativist nuts serves no re-election purpose–it is unlikely to bring in votes for Obama from the wingnuts while also more likely to alienate voters on the left.

The political pandering and maneuvering continues behind the scenes. In the meantime, immigrant families are still separated daily, young immigrants still live in limbo, and ‘si se puede’ does not feed our families or quell our fears. How much longer till the ‘great hope’ delivers?

(Picture Credit: The Advocate)

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