As the Senate gears up to introduce immigration reform bill, keep in mind what is not in the legislation.
Justin Feldman and I co-wrote this piece after mutually observing the appropriation of queer undocumented youth and LGBT organizations for comprehensive immigration enforcement, a proposed reform that could exclude millions while ramping up militarization of the border and creating the most punitive immigration enforcement system.
Thus far, leaked details of the legislation reveal that the Senate legislation will require the federal government to meet certain border security benchmarks before any undocumented immigrants can receive a green card. The bill also requires that applicants prove they were in the country before December 31, 2011. The proposed legislation also eliminates the F-4 visa category, such that siblings of U.S. citizens would no longer be eligible for green cards, while creating a “new merit-based” program for high-skilled workers.
No mention of much-needed detention reform, ending Secure Communities, eliminating the unlawful presence bars, and so on.
Exclusion is never neutral. The struggle continues.