A Long Wait and the Hope for Something Different

These days could be the eye of the storm of immigration debate.

The Senators who are members of the “Gang of Eight” contradicted each other on the time it will takes before they come to a substantial agreement, with Schumer  pointing to the end of this week as a feasible deadline and some others like Marco Rubio that not so many days ago still considered “premature” the rumors about the possibility of seeing a deal quickly.


The GOP, and Rubio in particular, has repeatedly confirmed his will to reform the immigration system and after the clear sign that came from the last elections they don’t want immigrants to feel criminalized anymore, or at least this is the policy of the most preeminent spokesman. Despite the seriousness of the Republicans’ efforts, though, the stall that Rubio is painted to be imposing on all the “Gang of Eight” by the media risks to turn out as an own goal. Once again, as with the number of deportations or other features of the legislation on the theme, the electors won’t reward who has done better, but who has been perceived as doing better.


A various combine of association representing the civil society, in the meanwhile, is gathering in front of the capitol tomorrow to press the final completion of the overhaul .


This event could prove significant if the immigrants’ groups are able to organize demonstrations as imposing as those of 2006, when they faced the menace of HR 4437 attracting almost a million people to the rallies.

And yet my critic is that this claims from the public opinion are centered on the time of the reform rather than on the content.

There is no point in obtaining a swift decision if the gist of the plan remains the hysteric fear of a border that is not secure. This part of the immigration system, namely the deadly devices that have been displayed all along the Mexican border, in particular in Arizona, appears to me as the most displeasing obsession of the politicians working at the problem and it brings with it the threat of other “Secure Communities” programs. The strengthening of the border is something more than the creation of geographical and physical barrages: the border, unfortunately, sometimes passes through one family member and the other and this emphasis on its importance risks to be a disguised defense of deportations.


How could it be possible, I wonder, to control the border-crossings if at the same time they mean to implement the visas given to temporary workers? Isn’t there a contradiction between the desire of more stability and the actual chance given to potential over-stayers? I think it is the same contradiction that occurs between the needs of the economy on one hand and the ideological fear of a Hispanic invasion on the other.


In conclusion, both for the momentary lack of an explicit agreement between the Senators and above all for the threatening importance given to an ambiguous criterion such as the creation of a “secure border”, I take the “spring of immigration, just as the actual spring, to be lamentably yet to come. 


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