"Comprehensive Immigration Reform" seems to have been lost in the political wandering of the last few months. Immigration issues are not even on the radar screen since both Republicans and Democrats continue to establish other priorities.
There are always risks for those who are immigrants when they seek an extension of time in this country (where they're often told they don't belong); fear operates close to the surface of their every decision. Requirements are stiff and complicated; careful preparation of documents must be made beforehand.
So, what gives someone like me, an advocate for Latino immigrants, a bit of hope?
- When I see immigration lawyers informing immigrants of their rights and possibilities.
- When I hear Floridian Jeb Bush, in his first public campaign speech say, "I believe we should welcome the dreamers.”
- When I witness Latinos themselves who are organizing together and finding that they can leave behind their fear, not remain hidden, recognize their value as people and accomplish what they could never do alone.
Often it takes tragedy to spark a movement but human rights need only a spark to cast a bit of light far and wide! Securing healthcare; winning new policing policies so that there is equal treatment for blacks, browns, reds, whites; fighting for immigration rights rather than death in the desert; winning access to drivers' licenses; stopping deportation; winning back stolen wages and more are works of darkness yearning for the light! I have hope!
Renée Domeier, OSB