Several states have been struggling with the influx of immigrants. In some states and communities, refugees have been welcomed with open arms as they travel to reach relatives while waiting for their immigration or deportation hearings.
This week Congress lived down to the standards we've come to expect. First, House Republicans voted to sue President Obama for using executive authority to delay implementation of the health care law they've held over 50 votes to repeal. Then, after a revolt in their own ranks, House leadership withdrew their bill to deal with the border crisis -- then issued a jaw-dropping statement urging the president to (wait for it... ) use executive authority "without congressional action." But on Friday, after worsening an already bad bill by weakening protections for the children at the center of the crisis, they finally passed a symbolic and useless package -- useless since their Republican counterparts in the Senate already torpedoed that chamber's $2.7 billion border crisis bill. Their "work" done, they recessed for a five-week vacation -- during which they will no doubt fundraise, using the "crisis" they've failed to address as fodder. If only we could issue an executive order to put an end to this nonsense.
Building a bigger fence may play well around the cable-TV studio desks where pundits gather to yak in faraway New York and Washington. But down in El Paso, it's a foreign concept.
I am risking arrest because we in the faith community will not remain silent while millions of immigrants continue to live lives marked with fear and unrealized potential.
This "crackdown" barely addresses this problem, and will do nothing to change the inhumane legal immigration process. Coupled with the vicious drug war, this process forces thousands of people to cross the border in life-threatening, criminal conditions.
In a year and a half, more than 14,000 unaccompanied minors made it to the United States.
This week, grassroots leaders from the immigrant rights movement went to several D.C. organizations with a simple request: Stop negotiating with the White House on behalf of directly impacted immigrant communities.
While the course that the Ted Cruz-controlled portion of the GOP is heading down toward is a predictable one, the results are not.
There's plenty of blame among both Republican and Democratic governments in the past two decades. But so much of the current debate in the United States overlooks the background of how Central America came to be countries of such violence, corruption, insecurity and relative poverty.
Although a better immigration policy would not have prevented the terrible conditions we see in Central America, it could have given them a safe place to run to, instead of having them "warehoused" at the border to be deported by our current broken system.
Paul Ryan is attempting to address poverty, once again. What he's really doing is trolling the media to write "compassionate conservative" columns about him (which, so far, doesn't seem to be working very well), to bolster his chances to get the Republican presidential nomination.
The unfolding humanitarian crisis on the border further highlights the urgent need to fix our broken immigration system and create a clear and fair path to citizenship. Yet some Congressional Republicans are using the plight of immigrant families to call for even stricter enforcement policies. It's shameful.
Action is needed. The president cannot simply stonewall and insist only on his $3.7 billion funding request. The House has put forward an actual plan to address the large numbers of unaccompanied minors. The Senate has moved toward fiscal reality.
Here are seven ways President Obama and Congress can help ensure the safety and well-being of the women and children caught at the border, and make our immigration system fairer now and in the future.
Forgotten are the more than one million legal, skilled immigrants who have been held hostage to political wrangling. The loser is the US, because it is limiting its economic growth and creating its own competition.
There's only one voice that comes to mind, for me, when the immigration argument devolves into a slurry. For those who have not seen them firsthand beneath the Statue of Liberty, these are the words of Emma Lazarus.