Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

The face of Great Britain’s Olympics: an observant Muslim named Mohamed Farah wins the 5,000 meters to the screams of 80,000

August 14, 2012

 

Mohamed Farah didn’t  win as many medals as Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt, but he was surely the great hero of the Olympics, at least to his British countrymen. He did what only four had done before him: win both the 10,000 meters and the 5,000, two races that along with the marathon, take the greatest toll on the human body.

It was thrilling to watch Farah move from the rear of the pack to the front, a third of the way through, then hold the lead as one challenger after another made a run at him.

But the most thrilling thing of all was to hear the crowd of 80,000, mostly Britons, screaming without letup, for the final ten minutes of the 13+ minute race. In a country whose reputation has been sullied by some vicious anti-Muslim sentiments and actions, here was the entire stadium yelling themselves hoarse for an observant Muslim who immigrated from Somalia when he was eight.

The roars didn’t let up when, just after crossing the finish line (more…)

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America at our best: John McCain. America at our worst: Michele Bachmann and her four Congressional lap dogs

July 18, 2012

Americans welcome people who are different. They enrich our culture. They bring new energy to our society. They do us proud as a melting pot of cultures.

Americans shun people who are different. They debase our culture. They take our jobs. They seduce our children. They talk like foreigners.

So it was with Germans and Irish in the early 1800s. So it was with Jews and Chinese in the late 1800s. Italians in the early 1900s. Africans forever. And so it is with Muslims today.

At our best we befriend the stranger and his children, we treat them kindly, we hire them, and we defend them. At our worst we demean them, discriminate against them, exploit them, and attack them.

America at our worst is five House Republicans, led by Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who have accused countless American Muslims who work for the U.S. government of being secret agents (more…)

Obama’s an ethical hero for creating a virtual Dream Act to give a million young Americans a path to a productive life, free from fear of deportation

June 17, 2012

 

Joanne ____ is one of America’s twelve million illegal immigrants. She was brought to the United States from Mexico as a baby by her parents.  She has a younger sister and brother who are American citizens because they were born in the United States. Her sister is in her last year at Harvard; her brother is in high school.

Five years ago alumni of the North Hollywood High School Class of 1957 decided, as part of their 50th reunion, to give a scholarship to a deserving senior. The school’s top choice was Joanne, and so she was awarded the scholarship. With that financial help and her own tenacity and hard work Joanne got her degree from the California State University, Northridge, a year ago. She’s spent much of the past year looking for work, but it’s been a hopeless case because she can’t produce the necessary papers.

Until yesterday, when President Obama announced that the United States would no longer consider deporting people like Joanne—people who had been brought here illegally as children, earned a high school diploma or GED, or served in the military, and had behaved well—had what we would call a record of good citizenship, were they citizens. Moreover the government will give them permits to work in the US for two years, renewable indefinitely.

In effect the President granted by executive action much of what the Dream Act—stymied only by an especially ugly Republican filibuster (more…)

Marco Rubio courageously and compassionately supports DREAM Act II

April 21, 2012

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a darling of the Republican right, so much so that many pundits have tagged him as a front runner for the #2 spot on the Republican ticket with Mitt Romney. If Romney were to choose Rubio, goes the reasoning, it would solidify his position with the party base that has always mistrusted him. And as a bonus, Cuban-American Rubio might help Romney with the growing numbers of Latino voters who have been turned off by his unbending anti-immigrant position.

Immigration is the one issue on which Romney and the right are together: seal the borders and hunt down and deport everybody who isn’t here legally, all 12,000,000 of them.

Rubio showed he’s not one who goes along to get along, in all likelihood forsaking any chance at the VP spot on the Romney ticket. He just announced his sponsorship of a modified version of the DREAM Act, which would allow children of illegal immigrants to obtain legal status in the United States.

Some on the Left have rejected Rubio’s proposal as a betrayal of American values, but chalk that up to hyper-partisanship. Rubio clearly wants to help young people, brought here illegally when they were small children, to stay in America legally and to get an education and a job.

Rubio’s is a story of courage and compassion, and of a too-rare politician who rejects ideology in favor of solving a serious national problem. Hooray.

 


 

Pass the Dream Act, give Luis Luna and 300,000 like him a chance at citizenship. Obama and Gingrich favor, Romney opposes

January 19, 2012

Luis Luna, 20, was an illegal immigrant, smuggled here from Mexico at 3. The LA Times tells his story. Luis did well in school, graduated, got engaged to his high school sweetheart, got a job, then got pulled over while on the way to work for a broken headlight. He had no driver’s license, Immigration was called in, and Luis was deported to Mexico.

He tried to get back by riding the undercarriage of a boxcar, scant inches above the train roadbed, until the train stopped at a U.S. border checkpoint, where a German Shepherd sniffed him out, sank his teeth into Luis’s ribcage, and dragged him out. Luis is now homeless in Nogales, hoping to find a way legally to return to his girlfriend-now-wife, his family, friends, and the only life he’s ever known.

Luis’s tragedy could have been precluded under the Dream Act, which would provide temporary residency and a possible path to citizenship to Luis and hundreds of thousands like him who were brought here as small children and have played by the rules ever since.

President Obama supports the Dream Act, which passed the House last year but failed to get the 60 votes needed to avert a filibuster in the Senate. Mitt Romney says he would veto it, Newt Gingrich says he supports it—a principled position that is costing him dearly with Republican primary voters.