Information about the immigration is widely available on the Internet, yet it can be difficult to find nonbiased news sources and government information.
The New York Times “Times Topics” section gives a good first overview of the immigration issue, breaking down the Bush and Obama administration’s policies. Until recently, little has been done in terms of immigration reform since a failed push in 2007. According to the Times, in 2010, 11.2 million illegal immigrants were living in the United States. Both parties agree that reform is necessary, but a course of action has not been settled upon.
In 2004, President Bush called for change in immigration law. In 2005, a federal bill was passed, making living in the country illegally a felony, and mandating a huge increase in fences along the border. In subsequent years, additional laws were passed to slow illegal immigration, and to help assimilate those in the country. Deportation also increased. The publication of Enrique’s Journey in 2007 falls during this time in the Bush administration, making it easy to understand how Enrique’s dangerous journey related to these changes in legislation.
In 2008, President Obama’s election was greatly affected by supportive Hispanic voters. Thusfar, however, Obama’s policies have continued to follow the lead of the Bush administration. However, some enforcement changes are underway, such as a move to change detainment centers from prison and prison-like locations, and changing the process of federal immigration raids on factories and farms. While Obama’s campaign intended to make immigration reform a priority, the recession and job losses by American citizens has affected the strength of Democratic propositions. Click here to read Obama’s May 2011 speech about immigration reform.
While federal change appears slow, states such as Arizona and Alabama have taken matters into their own hands, passing laws intended to bar immigrants from obtaining work and education.
For more details, click here to read the “Immigration and Emigration” Times Topic, which also includes links to Times articles about immigration.
What is the next step that the government should take in immigration reform? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!