Talking immigration in Houston

Talking immigration in Houston

I know, according to Ruth Miller of Illegal Protest, that I’m ignorant, but I thought the United States was different than other countries. You know, we’re more accepting and welcoming of others. Well, I guess this just isn’t the case – is it? From the Iraq war to the nasty immigration debate, this country is showing itself to be a very unfriendly place.

From this story:

* One of the interesting points brought up by Sissy Farenthold is how the U.S. thinks this of this as a unilateral issue. It’s not just a U.S. problem. Countries around the globe are up in arms about their unwanted neighbors flocking en masse. The French trying to keep Africans out. Costa Ricans trying to keep Nicaraguans out. Mexicans trying to keep Central Americans out. The U.S. trying to keep, well, a lot of people out. The problem with globalization is that it works when it comes to trade. But as Sissy said, “human beings were not part of the equation.” So now countries are trying to figure them into the equation.

*Brother Mateo Luison, who is originally from Italy, talked about the Casa del Inmigrante he works at in Nuevo Laredo, and about the psychological trauma and drama of immigration, about why people migrate and how they are received when they reach a new country. He’s also worked with immigrant communities in Europe and says no matter where they are, they experience similar circumstances.

*Charles Foster talked about the history of this country’s immigration laws and how they’ve been controversial since the beginning. Racism (see Chinese Exclusion Act), economic concerns and quotas have been built into the laws. Foster also talked about the illusion of a line to get into this country and about how for some people there is no legal way for them to come. Foster also talked about the 1986 amnesty law and how welfare reform was supposed to supplant the need for cheap foreign labor. That’s something we haven’t heard much about — the immigration-welfare reform connection.

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