The Return of Sensible Thinking on U.S. Immigration Policy?
Alan Jenkins of The Opportunity Agenda sees signs that extreme anti-immigrant policies such as Arizona’s SB 1070 and efforts to alter the 14th Amendment are losing favor among voters as the costs and consequences of these measures become clearer to voters. He writes:
Over the last year, right-wing politicians introduced a slew of bills in Congress and multiple states that purported to address the problem of illegal immigration. The proposals ranged from replicating Arizona’s controversial SB1070—which requires police to question people who “look” undocumented—to altering or reinterpreting the 14th Amendment to deny citizenship to the children of immigrants born in America. Today, however, the majority of those proposals are running aground, and for good reason. People around the country are increasingly rejecting them as unworkable, unaffordable, and inconsistent with our nation’s core values.
Jenkins also calls attention to the efforts of civil rights groups and lawyers to organize broad support for upholding the 14th Amendment:
Civil rights groups, for example, formed a coalition, Americans for Constitutional Citizenship, to defend the integrity of the 14th Amendment. They declared that undermining it would create a two-tiered class of citizens and would be “decidedly un-American.” At the other end of the ideological spectrum, Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform opposed the constitutional changes as “a misguided attack on immigrants and a distraction from real congressional action on a practical and lasting solution to our broken immigration system.”
All of this, Jenkins hopes, points the way toward growing support for comprehensive immigration reform policies that respect basic civil and human rights and effectively address the nation’s broken immigration system.