The newly unveiled
There are lessons within those walls. In the case of
Early in his administration, Bush set about the task of reforming America's dysfunctional immigration situation. As a Texan, he understood our nation's historic connections with Mexico, expressing sympathy for Mexican-American families separated by visa backlogs. He also understood that more labor, both low- and high-skilled, needed to be brought into the country legally.
After the terrorist attacks of
Any sort of momentum toward dealing with immigrants in a positive manner was scuttled. America went to war. The agency that had managed immigration, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, was dissolved and replaced under the
Only in 2007 was Bush able to put immigration reform legislation before
More than a decade after 9/11, another president is on a similar cusp.
Barack Obama enjoys unprecedented backing for an overhaul of U.S. immigration law. He is backed by a strong coalition of faith, business and law enforcement groups. For months, a bipartisan "gang of eight" senators has been at work preparing reform legislation.
A new poll released by the National Immigration Forum Action Fund shows that a majority of Americans — even a majority of
After November's election, in which their party was abandoned by Latino voters, Republican hard-liners were forced to accept that their opposition to reform was too costly.
And then, Boston.
Actually, King didn't even wait until the bombers had been identified. Within 24 hours of the Boston Marathon attack, he was suggesting that immigration reform would make Americans less safe from terrorists.
Other Republicans have followed suit, including Sen.
Who could have predicted when the brothers were children — they immigrated at ages 9 and 16 — that they would one day become terrorists against their adopted country?
Lax immigration procedures didn't let alien radicals slip in undetected. Rather, the young men became radicalized while living here, and familiar bureaucratic issues — a lack of communication between federal agencies such as the
Curiously, one detail not mentioned by these politicians is that one bombing victim,
There is no question that immigration policy must address national security concerns. But viewing all immigration measures through the prism of terrorism is an outlandish distortion.
The thousands of students studying here on visas, and the efforts to bring needed workers into the country and to unify families separated by borders, shouldn't suffer because of the Boston attacks.
Terrorist attacks are an ongoing concern for all of us. They should not be a pretext for derailing reform we've needed for decades.