At Reform Immigration For America Summit, Part II: Twin Illusory Narratives
A lot is going on at the Reform Immigration For America Summit. I'm having trouble getting my bearings straight. Fortunately, I'm not alone in blogging all of this. You can follow along at both Imagine2050 and Standing FIRM. A must read blog post is definitely our own MamitaMala's at The Sanctuary. Twitter is also an excellent place to follow along.
I have to admit, I'm impressed. Reform Immigration For America is high energy. Conference organizers are doing an excellent job of presenting a united narrative. Being here, it's really easy to see how this campaign could turn into a successful campaign to pass comprehensive U.S. migration reform.
I imagine that more media will come out about this summit, tomorrow. Still, it's surprising to me that despite all that's going on, a google news search has turned up very little news on the summit, and immigration in general. This is the first illusory narrative I'd like to speak about.
Regardless of anyone's feelings about the summit, and I will get to those later, this summit is a big deal for U.S. migration reform. The fact that the media has been all but silent leading up to this summit shows a complete failure on behalf of the media to grasp or even care about a war in which the victor will succeed in defining no less than the future of what it means to be "American" or Estadounidense in the United States.
It's difficult to say whether or not Reform Immigration for America will succeed in getting U.S. migration reform introduced and passed in the Fall of 2009. Still, you can bet that any attempt to do a complete overhaul of U.S. migration reform will be heavily, if not completely, influenced by this group.
So, on the one hand you have the media completely ignoring the narrative of U.S. migration reform, or even providing a false one. How many times have you seen quote a pro-migrant person next to a nativist person? Don't get me wrong, nativists are certainly a force to be reckoned with in the U.S., but nativists are out of power, now. The real power, now, lies with the pro-migrant movement. It is the ideology of factions within the pro-migrant movement that will define migration reform more than anything else.
That brings me to the second illusory narrative of the conference. I understand that the goal of Reform Immigration for America is not to divide, discuss, or dissect migration reform. This is a conference for solidifying the base. That being said, I can't help but feel that Reform Immigration Reform for America is moving forward without substantively addressing some extremely important issues with U.S. migration reform, at least as it's been characterized thus far.
MamitaMala brought up the issue of detention and broader enforcement in her blog post at The Sanctuary. That issue is extremely important to address, and Roberto Lovato one of the most courageous in continuously bringing it up. Still, there are still others that are completely being ignored. For instance, why is it that traditional notions of comprehensive immigration reform include reuniting heterosexual married couples, while same-sex binational couples are left out in the cold. Another important issue is the way Reform Immigration For America will treat migrant youth. Will migrant youth be treated as leaders in the push for the DREAM Act? Or, will they be coopted or ostracized for pushing the DREAM Act independent of the migration reform?
Truthfully, I cannot answer those questions fully yet, though careful readers can probably discern where I'm leaning. Still, they are important questions to ask. If they are not asked these twin illusory narratives are going to collide.
Again, maybe the conference is not the best place to hash these issues out, but some time after the conference might be a good time to clear the air about these issues. Bloggers are an excellent way through which to disseminate this information and begin having these conversations.
If these issues aren't addressed though these two false narratives are going to collide in an ugly mess. I don't see any other alternative.