Chuck Schumer A Pro-Migrant Hero? More Like A Zero

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was listed as a "hero" for immigration reform by the pro-migrant political action committee, Immigrants' List.

I greatly value the work that Immigrants' List does, and encourage folks to donate to them. We need more pro-migrant PACs like Immigrants' List, and we need more money for them if we ever hope to have a pro-migrant impact. Of the ten heroes Immigrants' List cites, I agree with their selection of the other nine heroes. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), however, has to be one of the worst pro-migrant politicians in the country. That is to be distinguished, of course, from some of the worst nativists in the country, like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Why is Sen. Schumer a zero, or maybe even worse than that? Sen. Schumer was supposed to lead on passing immigration reform through the Senate, and had one of the best chances to do so in my lifetime, when Democrats had 60 Senators, a super-majority, in Congress following the 2008 elections. In his new leadership position, what was the first principle of immigration reform that Sen. Schumer laid out? "Illegal immigration is wrong," Schumer said. He further elaborated on this first principle of comprehensive immigration reform in his statement:

The first of these seven principles is that illegal immigration is wrong--plain and simple. When we use phrases like "undocumented workers," we convey a message to the American people that their Government is not serious about combating illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose.
Chuck Schumer (24 June 2009)


In other words, the first formal step that Schumer took to advocate for immigration reform, was to cede and adopt the language of the nativist movement, whose goals are to terrorize migrant currently in this country and limit future immigration, authorized and unauthorized, as much as humanly possible.

I wish for the sake of migrant communities that Sen. Schumer's mistakes were only rhetorical. Sen. Schumer was one of the chief opponents of bringing up the DREAM Act for a vote, pushing for a failed all-or-nothing strategy of comprehensive immigration reform that only brought us more deportations and more enforcement.

It isn't just that, though, as I myself have been seduced by the CIR strategy before, it's the fact that while Schumer was opposing bringing up the DREAM Act for a vote, he brought up a $600 million border security bill that passed!

Sen. Schumer is one of the people chiefly responsible for squandering a historic opportunity to end some of the worst violence of a newly globalized world. It isn't just that he failed to act, though, it's that he ceded rhetorical ground to the nativists and even enacted some of their enforcement-first, enforcement-forever policy for them. Sen. Schumer has been a disaster for migrant communities and he'll have to do something pretty incredible before the pro-migrant movement considers him a hero.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on January 19, 2012 3:00 PM.

Pro-Migrant SanctuarySphere: Presente.org Gets A New ED - Arturo Carmona was the previous entry in this blog.

Towards Better Organizer-Attorney Collaboration on Deportation Defense is the next entry in this blog.

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