David Bennion: November 2007 Archives

hello, citizens of orange

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Kyle has graciously invited me to post some migration-related ramblings here at Citizen Orange.  In the time I’ve been reading Orange in one incarnation or another, I’ve been impressed by Kyle’s passion, dedication, idealism, and his patience in trying to find common ground among disparate viewpoints.  I’ve also enjoyed Janna’s contributions, and look forward to hearing more from her.  Also, props to Nezua—this is a beautiful site.  I’ve not used Moveable Type or posted on a group blog before, so I hope I don’t bring the whole operation crashing down. 

Immigration has become a highly visible and polarizing political topic as of late, and there’s a lot going on under the surface even as Congress has stalled on taking action either to restrict or to liberalize the immigration laws.  As the likelihood of passing any legislation at all has diminished, anti-migrant rhetoric has been ramped up on talk radio, cable news, and conservative blogs.  Some in the left ‘sphere are starting to notice that there are clear positions to be taken on immigration within the progressive tradition, that it’s not as convoluted or morally ambiguous an issue as we’ve been led to believe.  They’re starting to suspect that the CW being pushed by “sensible centrist” consultants about the politics of immigration don’t stand up to close scrutiny.  The coming election year presents a unique opportunity for immigrant advocates to bring the national debate back from the precipice of resentment, fear, and parochialism at which we now stand.  It’s a chance to convince people who’ve not heard our side of the story that keeping millions of people in a legal shadowland is not a viable or sustainable policy.  

My goal is to write about the law and politics of immigration to try to deflate some of the misinformation floating in the ether and reframe the discussion in a global, re- (as opposed to de-) humanizing context.  I thank Kyle for sharing this space with me to post some thoughts, and hope I can do so without stepping on his or Janna’s toes.  In my experience, blogging is more about learning than teaching, and I expect to learn a great deal here.