Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Washington Post: U.S. immigration system needs to be fixed ASAP

An editorial published in last Sunday’s Washington Post highlighted the need for immigration reform to be taken seriously and not as political hot potato. As an example of this need, the editorial looked at the March 6th raid by immigration officers on a Massachusetts factory (image) which led to the arrest of five people but also the detention of hundreds of mothers who worked at the factory.

It is the splitting of families by the raid that drew the Post’s ire as they noted how children were callously separated from their parents:

“In one case, doctors treated an 8-month-old baby, Keylyn Zusana Lopez Ayala, for pneumonia and possible dehydration after her mother was detained and unable to breast-feed her. Keylyn is an American citizen”.

In addition, the editorial pointed out that the hiring of illegal immigrants at the New Bedford plant occurred right under the noses of supposed government watchdogs:

“Because the factory held military contracts worth more than $90 million, the Pentagon maintained a quality control office there, staffed by an inspector who must have known or suspected the plant employed hundreds of undocumented immigrants. Apparently the inspector was operating under a ‘don't ask, don't tell’ policy.”

The editorial concluded by decrying harsh measures taken by immigration authorities and emphasized changes in U.S. immigraion policy:

“Cruel, self-defeating and illogical, the New Bedford raid is an inelegant example of how badly this country needs a clear-eyed immigration policy, one that provides not only for tough enforcement but also humane protections and a path to citizenship for immigrants who have put down roots and contributed to the national economy. The current regimen is a blight -- on immigrants who need the work, on employers who need the labor, and on a nation whose ideals of fair play and image as a welcoming and caring place are seriously at risk”.

Links- Washington Post, Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Latina Lista, Christian Science Monitor

Image- Boston Globe

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