Borderlands History blog is pleased to host this editorial on the immigration legislation currently being debated in congress, written by historian Miguel Levario, author of Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy (Texas A&M University Press, 2012).
As the debate rages on in both the Senate and the House of Representatives regarding immigration policy, we must be clear that the proposals are not about reform. Both the Senate and House versions do NOT improve our immigration infrastructure but rather expand it. Everything from legalizing the status of millions of undocumented residents to militarizing the border is not a shift or improvement in American policy.
First, let me begin with one of the most glaring problems with the latest Senate version of the immigration bill, which is the collapsing of immigration and border security into one singular entity. Immigration and border security are inherently contradictory. Immigration suggests openness and movement while border militarization and security suggests closure and resistance to outside influences. More specifically, according to the proposal, a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented residents would not be fully realized until the border is 100% secure. Continue reading