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El Paso Has Exposed the Ugly Reality of the “Immigration Debate”

In the summer of 2016 while covering Trump’s so-called illegal immigration speech in Phoenix, I spoke to an older woman in a wheelchair from Chicago. She told me in an even tone that Hispanics and immigrants come to the country to get on welfare. They want “freebies.” My expression didn’t change—what she was saying wasn’t surprising given the topic of the day—but I continued to look her in the eye when she added a qualifier: “Well not you, of course.” Continue reading

Immigration’s Border-Enforcement Myth
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Immigration’s Border-Enforcement Myth

We’ve been here before. The last major immigration reform bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which was signed by President Ronald Reagan, legalized nearly three million undocumented immigrants in exchange for increased enforcement along the United States-Mexico border. (It also legislated sanctions against employers who knowingly hired undocumented workers.) The law was more than just a compromise between pro-immigrant liberals and pro-enforcement conservatives. It embodied the idea that we could “wipe the slate clean” by legalizing the undocumented already here and preventing future unauthorized entries. Continue reading