Cultural Revolutions

Immigration Deform

I suppose there’s no point in writing in advance about “comprehensive immigration reform,” since by the time this magazine reaches your hands the point may be moot.  The Gang of Eight may well have tossed Congress the perfect bipartisan plan, and President Obama may have run down Pennsylvania Avenue, pen in hand and surrounded by women Marines, to sign it on the steps of the Capitol.  Shortly after, Rubio, McCain, Schumer, and Durbin will cry “huzzah!” and head over to The Pig for a beer dinner, the drones will take to the skies over Nogales, and businesses big and small will start installing the latest E-Verify software.  Problem solved!

Except . . . fast-forward the DVR a few more weeks.  Jésus and Consuela saw the announcement on Univisión, declaring that they would no longer have to live in fear, always looking over their shoulder at every turn.  They couldn’t recall whether Obama’s comforting term (“Lawful Prospective Immigrant”) or the Gang of Eight’s curt one (“Probationary Legal Status”) had won out in the end.  They ignored the part about how long the “path to citizenship” would be (10 years? 12? 18?).  Yes, there was some relief when they heard that papers could not be filed until “enforcement” (some sort of action, however meaningless) began to be, well, enforced on the...

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