The newly unveiled
There are lessons within those walls. In the case of immigration reform, especially, we'd do well to revisit the good intentions of the Bush administration and how they went awry. We're on the brink of possibly missing another opportunity to resolve this issue.
Early in his administration, Bush set about the task of reforming America's dysfunctional immigration situation. As a Texan, he understood our nation's historic connections with
After the terrorist attacks of
Any sort of momentum toward dealing with immigrants in a positive manner was scuttled. America went to war. The agency that had managed immigration, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, was dissolved and replaced under the
Only in 2007 was Bush able to put immigration reform legislation before
More than a decade later, another president is on a similar cusp.
A new poll released by the
After November's election, in which their party was abandoned by Latino voters, Republican hardliners were forced to accept that their opposition to reform was too costly.
The bombings have become a pretext for many Republicans to retreat from sensible immigration legislation, even though the measures have nothing to do with terrorism.
Actually, King didn't even wait until the bombers had been identified. Within 24 hours of the Boston Marathon attack, he was suggesting that immigration reform would make Americans less safe from terrorists.
Other Republicans have followed suit, including Sen.
Who could have predicted when the brothers were children -- they immigrated at ages 9 and 16 -- that they would one day become terrorists against their adopted country?
Lax immigration procedures didn't let alien radicals slip in undetected. Rather, the young men became radicalized while living here, and familiar bureaucratic issues -- a lack of communication between federal agencies such as the FBI and the CIA, not checking watch lists for overseas travel appear -- appear, at this writing, to have been the point of failure for detecting a threat.
Curiously, one detail not mentioned by these politicians is that one bombing victim, Lu Lingzi, is an immigrant, having come to study in the U.S. on a student visa. Her story apparently doesn't fit their narrative.
There is no question that immigration policy must address national security concerns. But viewing all immigration measures through the prism of terrorism is an outlandish distortion.
The thousands of students studying here on visas, and the efforts to bring needed workers into the country and to unify families separated by borders, shouldn't suffer because of the
Terrorist attacks are an ongoing concern for all of us. They should not be a pretext for derailing reform we've needed for decades.
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