Immigrant Issues Are American Issues
Dec 10, 2012
By Helly Lee
Members of Congress from both parties are, once again, becoming more vocal about the need to address our broken immigration system. It seemingly happened overnight (the night of November 6th, election night, to be exact), and has been gaining momentum since. This momentum brings excitement to an issue that is long overdue for reform and a hope that lawmakers now have the will to come together to work on immigration.
Immigration policy is one of many issues that matter to immigrant communities. Our economy is still recovering, and like many across the country, immigrants are heavily affected by high unemployment and low wages. In a November 29, 2012 Gallup poll, Hispanic voters listed health care, unemployment, immigration policies, economic growth and the gap between the rich and the poor as top priorities. Similarly, an election eve poll by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) listed the economy, health care, education reform, civil rights/ immigration, and foreign policy as the most important issues facing the Asian American community. Some of these issues may intersect and come into play in future immigration debates such as the ability of immigrants to access health care, and some are happening now in Congressional decisions around taxes and spending.