New Immigration Reform Bill Seeks to Unite Separated Families

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Illegal immigration is an issue that has been plaguing the political front in the United States for decades. As the rhetoric continues to create animosity between outspoken members of a deeply divided congress, the Obama Administration is taking the lead on a long overdue blue-in-the-face topic that affects many aspects of American life. With an estimated 11 million nonresident individuals residing in this country, every state in the union is feeling the impact in one way or another. Aside from the financial implications, undocumented families are being torn apart in a country that prides itself on being a nation composed of immigrants from around the world. While the bureaucratic bickering drags along, another precious day passes sans a resolution that can bring families together, rather than clinging to old-world ideologies of separatism and the status quo.

States Fates

Literally thousands of heart-wrenching stories can be heard regarding the turmoil caused by state mandates involving citizenship rights, including racial profiling and deportation cases in Alabama and Arizona. What seems to be a separatist movement by these two states is also being felt in Tennessee; republican representative Joe Carr has been proactive in attempting to pass legislation that promotes draconian-type restrictions on suspected illegal immigrants. Carr believes that a federal mandate promoting reform will do little or no good. Based on empirical evidence dating back to the Eisenhower and Reagan administrations, it appears that Carr is leaning towards guiding the future by not-so-successful past events, which doesn’t sit well with human rights advocates in general.

Advocacy and the Bigger Picture

Renata Soto, executive director of Conexion Americas, is fighting feverishly for the rising Hispanic population residing in the State of Tennessee. In direct opposition to Carr’s proposals, her idealistic views also fall in line with pragmatism. She believes that the changing demographic should be handled by allowing Latino families access to amenities granted to all US citizens: driver’s licenses, educational access, and the right to officially contribute to society. The positive aspects of Latino assimilation include closely-knit family values as well as generating some much-needed tax revenue by putting their identities on the books. The fiscal impact of this proposal on a national scale can catapult a number of state economies out of the red and into the black.

Other states showing similar demographic shifts can be seen from New Mexico to New Jersey. Since the announcement of President Obama’s introduced proposal, legal teams specializing in the field are keeping busy; in fact, a number of NJ immigration attorney groups have been fielding nonstop calls and online inquisitions regarding a potential amnesty program.

While it may be clear to some that the situation in Tennessee is a strong reflection of the nation as a whole, others may be ignoring what’s right in front of them. Although obtaining a path to citizenship may be slow in its progression, legal teams are preparing themselves for the litigious journey that lies ahead. For the interim, Renata Soto and others like her are doing what they can to resolve this issue, once and for all.

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