Our Humane Immigration Hub

Senators are reporting that the calls and emails into their offices about the immigration reform bill are running at about 8 to 1: eight people spouting Lou Dobbs' nativist talking points to every one sensible person.

The bill isn't perfect, the touchback seems utterly silly to me... these policy discussions we can hash out in the comments, and they will be discussed no doubt by better policy brains than mine, but it's not the purpose of my post. No, the reason I'm writing this now is because I was not sure how to fight for progressive immigration reform that is in keeping with the policy recommendations of folks like DMI, SEIU or Sojourners, without first knowing the larger thrust of my argument.

One of the most useful rhetorical paradigms for progressives to elucidate in our advocacy is how conservatives care about profit and how instead, we liberals care about people. I can't think of a better way to build a grassroots movement than to highlight and SHOW the people affected by immigration.

The Courage Campaign created a campaign called Dreams Across America to collect the stories of immigrants' American Dreams. This project personalizes the other, the "they", in ways that are extraordinarily effective. When Lou Dobbs attacked them last week, THAT was a sign that the moral thrust of this argument is on target.

What is it exactly I'm now fighting for? It's a just and humane policy. It's about just and humane politics.

The featured immigration story from Dreams Across America is AQ. She is a chef at Jardiniere in San Francisco. Watch her American story.

Let's get to know who these Americans are and then push our Congress and President to build a workable policy that puts those who are here on a path to citizenship and stops the underground movement of exploited workers that our conservative government allows and our morally corrupt corporations crave. Dreams Across America is my key for how to think about and discuss this huge issue.


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