Obama’s immigration policy needs reform

“I thought Obama was progressive as far as basic human rights,” said junior Noelle Lane.

What is Lane talking about? Barack Obama, not progressive?

Not in the case of immigration reform.

“It seems that immigration has taken a backseat due to healthcare policies,” said Lane, who went on the No More Deaths trip last spring. “More people have been deported under his administration since the implementation of the racist law called ‘Operation Wetback.’”

The official White House website states, “The president’s plan builds a smart, effective immigration system that continues efforts to secure our borders and cracks down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.”

How can that be bad?

“The increased number of deportations is … destroying families,” said Jorge Zeballos, Hispanos Unidos de Guilford advisor and Multicultural Education Department head. “It’s not a humane approach to immigration.”

Junior Gabriel Pelly agreed.

“More so than any other president, Barack Obama has used deportation as an instrument of immigration policy,” said Pelly.

“The problem with (the immigration policy) is that it leads to racial profiling, increased jail time for non-citizens and insecure communities,” said senior Chloe Weiner, who also went on the NMD trip.

“Obama supposedly wants to fix our broken immigration system, yet he fails to identify the real problems in the system.”

According to Juan Gonzalez of New York Daily News, deportation separates tens of thousands of immigrants from their children born in the United States.

“(A)n astonishing surge of Latinos at the ballot box helped assure Obama a second term,” wrote Gonzalez. “That surge convinced many Americans … that the time had come to fix our broken immigration system.”

But the administration’s actions tell a different story.

“(In) his speeches, (Obama) claims to be (on) our side, but all the people … his administration has deported say something very different,” said first-year and HUG member Jose Oliva. “He won the Latino vote in 2012 … The problem is that there are not many options for us.

“It is either Obama, who is deporting thousands but doing a few things in our favor, or the Republicans, who hardly want to do something about immigration.”

Unfortunately, the effects are evident even in places like Greensboro.

“At Oakwood Forest … Mexican families live in fear that a family member could be deported simply for showing up to work or driving a car,” said Pelly.

So what is the administration doing about this violation of human rights?

Well, nothing.

“I am not aware of any efforts from this administration to lessen the number of immigrants being deported,” said Zeballos.

Lane agreed.

“Why don’t we spend money (on) creating better pathways to citizenship instead of spending money on a failed and inhumane border?” Lane said.

The propaganda on the White House website says this: “The president’s plan … requires anyone who’s undocumented to get right with the law by paying their taxes and a penalty, learning English and undergoing background checks before they can be eligible to earn citizenship. It requires every business and every worker to play by the same set of rules.”

According to Teaching Tolerance, “Undocumented immigrants pay taxes every time they buy gas, clothes or new appliances (and) contribute to property taxes … They can receive schooling and emergency medical care, but not welfare or food stamps.”

So they can pay taxes, but not get the benefits everyone else does?

Sounds “equal” to me!

As for learning English, I can’t see an American going to another country and being forced to learn the language.

President Obama needs to reform his approach to immigration. Otherwise, he’ll lose the support of his people and of his country.