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Saturday, November 6, 2010

When Thinking Immigration Reform, Also Think Integration Management*!

By Silvia Uribe

It is a well known fact that Immigration represents a challenge for most countries these days. Another fact is that immigrants are blamed worldwide for most maladies that countries face, although most of the time the blame is based on everything (prejudices, stereotypes, suspicion, and racism) but facts. 

In the U.S, past the habitual blame and the political fight regarding the undeniable need for an Immigration Reform is the undisputable priority that represents the well being of the country as a whole. Republicans and Democrats need to understand that our country is more than their narrow, incredibly limited and painfully castrating – to the people – political strategies.

Immigration policy is a serious concern. A concern that our government needs to tackle immediately after this midterm election. Republicans and some Democrats consistently oppose a reform, and later blame the President for not being efficient, and for not making good on campaign promises. Our society cannot afford to wait any longer on the Immigration issue. Otherwise, the price could be too high.

However, an Immigration Reform that covers only a path to legalization, border security and sanctions won’t cut it. It needs to include a well rounded Immigrant Integration Management* piece as the core of this reform. The financial resources to accomplish this could be available by redirecting them from the presently funded failing methods to “control” our borders.

Under this policy framework, things like race relations, ethnic dilemmas, language skills, and the gap in education, plus inter-state cooperation, addressed in the Berne Initiative from December 2004 would be put into play.

Studies have demonstrated that although by law there’s no segregation in our country, there’s a lot of it happening from coast to coast. Ethnic groups are not willing to mingle with each other, and as a result, there’s no understanding, and of course, no trust among them.

Moreover, ethnic groups are constantly bombarded with negative information about each other and the division among them could become unsolvable if we don’t address the problem fast, head on, and with determination.

Fear and distrust of each other is fueled by political parties every time these want to accomplish something, stirring an effervescence that could bubble up without control. When groups are so polarized, it is only a matter of time before serious confrontations erupt.

As a country, we’ve lived in denial about this for many years. Now, with such a large Latino minority we can do it no more. It is by addressing the issues, promoting understanding, and integrating the different ethnic groups that they can get to trust each other and work in a concerted effort. This is the kind of political strategy that will propel all of us to the peaceful, bright and thriving future that we all envision.

If our goal is to remain as one of the world’s financial and political powers; one that is relevant, and able to lead in a global economy, it is in our best interest not to allow any minority group to fall behind or be disenfranchised. This is particularly important, in the wake of rapidly developing economies such as China and India, and should be made the number one priority for our representatives in both houses.

It is time to demand that they pass an Immigration Reform with a well thought out Integration Management* component.

*Integration Management: Organization of constituent elements into a coordinated, harmonious whole to achieve specific goals.


Sharon Liu said...

Are you aware of the huge educational gaps between Latin American immigrant children and others? (About 2-3 grade levels.) Are you aware of the extremely high educational dropout among these groups? Are you aware that school systems all around the country have struggled to reduce these gaps, and basically they never succeed?

Why would it be smart policy to legalize people who will give our schools millions more such kids to deal with before we have figured out how to achieve good results with the ones we have?

Are you aware that the world economy is rapidly becoming completely reliant on high levels of education, and that our competitors (eg China) are achieving much better results than we are in math education?

Or is everything about symbolism: if it sounds nice, we should do it, and even noticing the actual facts is "prejudiced" (even though looking at the actual facts is the very opposite of what the dictionary defines as prejudice)?

Yvette said...

Quizás Silvia que el estado de CA debe ser como Arizona? Al final de todo, los estadounidenses deben mirar a la ley. Mis padres vinieron a este país legalmente y ahora son ciudadanos (en el año 1970). En vez de mirar tanto a la raza deberíamos mirar a los papeles?

Y, con China...sÍ, deberíamos ser comos ellos. China se ha puesto muy egoista---es decier, uno debe exportar más, y importar menos:).

I, truly, have no hard feeling for any race...and, I look at everyone equally. (It is also sad how third-world some countries truly are!) But, the law is the law!!!