Immigration reform has clearly picked up some energy since the elections. Whether Republicans are being pragmatic in order to be more competitive among minority voters or they genuinely are ready to re-assess the issue, the fact is that some of them seem to be taking a serious look at supporting the Dream Act or some version of it.
I’ve written several times about various immigration issues with one pretty thorough examination of the many different facets of the problem. If you missed that particular article, you can read it here. You can find others by searching for “immigration” on the side bar of this blog.
The rally and march pictured here happened last Wednesday in Krutch Park. A coalition of groups gathered to express support for some sort of immigration reform. While people of various ethnicities joined together for a common cause, it could also be noted from the sentiments expressed on the signs that individuals are supporting the issue for a range of reasons. A number of signs appealed to Christians via use of Biblical quotes. Others seemed to have a personal investment in the issue and made their plea accordingly. While some spoke of compassion others focused on justice.
Yesterday a group of representatives of the various action groups involved in the protest including Organizing for Action of Tennessee were granted a meeting with Jane Jolley, Field Director for Senator Corker’s office at 800 Market Street, Knoxville. I’m awaiting details of the meeting, but Senator Corker has indicated he has not made a decision on the issue, so perhaps contacts such as this one will make a difference.
I hope so, but I’m barely optimistic, particularly given our recent experience with gun control legislation. If ever we were to modify our gun laws, it appeared this was the chance. After dropping the most meaningful possible change – limiting ownership of guns that can fire large quantities of bullets in a short amount of time – we settled on background checks. Then we couldn’t even pass that, thanks to the NRA and the influence they have on Republican lawmakers.
This could be different because Presidential elections matter to both parties. One line of thinking, as we all know, is that winning a national election from this time forward will be very difficult without some level of support from minorities. Still, I’m not sure even pure political calculation can move many of our congressmen. They certainly have shown the capacity to ignore the good of the country as well as their own long-term benefit for a short term boost in approval rating from the far right.
I hope I’m wrong. In the mean time, if you care about the issue, consider voicing your opinion to your Senators and Representatives. The outcome will be determined by whether enough Republican lawmakers can break with tradition to chart a new direction. Please encourage them to do so.