In a compelling column posted today on the website of Univision, the leading Spanish-language television network in the United States, Jorge Ramos, the network’s top anchor, writes about the failure of the U.S. Congress to come to grips with reality and enact a comprehensive solution to the problem of our broken immigration system.
In his column on the Spanish-language website, “A mistake of 700 miles,” Ramos reminds us that Congress has done nothing to fix our broken immigration system by approving the building of a 700 mile fence along parts of the U.S./Mexico border. “Members of Congress, a majority of them Republicans, who voted for the building of the fence did not want to see [a solution] long term,” he says. “They, in a short sighted way, only saw the upcoming congressional elections of November 7.”
Ramos further noted the change he has seen in President George W. Bush’s position, who five years ago gave a speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in New Mexico, where he said: “Mexico is a friend of America, Mexico is our neighbor and that is why it is so important for us to tear down our barriers and walls that might separate Mexico from the US.”
The president is expected to sign the fence bill into law sometime this week during a campaign trip to Arizona. But that fence, as Ramos puts it, “reflects the worst of the US, the inefficiency of Mexican politicians and the tragedy of those who are forced to leave the land of their birth behind.
Ramos’s conclusion? “This new wall will also be measured, in number of deaths; the longer the fence is, the more deaths there will be at the border.”
Ramos’s column reminds all of us that the immigration debate must be conducted and based on facts, not prejudices, and that our broken immigration system demands a comprehensive solution. Read our position on immigration and our workable solution to this critical issue facing our country, or speak with our experts on the topic.
Experts Available for Comment
Dan Restrepo, Director of The Americas Project, Center for American Progress
Dan Restrepo is Director of The Americas Project at the Center for American Progress. In his role, Dan is responsible for the Center’s work related to the United States and its place in and relationship with the rest of the Americas. Dan, a first-generation American of Colombian and Spanish parents, previously served as the Director of Congressional Affairs at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining the Center, Dan spent three years as an associate at the law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP. Prior to that, Dan served as an attorney for the Florida Democratic Party during the 2000 election recount. From August through November 2000, he worked as the Research Director for the Florida Democratic Coordinated Campaign. From 1993 to 1996, Dan served on the Democratic staff of the House International Relations Committee. There he focused on all aspects of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including U.S. policy toward Haiti during political transitions, U.S. counter-narcotics programs and policies, the consolidation of the Central American peace processes, U.S.-Cuba policy and the Mexican debt crisis, among other matters. During his tenure on the International Relations Committee staff, Dan also traveled extensively throughout the hemisphere, meeting with government officials, civil society leaders, and opposition party officials. Dan is available for interviews in Spanish or English.
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