Immigration

Latest Columns

We are failing our immigrant children

As Texans, we are failing our immigrant children. Senate Bill 4, the anti-sanctuary cities bill signed into law this past session, places a burden on law enforcement officers to act as immigration agents. Similar to show-me-your-papers bills that were passed in Arizona and Alabama, SB 4 jeopardizes the trust between law enforcement and community members, instills fear and anxiety in children and their families, and is likely to have detrimental effects on the economic prosperity of our state.

Why we need to welcome refugees

Our divergent relationships with refugees have been on high-profile display even as we experience the largest waves of displaced people the world has seen in modern times — due in large measure to the tragic civil conflict in Syria. Yet as the U.S. and other world nations pause to commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20, one simple fact continues to be overlooked: We in America need to welcome refugees.

I can’t wait to see the state of Texas in court

If this sanctuary cities law goes into effect, Austin and other Texas cities will be forced to make our communities less safe. And we’re speaking out even though this new law would, incredibly enough, allow our state attorney general to remove local elected officials from office if they endorse a different policy, even one that’s in accordance with federal immigration law.

Critical links between health care and immigration in Texas

The passage of SB 4 alongside impending federal health care reform should wake up Texas’ health and immigration leaders to the very real implications of the intersections of their fields. These leaders should catalyze a lifesaving public dialogue to reform health care delivery and fight against dangerous health and immigration policies.

Arrogance of power at Texas Capitol must be stopped

As the Texas Legislature finishes the anti-sanctuary cities bill, Senate Bill 4, one question keeps going through my mind: When did it become so easy for the Republican-controlled leadership to ride roughshod over people like me and those who represent the interests of the Latino and immigrant communities?

A STEM skills day of reckoning

Yes, our immigration system is flawed and needs reform. Our elected representatives in Washington are right to want to improve and review federal programs to ensure they are working in the best interests of all Americans. But ignoring the needs of our economy by denying American companies access to global talent runs the risk of moving those jobs and even entire companies abroad — taking wages, tax base and innovation with them to competing markets.

What Octavio Paz can tell us about U.S.-Mexico relations today

Octavio Paz’s solution to American democratic problems was to return to the past. The U.S. has to recuperate its unity, which today, in this highly divided world, seems idealistic and complex. And America needs to return to “the origins, to the foundation of the nation. To recuperate the vision of its founders, not to copy them, but to make a new beginning.”

Keep Texans safe by securing the Mexican border

Enforcing immigration law is the responsibility of federal law enforcement, but that does not mean Texas officials should be limited to making a phone call and hoping federal agents show up in a timely manner. This session, the Legislature must give law enforcement officers the authority, under state law, to arrest, detain, and charge individuals who cross our Southern border illegally.

Family Court is no place for ICE

For ICE agents to detain someone in family court when she is seeking an order of protection against her abuser flies directly in the face of both the letter and the spirit of these laws and punishes the very victims these laws were designed to protect.

We used to talk about immigrants this way — nearly a century ago

When we turn our backs on refugees — in this present case, the Syrians who have suffered all the plagues of Job and more in the last few years — we commit an unpardonable act of inhumanity. We also weaken and degrade our country by falling victim to today’s version of Klanspeak, which seeks to demonize all immigrants who fall into certain religious or ethnic categories.

I, too, am America

Ours is just one of many success stories that make Texas and the U.S. what they are today. Immigrants and refugees like those trying to come to our cities now share similar struggles and aspirations. They are not trying to harm us; they seek to make America their home.

The audacity of Pope

Too often, politicians use religion to demonize certain ideas or people, but ignore what Pope Francis asks us to do, “protecting the vulnerable” and “committing ourselves to the conscious and responsible care of our common home.”

Real reform starts with more visas

The Pentagon last week extended a program designed to bolster our military with more foreign-born recruits. That's a good thing. But we need more new citizens in every occupation and at all skill levels if we want the U.S. to be able to compete.

We can do better, Gov. Perry

We can follow our conscience and calmly accept the migrant children on the border in their hour of need. Or we can do what the governor has done: sensationalize a humanitarian crisis and prey on fears.