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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Dear Editor:
Immigration Daily should be proud for its editorial comment entitled "Why the Law Should be Broken", on the 2A backlog. Some of us have been saying for years that a law which requires that husbands and wives, parents and small children be outlawed or exiled is simply immoral, unAmerican, and worst of all, impractical. People will live in the same countries as their spouses and kids, and the law be damned, quite literally.] Yet all the advocates whom the naive might think would champion this cause have helped to perpetuate this cruel injustice. Don't stop hammering on this one, because the record shows that "immigration advocates" like AILA, the Conference of Bishops, La Raza, and various other groups, letter heads with foundation grants, simply don't care much about the closest family members of legal permanent residents. In 1990, the House proposed to treat 2A the same as the immediate relatives of citizens, and the groups yawned. In 1995, the Jordan Commission proposed to make 2A a priority, and the groups fought it, tooth and nail. I recall Warren Leiden, then executive director of AILA and a member of the Jordan Commission on Immigration Reform, voting against the Commission's proposal to make this the top priority for immigration reform, and helping Congress defeat that priority, which led directly to the atrocities which did pass. I recall Jeanne Butterfield, who took over from Leiden at AILA, telling the Congress that the 2A backlog was simply the "amnesty echo", and would fade over time. It hasn't. They were wrong. If anything, the numbers then were understated and have since grown much larger. I remember Stuart Anderson, then a Senate aide and until recently a ranking Bush administration official, telling his Senate colleagues that there was no need to prioritize for nuclear families, because "most of them are already here, "illegally". I remember Senator DeWine making that argument on the Senate floor, immediately before voting down a measure by Senators Feinstein and Boxer to provide 150,000 extra visas a year for the 2A backlog. Much of the debate over immigration policy is simply counterproductive, nasty and brutal. There are only two ways to resolve the 2A backlog, either create more visas or take them from someplace else. It's that simple. Yet for all the hooey about a "Grand Bargain" with Mexico, none of the participants, including a bishop, fercryinoutloud, wanted to stand up for the sanctity of marriage and the central importance of the nuclear family. Values-based immigration is a better way to go.

Paul Donnelly



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