Immigration Reform: Activists Look to Obama for New Policies

By Popovici, Alice | National Catholic Reporter, February 20, 2009 | Go to article overview

Immigration Reform: Activists Look to Obama for New Policies


Popovici, Alice, National Catholic Reporter


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

By 8 a.m. it is standing room only at the CASA de Maryland workers' center in Rockville, Md., where nearly 80 people have gathered since the early morning in search of manual labor jobs in carpentry, construction, moving and painting. A labor organizer is speaking to the group in Spanish, going over rules and offering information on the economy and current events.

She plays an English-language learning tape as workers--mostly young and middle-aged men--wait to be matched with employers based on their qualifications. If selected, the skilled laborers hired for plumbing and carpentry work will earn around $15 per hour, while unskilled workers hired for demolition, painting and moving jobs receive about $10 per hour.

But winter is a slow season at the center, according to staff, and the economy isn't helping the situation. Some will walk away without work and return the next day.

Many in the immigrant community are hoping the policies of the new administration will mark a change for the better--an improved economy, more jobs and an end to workplace raids. A year ago, said CASA de Maryland spokesman Mario Quiroz, people were talking about going back home, while the general attitude now is "wait and see."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"We hope that, at least, the government comes out with something that can bring out of the shadows more than 12 million people that are in this situation," Quiroz said.

Juan Emerson has been waiting at the Center since 6:30 a.m., looking for work as a mover or landscaper. Speaking in Spanish with Quiroz translating, the 23-year-old from E1 Salvador explained his decision to come to the United States six months ago in search of work. He was studying computer engineering in college but his parents were struggling to finance his education as well as his sister's, so he came here to earn money and help them out. Although there are many opportunities in this country, he's finding it difficult to secure work without papers.

During his campaign, President Barack Obama vowed to fix the immigration system and make it a top priority, offering a solution that includes securing U.S. borders, "cracking down on employers who hire undocumented workers" and facilitating the transition to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in good standing. But Obama has been silent on the issue since taking office last month.

Quiroz said nearly 70 percent of Hispanic voters supported Obama in the November election, an indication the community sees him as someone who will bring needed reform to the immigration system. And they're optimistic about his choice of former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Security, parent department of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

The hope and enthusiasm for the Obama administration was evident Jan. 21, when several hundred people from across the country held a peaceful protest outside U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Washington, calling for immigration reform, humane treatment and an end to workplace raids. Alternating between English and Spanish, the protesters chanted "Stop the raids--yes we can!" and "Si se puede!" to the beat of drums, waving signs that read "I am immigrant America" and unfolding a large U.S. flag that billowed in the wind.

The rally was intended to "cleanse ICE of eight years of repressive politics" on the first day of the new administration, according to a press release issued by organizers, and was one of several demonstrations planned at detention offices and municipal buildings across the country.

A Pew Hispanic Center report released in October estimated there were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants--4 percent of the nation's population--living in the United States in March 2008. According to the study, the number of unauthorized immigrants entering the country reached an average high of 800,000 per year from 2000 to 2004, but has been steadily decreasing since then, averaging 500,000 per year from 2005 to 2008. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Immigration Reform: Activists Look to Obama for New Policies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.