It's week four of the National Conversation on Race, and this week is a toughie. Our moderators over at Equity Blog are pushing all of us to go past the "lowest common denominator" conversations that we usually have about race and actually talk about finding solutions to serious problems.
The two they propose aren't easy to solve: the incarceration rate among young men of color and the battle over immigration reform.
More at chicagoreporter.com
One of the commenters, Raul Ramos y Sanchez, contributes some historical context to the immigration debate.
As to the "legality" of today's undocumented immigrants, let's not
confuse morality with geography. If the Ellis Island immigrants from
Europe could have simply walked across the border instead of having to
cross an ocean in a ship to find a better life, do you think they would
have waited patiently behind an invisible line?
Sanchez points out that America has a history of illegal immigration - starting with the Pilgrims, and continuing with the move westward across the continent. He says that history doesn't justify unlawful immigration today, but it does at least put it in context.
All of this made me think: we as Americans argue over ideas, but rarely over policy. We fall into two camps on immigration: kick 'em out or legalize them. But how? How, specifically, do we fix the problem of undocumented immigration in this country?
I guess we usually leave the "how" up to the legislators, but, more and more, I am beginning to doubt that as a wise choice.
So, I'm asking you: if we're going to do something about illegal immigration, what specifically should we do about it? What are your solutions? How would they work?
We're really good at maligning the other side, but not as good at figuring out what to do. So, let's practice. Tell us what you would do if it were your job to reform immigration.
We might just be surprised at how smart we really are.