Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 2, 2016 - When Obama was elected, immigrants thought immigration reform had begun. It had to a certain extent. Now Ted Cruz and Donald Trump (the Crump Effect) have cast a pall on immigration reform, effectively driving immigrants back into the shadows.
The Obama administration did make landmark strides in effecting changes in the immigration system. While many of his actions met with dissent and controversy, many immigrants applauded what he accomplished for them. Many got the prevailing message of the day — it is okay to be illegal because that is going to be fixed.
As a group, illegal immigrants began to see some hope on the horizon, began to feel that perhaps things would turn around for them. With the advent of the presidential election and the prominent Donald Trump campaign, undocumented immigrants are being driven back into the shadows. It does not bode well for illegal immigrants when Trump announces that Mexico sent some of its worst citizens to the United States, that he favors deporting them and plans on building a wall if elected.
Trump’s immigration speeches often go along these lines: “As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state (sic) great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now.” Although Trump varies his immigration reform rhetoric, it rarely varies from the notion of support for deportation and building a secure wall along the border.
These issues have remained in the news since Trump made them part of his platform. Ted Cruz more or less piggy-backed the issue into his campaign by making this statement: “As President, I will stop illegal immigration, build a wall that works, triple border security, and put in place the surveillance and biometric tracking to secure the border. Border security is national security. We need to stop Obama’s amnesty and enforce the rule of law. And we need to reform legal immigration to protect American workers.”
What immigration reform and immigration rights advocates thought they had dealt with and was in the past, once again became a festering wound. Arizona restarted their drive to crack down on undocumented immigrants, an issue that does not solely focus on solo immigrants, but deeply affects mixed status families — families that fear coming forward to say anything about their circumstances in light of the Crump Effect.
“Immigrant families that once were eager to tell their stories about deportation began refusing to share their tales on the House floor,” said respected Houston immigration lawyer Annie Banerjee. “This is not a good sign for the ‘now’ of the coming election. It is not a good sign for the future either.”
It appears that everywhere Trump stumps, hate and violence are not far behind. In many of the locations he has given speeches, there have been threats against immigrants or outright attacks. Any compassionate, common sense approach to immigration reform has seemingly vanished in a cloud of racist smoke by Trump and Cruz. Gone are the days when undocumented immigrants were becoming at ease with their status because they had hope and were not in fear of being deported.
“It seems that the days when there was hope for immigration reform are long gone as well. What is going to happen next? It would be difficult for things to get even worse for immigrants, but many feel that is what may happen,” said Banerjee. “Let’s hope common sense prevails at the polls.”
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