My friends David Segal and Miguel Luna have a courageous editorial in today's Providence Journal suggesting that our immigration debate must consider the role of American foreign policy in forcing people to consider moving to the US, whether legally or illegally. Segal and Luna write:
To have an honest debate about immigration, we must recognize that many of the people who come here from Latin America are driven by horrific events in which our government had a hand. Immigrants want the same things most Americans do: decent jobs, basic rights, and a life free of violence and coercion.
Unfortunately, our government has helped make that impossible in their homelands, so they come here. To put it plainly: Many undocumented immigrants’ violation of U.S. immigration law is a direct consequence of our government’s unrelenting violations of international law.
As we look at ways to reform our immigration system — and, abhorrently, suggest throwing immigrants’ children off RIteCare and out of our schools — we must acknowledge that changes in our own government’s behavior would improve the terrible conditions that compel so many people to emigrate in the first place.
I strongly encourage folks to read this entire op-ed and share it.