On June 27th, the US Senate passed a major overhaul of the nation’s current immigration policies and structure, especially concerning that of the Mexican-American border. The proposed legislation marked Congress’s first major attempt at immigration reform since 2006.
The measure, introduced by the Gang of Eight – a bipartisan group of senators who wrote and negotiated the bill – will allow undocumented immigrants to gain legal status and eventual citizenship, boost border security by introducing a new agricultural guest worker program and require all employers to use the E-Verify system in order to determine worker eligibility in the US.
The bill is currently being debated in the House of Representatives amid national concern and controversy.
Miguel Levario, author of Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy, stated his strong opposition to the new bill and what it means for illegal immigrants in a recent op-ed column.
“Everything from legalizing the status of millions of undocumented residents to militarizing the border is not a shift of improvement in American policy,” said Levario. “Immigration suggests openness and movement while border militarization and security suggests closure and resistance to outside influences.”
In his book, Levario focuses on the history of the relationship between the Mexican and American border and its impact on current tensions and controversy. He highlights the antagonism found on both sides of the border in order to help pave the way for a better understanding of current policy and hopeful future change.
“If we are to hold true to our tradition of immigration in this country,” Levario argues, “we must address it apart from border security and lay a path that is welcoming and just and not meant to punish and marginalize.”
To find out more information about Militarizing the Border and Dr. Levario’s stance on the new bill, be sure to visit our website and check out his article here.