By Qudsia Jafree
Advocacy & Policy Manager of Health and Safety, YWCA USA
By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA
Beginning on September 15, National Hispanic American Heritage Month is a celebration of Hispanic and Latino culture and history. This week’s Top Five on Friday marks the theme for this year: “Hispanics: Serving and Leading Our Nation with Pride and Honor.”
1. Nine undocumented immigrants made bold steps in the name of keeping their families together, openly leaving the U.S. and returning through a legal entry point in Mexico. They hope to inspire other DREAM-ers to continue the fight for immigration reform.
By Madeline Shepherd
National Council of Jewish Women
The ongoing debate over immigration reform tends to fall into two camps: the personal and the political. The personal is advocacy that stems from personal stories, including those about families separated for a decade or more, undocumented parents of citizen children who are seized in raids and deported, and the DREAMers who graduate high school at the top of their class but cannot pursue a college degree. And then there’s the political, made up of statistics about border crossings, employment visa shortages, and how much it would “cost” the US government and American taxpayer to reform today’s broken system of welcoming newcomers.
However, these camps agree on one thing: The immigration system we’ve relied on for so long is broken. Symptoms of this include 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the US, the lengthy wait time and backlog of visa applicants, and the number of highly skilled immigrants who graduate from American colleges and universities only to be turned out to work elsewhere. Americans living at the border shouldn’t feel threatened, and neither should migrant farmworkers who carry out vital jobs that would otherwise go unfilled.