A Broken System: Fragments of An Immigration Debate

By Guest Columnist Oct 21, 2009

By Adebe DeRango-Adem The Immigration Policy Center released a new report today, “Breaking Down the Problems: What’s Wrong With our Immigration System." They kicked off the report release with a national teleconference this afternoon. Speakers on the conference attempted to put forth new ideas on how to address the structural problems and dangerous impact of the inefficient immigration system currently in place. “We are embarking on a new round of immigration reform debates and to accomplish genuine reform, we must understand that immigration is about more than the 11-12 million people living without status in our country,” says Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. But how do we avoid our own circular discussions around migration policies, and actually put forth policy-changing ideas as opposed to laying out the reasons we need to put forth policy-changing ideas? How can journalists and activists engage with the issue of immigration reform in order to form a new model not based on designating immigrants as a problem from the outset? Crystal Williams, Executive Director of American Immigration Lawyers Association and key speaker at the conference, has said that we are in need of a migration policy that is “real world” and fully acknowledges the needs that immigrants fill in our society: socially, politically, economically, and otherwise. The quest for an inclusive model migration policy continues. To read the report and listen to a telephonic briefing of the conference, click here. Adebe DeRango-Adem is a research intern with the Applied Research Center in New York City.