Inspired by Pope Francis
Written by: Ally Bolour, Law Offices of Ally Bolour, APC
“We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation,” Pope Francis
I never thought I’d be quoting a pope – but here I am. My eyes swelled with tears when I heard him utter these words.
As immigration attorneys – I feel like we do what the Pope said. Every day we try to push our clients’ cases forward. Despite all the government red tape and bureaucracy – we don’t give up. No matter how hard we try however– some cases get stuck because our immigration laws are badly in need reform.
We’ve been asking for reform since1996 – right after Congress passed the tragedy of IIRAIRA – Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. IIRAIRA is responsible for an undocumented population of about 12 million, actual deportation of millions and an immigrant community on edge. I doubt that the fiscal impact of the failed immigration policies of the past two decades can ever be accurately measured.
Congress has fruitlessly tried to correct their mistake of IIRAIRA. A few racist demagogues masquerading as members of Congress have thwarted every attempt.
It is clear by now that these Congresspersons fear immigrants – because of the phenomenon known now as the “Browning of America.” They incorrectly view this country as a nation of north Europeans with blond hair and blue eyes. They are ignorant and out of touch with reality. Yet due to gerrymandering- a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts – they have a secure seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Oddly – some of those individuals are Catholics. I pray that the Pope’s comments make an impact on their conscious. I pray that they resist their fear of the immigrants and start viewing them as persons – each with their incredible human story. They have the power to fix the immigration problem so that millions of families may finally go to bed without fear from our government. Lets pray that they do. I ask that you call your member of Congress and demand action. To find out who your member of Congress is – please visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/