immigration policy

Increase in Border Enforcement Detrimental to Women and Children

Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released its “Immigration Enforcement in the United States” report last month that reveals an increase in spending for the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) due to the “enforcement first” approach to immigration.   

The report's findings are shocking. The U.S. government now spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other major federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined and immigration enforcement is the federal government's highest criminal law enforcement priority. Surprisingly, at a time when our government must be fiscally conservative and unauthorized immigration has abated, the call to increase spending on border enforcement is as loud as ever.

This increase in spending should guarantee better trained officers and ensure that the basic human rights of all people respected. However, according to various reports families are separated, victims of domestic violence do not receive the protection that they need, pregnant asylum seekers do not receive the prenatal care that they need, and children are held in detention centers with adults. Read here for more. 

Migrant Workers and The Grapes of Wrath Revisited

When John Steinbeck's classic novel The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, it caused a sensation. It won the Pulitzer Prize and was the best-selling novel of the year. Just months later, in 1940, the book was turned into a film by John Ford, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

For readers today, Steinbeck's migration saga remains relevant as a piece of (dramatized) social analysis. It's essentially a road novel about the Joads, a poor Midwestern migrant farming family. Throughout the novel, the Joads fight to keep their family intact while fleeing the 1930s Oklahoma Dustbowl for the hope of farm work in California.