Gabriel Arana

Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast.

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Recent Articles

Does "D.C." Need Another Nickname?

The Washington Post has a story lamenting D.C.'s lack of a cool nickname and announcing one that's catching on: DMV, an acronym for the "District," Maryland, and Virginia, the city and suburbs that make up the metropolitan area. This of course is already an acronym for the Department of Motor Vehicles, which you can either decry as unfortunate -- or "painful" or "ugly" -- or apt. Who doesn't remember the distinct air of DMV ennui? Perhaps the implicit comparison to one of the country's most hated and inept bureaucracies expresses how people feel about government, but for PR's sake, D.C. residents should hope the Post is just inventing a trend, as newspapers tend to do, when it says DMV is "picking up speed." Plus, doesn't D.C. already have a decent nickname -- the "Beltway"? -- Gabriel Arana

In SB 1070 Ruling, a Minor Win for Obama.

Today, Judge Susan Bolton stopped [PDF] the most controversial provisions of Arizona's immigration-enforcement law, SB 1070, from going into effect but declined to put the entire law on hold as the Obama Justice Department had requested. In a 38-page ruling, Judge Bolton let stand most of the law's 13 sections but found that certain provisions satisfied the requirements for a preliminary injunction -- irreparable harm and likelihood of success at trial. The Justice Department had argued that the Arizona law unconstitutionally usurped federal power to regulate immigration. The judge put the following provisions on hold: Portion of Section 2 of S.B. 1070 -- requiring that an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained, or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested prior to releasing that person In...

Send 10,000 National Guardsmen to Disneyland Instead.

Edward Schumacher-Matos has an op-ed in The Washington Post blaming the "extremists" who run the immigration debate for the deaths of illegal immigrants in the Arizona desert: [Border-enforcement proponents have] the louder voice today, making [them] the bigger culprit, but the latter -- humanitarian groups, for one -- share in the blame. They seem not to find any enforcement policy they like, abandoning responsibility. I assume Schumacher is including people like me in this critique, whom he characterizes as opposing "any enforcement policy" and thus "abandon[ing] responsibility." There is a meme among self-proclaimed reasonable "centrists" like Schumacher -- and that's that there's a pressing need to "secure our borders" and that those who care about immigrants, and think unmanned military drones along the border are unnecessary, are letting their hearts run their mind. Of course it's not that anyone in the immigrant-rights movement opposes any enforcement; it's that, as I and many...

No Win in Arizona

Even if the courts rule that SB 1070 should not go into effect next week, the Obama administration has failed.

Protesters carry American and Mexican flags along a march calling for a boycott of Arizona. (Sipa Press via AP Images/Krista Kennell)
Today, a federal judge will hear arguments on whether Arizona's controversial "papers, please" immigration law, SB 1070, should go into effect next Thursday as planned. The Justice Department -- which is arguing that SB 1070 usurps the federal government's constitutional authority to regulate citizenship -- has asked for a preliminary injunction until the court can try the case. The hearing and subsequent decision represent the first major legal showdown over the divisive bill, which requires police to question people about their citizenship during routine encounters. Immigrant-rights supporters and the Hispanic community say it is a racially motivated attack on civil rights while proponents of SB 1070 argue it is necessary given the federal government's failure to "secure the borders." In typical conciliatory fashion, President Barack Obama has straddled the fence on immigration. By bringing the case, the administration is showing it sympathizes with the concerns of the immigrant and...

Tuesday Twitter Talk: Affirmative Action.

*/ @DanFosterNRO On poor white Christians, contra @AdamSerwer and @TimFernholz: http://bit.ly/bfj5vN @TimFernholz Wow, that's really...um...not responding to any of our arguments with Douthat. @TimFernholz Adam specifically said, btb, and I concur, that increasing socioeconomic diversity from all racial backgrounds is critical. @TimFernholz And, incidentally, is your post an affirmation that diversity should be a factor in college admissions? @TimFernholz Also super-curious if feeling discriminated = actual discrimination only applies to white folks, or all groups? @DanFosterNRO feeling discriminated against becomes important when it warps our political discourse, black/white whatever. @DanFosterNRO idea is that it's something to be addressed, not that feelings alone can/should form basis of claims for political restitution @DanFosterNRO Not sure where you saw support for diversity agenda in my post. One can say AA fails on its own terms w/o supporting said terms. Follow the rest of...

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