Earlier this year as the Iraq crisis deepened with no end in sight, an administration in disgrace sought to score some kind of legislative victory elsewhere. Immigration reform was a good candidate since a coalition of both the economic right, interested in abundant migrant labor, and the moderate left, interested in human rights and ending migrant exploitation in the workplace, could overcome the cultural right's intransigent opposition to immigration reform.
It is well known by now that immigration is changing the
face of America. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of foreign-born
persons in the United States surged to 28 million in 2000 and now represents 12
percent of the total population, the highest figures in a century. In New York
City, 54 percent of the population is of foreign stock -- that is, immigrants and
children of immigrants. The figure increases to 62 percent in the Los Angeles
metropolitan area and to an amazing 72 percent in Miami. All around us, in these
cities and elsewhere, the sounds of foreign languages and the sights of a
kaleidoscope of cultures are readily apparent. But the long-term consequences are
When the residents of Ticuani, a small farming
community in the Mixteca region of Mexico, wanted a clean water supply, they
turned to a private civic group, the Ticuani Potable Water Committee. As it had
many times before, the committee delivered: It quickly raised $50,000, mostly in
$100 donations, to purchase and install new tubing to bring clean water to
When José Imperatori, a secretary of the Cuban mission in Washington, D.C., was ordered out of the country last February for his alleged role in a Cuban spy ring, he went on a hunger strike and hired a lawyer. It took four burly FBI agents to get him out of his apartment and into a plane to Canada. Reflecting on the episode, one wonders not only why little Cuba is still spying on the United States after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, but also why any Cuban would spy for his country. Why should an educated man like Imperatori defend a regime that he knows to be economically and ideologically bankrupt?