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

Obama on Immigration: Cudgeling Republicans, Disappointing Hispanics.

Obama 's immigration speech this morning at American University in Northwest D.C. was prompted by recognition that, with the outcry over Arizona's SB 1070 , the politics of immigration are shifting. This was Obama's first major policy speech on the issue -- and while he reframed the debate as one not solely about border security, but also about the benefits of immigration and problems with our naturalization laws, he set no timetable for immigration reform. The speech was, in other words, more about politics than about policy. Consider how he highlighted his administration's increase in border personnel. This strategy has been advocated by some immigrant-rights supporters: Be tough on enforcement to cudgel Republicans into supporting comprehensive reform. As I have argued in the past, the danger is that it paints economically desperate people as criminals, making comprehensive immigration reform less likely. Moreover, the long health-care and financial-reform battles mean the...

Tuesday Twitter Talk: The #Kagan Hearings.

*/ @Dahlialithwick Kagan brings down the house. Answering Graham's "where were you on Xmas day?" Kagan "Like all Jews I was prolly at a Chinese restaurant." @ShelbyKnox Sessions insists on calling Kagan "Dean Kagan" instead of "General Kagan," her current title. Disrespectful. #KaganLive @smencimer For GOP senators who are worried about judicial activism, Dick Durbin has "two words for you: Citizens United." #kagan #scotus @AdamSerwer So what's the official hashtag for the Kagan hearings? Is it #zzzzzzz? @DanFosterNRO @AdamSerwer If the #Kagan hearings are themselves boring, imagine how boring my live-blog of them is.

Don't Trust the Feds to Be Better Than Arizona.

Arizona has been in the news since the state passed its crazy immigration-enforcement bill, SB 1070, which criminalizes undocumented presence and gives police the power to stop people for looking "illegal." The Obama administration recently announced it would sue the state for usurping the federal government's constitutional power to regulate immigration, and it may not have to wait long for a decision. Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving a strikingly similar law in -- you guessed it -- Arizona. The Justices granted cert to Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria , a challenge to an Arizona law that penalizes employers for hiring undocumented workers and requires them to use the E-Verify system to check immigration status. The central question -- whether the state is stepping on the federal government's toes -- is nearly identical to the issue raised in most of the lawsuits that have been filed against SB 1070; how the Justices rule in Candelaria will almost...

CLS v. Martinez: Supreme Court Makes Inclusiveness Explicit.

In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez , handed down today, the Supreme ruled in favor of Hastings Law School, which refused to recognize an on-campus Christian group that barred gays – or, at least those who engaged in "unrepentant homosexual conduct" – from membership. The Christian Legal Society argued that the school’s nondiscrimination policy violated their First-Amendment right to free speech and association. But the Court ruled, 5 to 4, that because the school’s policy was "viewpoint neutral" it did not "transgress First Amendment limitations." It’s interesting that most of the case’s legal bickering centered on what the policy in question was. CLS and Hastings initially agreed – "stipulated" in legal lingo -- that the school’s nondiscrimination policy amounted to an "all-comers" policy requiring any campus group to be open to all students. But throughout the trial and its appeal, CLS tried to back away from this. The Christian...

The Silver Lining Behind Immigration Reform's Failure.

Despite the outcry over Arizona's immigration-enforcement bill and mounting pressure from Hispanic groups, the lead immigration-reform advocate in the House, Rep. Luis Gutierrez , admitted yesterday that any immigration bill that includes a citizenship provision for the undocumented doesn't have the votes to pass. "We are 102 strong, we are 102 commitment, but we are insufficient," he said at a press conference yesterday. That's of course a far cry from the requisite majority in the 435-member House. As depressing as it is, the dim prospects for immigration reform aren't surprising. Since the last push for reform in 2007 -- when the Senate actually passed a bill that included a citizenship provision -- the politics of immigration have turned sharply right , so much so that even many Democrats understand "reform" only to mean beefing up border security. Gutierrez said "there's still time" to pass a reform bill after the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings, but this seems like a quixotic...