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

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...

Give Up on Trying to "Secure the Border."

Despite the recent announcement that the Justice Department is filing suit against Arizona's SB 1070, it appears Obama 's promise to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to beef up border security wasn't just a brush-off. Yesterday, the administration asked Congress for $500 million in "emergency" funding for border enforcement, which includes two aerial drones -- the kind at work in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and 1,000 more Border Patrol agents. That's on top of the 1,200 National Guardsmen Obama sent to the area earlier last month. And on top of the 10,000 new Border Patrol agents that have been hired since 2004. In all, that's about 10 Border Patrol agents for every mile of the U.S.-Mexico border. The thing is, as Adam Serwer and I have noted repeatedly, there's no border-security emergency . The hysteria about border violence -- fueled in particular by the murder of a single Arizona rancher by what police suspected was an undocumented immigrant (it turns out, after all, the prime suspect is a...

From Disgust to Mike Huckabee.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is under fire for comments he made to The New Yorker magazine about same-sex marriage: Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the “ick factor,” but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn’t work the same. Faced with criticism from gay-rights groups, Huckabee clarified. My use of the phrase “ick factor” was as the established notion from within the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender (GLBT) community. It was not an indication of personal aversion, but rather a reference to an established phrase used mostly from same-sex marriage advocates and militants -- not one I created. I don’t see how Huckabee could be doing anything other than referencing an aversion to gay sex. It is in fact common for conservatives -- in the absence of rational argument -- to focus on the intricate mechanics of gay sex in explaining and...

Tuesday Twitter Talk: Obama Appointments.

*/ @drgrist What ever happened to Nancy Sutley , head of Obama's CEQ? Anyone heard from her lately? @mattyglesias She's taking orders from Van Jones and the ghost of Mao Zedong. @proudlib RT @OxyConservative: Don't know any Libs who have ever heard of Alinsky, yet the Cons can quote it verbatim. #tcot @KatrinaNation @Proudlib I know many Libs who can --but you're right--terrible irony/ @proudlib @KatrinaNation Not surprised you are familiar with Alinsky but put me down as one who'd never heard of him pre-TPers too.

Gays Needn't Depend on the Kindness of Presidents.

The Washington Post has a story today about the incremental changes the Obama administration has made on gay rights, including: extending health-care and day-care benefits to gay couples; barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in applying for federal housing; including information about same-sex couples in the census; and requiring hospitals to allow gays to visit their partners. The piece praises the administration's piecemeal approach. "While many of the items of concern to the [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community require Congress to act, the president has also taken many steps that don't require a change in the law," said Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman. The problem is that none of these rule changes, or "reinterpretations," are permanent. Unless Congress actually passes legislation to ensure gay people have these rights, they could disappear as soon as we get a social conservative in the White House. Sure, all of this is a good stopgap, but it...