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

Lindsey Graham's Hotheadedness on Climate Change.

I'm finding Sen. Lindsey Graham 's climate bill hissy fit over the weekend hard to understand. Days before the legislation was announced, the senator reportedly walked out of talks on the bill because Democrats -- including Sen. Harry Reid -- plan to prioritize immigration reform. Graham said he thinks immigration is being rushed for political reasons: Moving forward on immigration — in this hurried, panicked manner — is nothing more than a cynical political ploy. ... I know from my own personal experience the tremendous amounts of time, energy and effort that must be devoted to this issue to make even limited progress. It's probably true that Reid is trying to curry favor with Hispanic voters in anticipation of the November elections, in which his own seat is up for grabs. But part of the "panic" was also brought on by the passage of SB 1070 in Arizona, which makes undocumented presence in the country a crime and requires police to question anyone that they suspect might...

Why the Distinction Between 'Legal' and 'Illegal' Immigrants Doesn't Matter.

In response to Arizona's crazy anti-immigrant bill, various leaders from civil-rights organizations -- including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Council of La Raza, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights -- called on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the legislation on a press call today. And as I argued in a previous post , they also said it highlights the need for national immigration reform. The passage of the bill in Arizona has ignited what was already some dry brush. To say immigrant-rights advocates are "disappointed" with the Obama administration's progress is putting it lightly: Rep. Luis Gutierrez has joined other Latino leaders in calling for constituents not to show up to the polls for the midterm elections, and the organizers of March's immigration-rights protest in Washington have called for another nationwide series of demonstrations on May 1. During the question-and-answer session of the press call, a reporter from CNN Radio took up the mantle of "the...

Graham's Deep, Dark Secret: He Likes Immigration Reform.

Looks like the nativist group Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC) is getting desperate. William Gheen 's rant at a rally "outing" Sen. Lindsey Graham , who supports comprehensive immigration reform, has gone viral. Though Graham has said repeatedly that he is not gay (just single), ALIPAC insists on pushing this line. The organization sent out a press release praising Gheen for correcting the "information imbalance": When you have a U.S. Senator from such a conservative state like South Carolina working hand in hand with Obama and New York liberals like Senator Chuck Schumer to pass an Amnesty bill for illegal aliens, there is something very wrong. So ALIPAC thinks the only possible reason Graham could support immigration reform is because liberals are holding his "alternative lifestyle" over his head? The logic here is so bizarre I have trouble seeing how Gheen could believe it himself. The press release explains: William Gheen called on Senator Lindsey Graham to be honest with...

The Anecdote Fallacy.

As immigrant-rights supporters urge Gov. Jan Brewer to veto Arizona's tough new immigration bill, Randal Archibold at The New York Times examines how a state with one of the largest Latino populations has come so close to passing the country's most punitive anti-immigrant bill yet. He notes John McCain 's change of heart on comprehensive immigration reform and details the political rise of the bill's chief architect, state Rep. Russell Pearce , who went from a Republican "embarrassment" to a party leader. While Arizona's turn to the right has been in the works for some time, Archibold notes that at least some nativist sentiment has been stoked by the recent murder of a border-area rancher by an undocumented immigrant. It strikes me how much discussion of immigration debate is driven by anecdotal evidence. This is of course not limited to the immigration debate -- how many health-care reform conversations revolved around the scenario of a Brit waiting in line for care? -- and...

The Moral Behind Arizona's Draconian Immigration Bill.

Most of the reaction to Arizona's passage of a draconian immigration bill -- one that is almost identical to the 2006 bill that set off mass immigration-rights protests across the country -- has focused on whether it will lead to racial profiling. SB 1070, which was approved by the state Legislature Tuesday and is expected to be signed by Gov. Jan Brewer , makes undocumented presence in the state a criminal, rather than a civil, offense. It also empowers local law-enforcement officials to determine the citizenship status of a person if there is a "reasonable suspicion" he or she is undocumented. "Reasonable suspicion," civil-liberties groups and journalists worry, could be nothing more than dark skin. As Adam Luna points out , the "anti-discrimination" provision it contains -- which says race cannot be the only reason someone is questioned -- is strikingly similar to amendments used by segregationists to try to eviscerate the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But the bigger problem is that it...

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