The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel on the needs of immigrants.
vanden Heuvel: We’ve squandered the last many years. I think it will be tougher, in tough economic times, to have a fair debate. What’s always off the radar, what surprises me, is there’s so little attention to going to the root cause. There’s so little attention to how one promotes economic development, for example, in Mexico, or in central parts of Latin America, because that is the root cause from where people come to seek work. They’re not coming here to have fun. They need work. They need jobs. It will be not high on the agenda, I fear, but it will be central to an America that is abiding by rule of law and has a moral core to treat those who come here with a set of principles that allow American workers to be on a level playing field with workers coming from abroad, and I think part of what we need to pass on is that if we don’t level the playing field so that there is a path to citizenship for immigrant workers, the race to the bottom is going to hurt American workers. We’re in this together. We’re in the same boat, so let’s have a floor from which we can all rise from and to find that solidarity between workers, America and those coming from abroad will be part of, I think, a productive immigration policy as well as going to the central economic issues.