The pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform has been clear for a long time.

Although George W. Bush made numerous grave mistakes in the conduct of foreign policy and domestic affairs, fair-minded observers have to acknowledge he supported not only measures to further strengthen U.S. borders but also an earned path to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants.

In 2005-06 there were massive national protests in support of legalization, and public opinion polls at the time confirmed that most Americans favored this important, humane reform. Unfortunately, the right wing of the Republican Party prevented Congress from enacting such legislation.

Almost a decade later, the human costs of our broken immigration system are deeply disturbing and growing. More than 11 million immigrants sin papeles are working hard and contributing a great deal to our country economically, socially and culturally. But they continue to live in the shadows, in fear, and unable to do all they want for their families and their new country. About 2 million people, the vast majority of whom are not felons, have been detained and deported since 2009. Countless families have been torn asunder and estimable suffering has ensued. Hundreds of people continue to die each year trying to reach el norte

After President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012, it seemed for a few months like the Republicans would learn a few vital demographic and political lessons. Even their most fervent critics hoped GOP politicians would remember the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and recognize that comprehensive immigration reform would benefit the country as a whole. It has been deeply disturbing to see the most reactionary elements of the Republican Party oppose such reform in the past 16 months. In contrast, one has to credit President Obama and Democrats in Congress for working hard to bring about this change in our laws. 

The Republicans’ intransigence, often fueled by racism and fortified by terribly gerrymandered congressional districts, cannot continue. Neither can the massive deportations and the severe harm done to so many families and individuals. 

In recent months, immigrant rights advocates, people of faith, labor activists, and other Americans from diverse backgrounds have recognized the need to once again take to the streets and call for comprehensive immigration reform in peaceful and productive ways. Protests, candlelight vigils, marches, picketing and even civil disobedience are picking up again and likely to grow in the months ahead.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, a large March for Justice will take place in Houston. Participants will assemble at the intersection of Bellaire and Renwick, then march to Burnett Bayland Park at Chimney Rock and Gulfton. The purpose of the March is to call for more equitable worker and immigrant rights, and the pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform will be front and center at the event.

Hundreds of people, including individuals from Galveston County, will participate in the march and speak out for justice. Together, we will help hasten the day when our elected representatives in Washington, D.C. do the right thing for immigrants.

 

David Michael Smith is a former college professor.

(12) comments

Carlos Ponce

David Michael Smith wants us to"do the right thing for immigrants". How about doing the right thing for LEGAL immigrants and American citizens and enforce the current laws on the books. If it were up to him there would be NO borders. Don't buy the ProgLib line that the current administration is sending back illegals. The current administration is fudging the numbers. If you don't believe me ask any border patrol agent. David Michael Smith resorts to the usual ProgLib mantra with Republicans who disagree with him. He cries "Racism". Do not equate disagreement with racism.

Brian Cann

How about just enforcing the laws already on the books!!!!!!

The laws aren't "tearing families asunder", the people who break the law are hurting their families!!!!

Amnesty will destroy the economy, but as long as the democrats get 20 million new voters who cares??!! Right??!!

Mr. Smith, you are the typical socialist. You want everyone living in squaler depending on government. You abhor freedom, because you think you know what's better for everyone. You are a wolf in sheeps clothing. You claim to be for the worker, but amnesty will make all workers poorer and dependent on the government. You are a monster and you sicken me!!

Katrina Evenhouse

I am so glad this man is a former college professor and should update his picture.You always screams racism and one of the rules of Conduct for the GDN's says to be truthful. The fact is we are paying heavily for the illegal immigration in this country. The borders should be protected just as any other Country. They are illegal and should go through the system to become legal just as any other legal citizen of the US. Stop with your hate!

PD Hyatt

David Smith is a left leaning democrat who hates the laws of our nation just as this administration does.... Why should we make 12-20 million illegal law breakers legal citizens? We should round them all up and send them packing back to where they came from.... Once we get our unemployed back to work then we can open our borders to LEGAL immigrants.... David Smith hates what he calls the right wing Republicans.... I for one am thankful that they are NOT yet allowing that many law breakers amnesty from their crimes...

PD Hyatt

I am thankful that David Smith is no longer preaching his left wing hate of this nation to the students of COM....

George Croix

First, let's do the right thing for CITIZENS and secure the borders, and start using US taxpayer money on citizens and legal resident aliens only.
Be sure and leave a gate that swings outward so any America-is-always-wrong characters can actually back up their BS by leaving. That would include, too, any illegal alien 'students' or co-dependent 'professors' who use college vehicles to go protest against this country
Please don't leave any but_ prints on the gate when it hits back there... [smile]

Carlos Ponce

I kept looking for reports of David Michael Smith's "large March for Justice" Saturday night on Houston's news programs and found zero, zip, nada. Did his call for protests fail to materialize like or was it a non-event like his Ted Nugent protest? I did see a report on people celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Houston on Channel 13, something only regionally celebrated in Mexico around Puebla. The reason why it is celebrated here is because it was a promotional gimmick to sell more Corona beer so why do we let them celebrate it in schools? By the way, Mexican Independence day is 16 de Sept.

George Croix

ir·rel·e·vant
iˈreləvənt/
adjective
not connected with or relevant to something.

Might as well get used to it...it's what becomes, eventually, of all paper tigers...

Dr. David Michael Smith

There were 500-600 participants in the March for Justice in Houston on Saturday. Mr. Ponce apparently missed the coverage on Telemundo TV-47. The recent protest against Ted Nugent in League City was much smaller but capably described in a subsequent column in this newspaper. Why don't one or more of you submit columns expressing your views? That way, many more people can follow and participate in the discussion, and I will be glad to respond in print.

Carlos Ponce

I checked the telemundohouston.com website and could not find a video link for their coverage of the march. If someone can, please give me the link. If KTRK, KPRC, and KHOU did not cover, it is a non-event. Only 500-600 in the Houston area? That's what we call a vocal minority. I know and am related to more Hispanics than that who believe the current laws need to be enforced. My parents and grandparents obeyed the rules and filled out the proper paperwork. Why can't they?

George Croix

Didn't you just respond?
How many of the 500-600 were US citizens, and thus legally capable of exercising a vote for immigration reform?
Telemundo TV-47?
Thanks for letting me know it exists...
Might want to tell the rest of the state or national news media. so they can follow along on these important demonstrations and capably describe them...

Lars Faltskog

bit·ter
adjective/

Displacement of anger toward groups of people who aren't hurting you. Manifested by suspicion and resentment toward non-white individuals.

EXAMPLES: most on this forum thread.

Here's a HIST 101 mini-lesson: When the European white man massacred the American Indians, most of those European white men were "illegals".

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