As we approach the holiday season, we Americans, as tradition, reflect upon the passing year. We have been conditioned to reflect on the personal and financial accomplishments of the year. We further give “thanks” to our higher power for the fortuitous accomplishments and our health. But, most importantly, we must give thanks for the opportunity to share the holiday season with our families.
As an immigration attorney, my immigration clients express their sadness and despair during the holiday season. Generally, their sadness stems from the inability to share the Christmas holidays with their family who are back in their home country. I recently saw a video of a mother and son sharing a holiday meal by passing their food through an opening in the chain link fence. The mother was sitting on a large blanket with various foods in containers wrapped with aluminum foil. She would pass the food through the fence to her son who was sitting on a dirty blanket on the United States side.
Although they are sharing a meal and speaking face-to-face, they are separated by the ominous fence that designates the border lines of the two abutting countries. They would occasionally extend their hand through the hole in the fence and share a touch – the only contact available to them until her consulate appointment becomes available.
This week, the DREAM ACT faces a Senate vote. As you may or may not be aware, a new immigration bill has been voted that gives young illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they enroll in college or enlist in the military. The House passed a landmark youth immigration bill known as the Dream Act on Wednesday night largely along party lines, but the measure faces a tough test in the Senate as Democrats struggle to pass priority legislation in the waning days of this Congress.
Eight Republicans joined in approving the bill, 216 to 198. Thirty-eight Democrats voted no. The measure offers a path to citizenship for young people who were brought to this country illegally before age 16 and who have enrolled in college or entered the military.
Despite that fact you may be for it or against it, it reflects that the US Government is attempting to address the immigration issues that plague our country. Such implementation of policy would allow for families to be united. Maybe in the future, we will see less of the scenario I described above whom may be together for the holiday season.