We have been playing this political game for far too long while millions are lost to deportation.
For the last couple of decades, there has been much to grieve and little to celebrate when it comes to immigration. The last major legalization happened over 32 years ago with the Amnesty Act in 1986. Since then, our opponents have strategically and continuously dehumanized immigrants to push their agendas forward. Our pain has been turned into profit and votes to keep certain political and economic interests in power. During the early 2000s they dehumanized immigrants to justify the “War on Terror.” During the early 2010s they dehumanized immigrants to expand private detention centers. And during the 2016 presidential elections they dehumanized immigrants so that fascism can rise and stay in power.
The reality is that both parties are guilty of the dehumanization of immigrants.
Anti-immigrant rhetoric used by the Republican Party led to the rise of the Minutemen at the border, Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona, and the election of Trump as President. Anti-immigrant policies used by both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have led to the expansion of private detention centers, the militarization of the border, and the deportation of over 5 million undocumented immigrants since 2001 including 3 million during the Obama years alone.