Another disappointing year in migration

José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: Maksym Ostrozhynskyy / Unsplash

The migration balance for the year 2022 could be summed up with the word “disappointing”.

It is true that the administration of President Joe Biden approved temporary protected status for thousands of Venezuelans and the 18-month extension of benefits for immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras and Nepal.

And just days ago, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor announced the availability of 64,716 temporary H-2B non-agricultural worker visas for fiscal year 2023.

But in other subjects, the lack of progress is simply a great disappointment: Our “Dreamers” and undocumented farmworkers have once again been left empty-handed, even though they deserve a permanent solution to their immigration status.

Not only did a bipartisan plan promoted by Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis fail, but the push given to the “Dream Act” by organizations such as United We Dream, as well as Democratic senators and activists, unfortunately went nowhere.

As if that were not enough, the controversial Title 42, which allowed the Trump administration to expel 2.5 million immigrants from the country under the excuse of a public health emergency due to the COVID pandemic, is being manipulated with a ping-pong ball in the US courts.

Title 42 was due to expire on December 21, based on an order by a federal judge, but its termination led to a countersuit by 19 states and the intervention of the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, which left the end of the program on hold indefinitely.

For those of us who have lived in the United States for many years, the dysfunctionality of the political class to deal with an extremely serious and important issue for the future of the country is still incomprehensible.

It is unquestionable that the United States requires an orderly and legal flow of all types of labor, both in technology industries and in labor-intensive sectors of the economy, such as agriculture or construction.

Despite this, the political class with whom it has continued to patch up since 1986, unable to agree on an immigration policy that balances the legitimate concerns of border security and territorial integrity, with the manpower demands that functionality and prosperity require of the United States economy.

Unfortunately, the prospects for immigration reform are marked by dark clouds on the horizon. The upcoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives appears to be more concerned with pandering to Donald Trump and his radical policies than doing the job they were hired to do: solve problems.

But there is no other option for the immigrant community and its supporters than to continue in the trenches of a just fight, not only demanding the justice they deserve but showing by their example, their work and their patriotism, that there is a moral debt owed to them that must be paid for with a permanent, dignified and humanitarian solution.