The president has said he wants to reopen the debate on immigration reform this year – giving hope to pro-immigrant groups and raising concerns of a possible “amnesty” among those who want stronger enforcement.
While the economy is no doubt the administration’s top priority, the president -- with his words and actions – has helped keep the immigration debate alive. Like many of you, we have taken notice.
But it’s not just the president talking about immigration:
- A record 1,046,539 people (nearly half were Latino) became new citizens last year, a 58 percent increase from 2007.
- A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center shows the flood of illegal immigrants has slowed in the United States – and may have decreased in North Carolina – due to the bad economy and enforcement.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 369,049 people in fiscal 2008 -- the most in any year in U.S. history.
This Land will complement our regular coverage published in the paper and online. We’ll bring you new voices and analysis. We’ll point you toward other interesting stories, studies, photography, and videos.
As the main author of this blog, my goal is to find the balance between the fact that the United States is both a country made of immigrants and a nation of laws.
The comments section is open. This is an emotional topic, but I don’t see why we can’t have a healthy, spirited dialogue without it becoming a forum for name calling and side-bashing.
So, send your thoughts and ideas. And if I may quote one of my esteemed colleagues and fellow bloggers, please “keep it clean, keep it civil, and keep it witty whenever possible.”
Photos: John Simmons/Observer, Associated Press