The American Prospect
The Institute for Southern Studies
With funding on the line for President Obama's deferred action programs for immigrants, recent trends in immigration are affecting the current national debates. While the immigrant population is relatively smaller in the South, changes are rapidly re-shaping communities in the region, fueling new opportunities for growth as well as anxiety and backlash over the changing complexion of towns and cities that is evident in the response from many Southern leaders.
Enforcement is not the solution to the latest version of the United States’ immigration issue. To stem immigration, if that’s indeed what is desired, the United States needs to make Central America habitable again, especially since the U.S. government has been the major instigator in the region for at least the past century.
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The parts of the border that take the form of an actual, physical barrier are an intrusion on the landscape, an eyesore to many — and to millions, a deadly obstacle to overcome. Just as immigrant rights activists see the border as a violent social barrier, environmentalists see the border fence as an assault on the integrity of regional ecologies.