In recent weeks, the federal fight for immigration reform kicked off in earnest, with Congress and the White House issuing their legislative principles, and the White House “leaking” specific proposals for a bill. Reform offers the bright possibility of legalization for 11 million, including more than 700,000 New Yorkers who live and work in, contribute to and sustain our richly diverse city and state. But the dark side of reform — its painful compromise — may be an increase in federal immigration enforcement efforts. The Senate and the President’s proposals demand further fortification of the borders and better tracking of visa-holding immigrants. They also do not address the federal Se Communities program, which has failed utterly in its objective to identify violent and dangerous criminals and, instead, creates a detention and deportation pipeline that has torn apart thousands of immigrant families.
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