Latino Media to White House: Immigration Reform Now

11/20/2012, 11:44 a.m.

The editorial concludes: "We applaud [deferred action] while feeling it was a small, conveniently-timed band-aid on a wound that you are responsible for exacerbating.

"That wound is immigration, Mr. President. The hundreds of thousands of people you've deported; the tens of thousands of families you've separated with detention and deportation; the thousands of U.S. citizen children placed in foster care because of your deportation policy; and the yet-to-be-counted total of children that have been adopted out because their detained parents were judged to have 'abandoned' them -- these are our brothers, sisters, children, parents, friends and acquaintances -- and your immigration legacy so far.

"You've said we can do a lot, together, in four years. We agree. And we'll hold you and your party to it."

Voices for Reform Growing Louder

"I don't necessarily see support for immigration reform as growing, but rather getting louder," says Esparza of Vida en el Valle. "The United Farm Workers has been working with the Nisei Farmers League and other agricultural organizations to push for immigration reform since 2005. That is a remarkable achievement considering the past history of the UFW and [agriculture]. DREAMers have added to that louder voice."

Esparza says his publication continues to push for comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including farmworkers and DREAMers; a visa program that provides safeguards for guest workers so that they are not abused; family reunification; and establishment of an immigration program that avoids the pitfalls of the 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act.

The last push for comprehensive immigration reform, however, resulted in a ratcheting up of enforcement and deportations, without any of these reforms.

The question this time is whether these efforts will be successful.

Additional reporting by Suzanne Manneh.