When I joined fwd.us I knew immigration was an issue I cared about although I was, and am, confused about the politics. The idea of hard working people wanting to come here seems like an unambiguous win for America. There are lots of choices but people choose here. They choose to work and work hard and take the risks of deportation to improve their own lot and our dinner tables and homes and aspirations for a better life. Win, win.
I joined fwd.us the day before Eric Cantor lost and immigration reform would be deemed to be dead. As a former deputy political director for non-incumbents, I am used to championing the underdog and usually not winning, so this was par for the course.
As I walked inside fwd.us, invited by smart, bright people, I thought well, good for them to believe. I’ll be there for them when reality bites. They had talked about Presidential actions, but this, it seemed to me, was decidedly outside of our control or realm of persuasion.
Reading the New York Times op-ed today inspired me to see how much discretion exists for the President to allow people who care as much about our country as anyone (more because they chose the U.S. out of all the others?) to stay in the U.S.
And what do we have to do to help? Stand up and care. They stand and fight. We need to stand too and care.
I am writing this piece to say how impressed I am with the quality and depth of organizers at fwd.us. These are the best and the brightest who can do anything–make millions here or there–but chose to stand up and fight. They don’t have some false, easy hope that a couple of likes later and immigration is reformed. They are working the grassroots–one chamber of commerce at a time. They get it–and they have great support.
When I was a kid I went out with my mom to oppose the Vietnam war. She was–and I, by holding her hand, a part of Women Strike for Peace. Would that I have listened to my mother and fought the Iraq war. She knew–and I didn’t appreciate–that bombs don’t resolve thousands of years of distrust, even when the ostensible goal (talking point?) is democracy.
I am glad we went door to door. We did the right thing. I am sold that the next generation’s first effort is well grounded and truly grassroots. We have won gay marriage–and now we have to win immigration reform.
I want the best for my daughter. She is a special girl. I hope my work and my ideas can create a way for her to have the things she needs and wants. But if she is half the person I believe her to be, she would want me, first, to do what is right. I am thankful to fwd.us for giving me that chance.