Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pretty Boy Floyd never deported anyone

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, when people made powerless by poverty were being thrown out of their homes when banks repossessed them, Woody Guthrie wrote a song about Pretty Boy Floyd, the bank robber, that ended:
As through this world you wander
You'll see plenty of funny men.
Some will rob you with a six-gun
Others with a fountain pen.

But as through this world I've wandered
And through this world I've roamed
I've never seen an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.

Outlaws have never driven people from their homes by repossessing their houses nor have they ever broken up families by conducting workplace raids and deporting fathers and mothers. When undocumented workers are deported as part of a ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) raid children and spouses are left behind, some of them citizens, wondering when and if their families will ever be reunited. There raids are not being conducted by outlaws or terrorists, but by our government, acting in our names.

Recent polls show that the vast majority of Americans (78%) believe that illegal immigrants who are already here and working should be given a chance to become citizens rather than being threatened with deportation. We need comprehensive immigration reform to bring our laws and policies on immigration more into line with how the majority feel the undocumented should be treated.

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