From the Editor

Eduardo Stanley

Congressional Paralysis on Immigration

The only bipartisan outcome in the U.S. Congress is that the immigration situation, including the bizarre status quo at the border with Mexico, continues to be paralyzed.

Immigration occurs throughout the world and basically relates to the economic situation of a given place that forces people to look for work somewhere else. Other causes include wars, social violence and natural catastrophes. It is also an old issue—for centuries, people have migrated seeking a better life or escaping from violence.

Because the economy in the United States is good but not so good in other places, we should expect people will want to come here. At the same time, many people not doing well here migrate somewhere else.

This is the case for thousands of retired Americans trying to get the most of their slim Social Security checks by moving to Mexico and other places such as Thailand and Costa Rica. And, interesting enough, many of these retired migrants are undocumented in those countries.

Recently, there was word that Congress would tackle the issue with the involvement of both parties, until Donald Trump ordered his subordinates on Capitol Hill to stop any potential effort in this regard. That way, Trump can blame Joe Biden for the messy and ugly border status quo. In other words, Trump doesn’t hesitate to use people’s suffering for his political advantage.

Not only is Trump’s attitude disgusting but also that of his subordinates in the Republican Party, who obey his orders without a whisper.

And then we wonder why things barely work in Washington.

The reality is that the United States benefits from immigrants (see “Immigrants Keep the American Economy Afloat”) who come here to work—not to ask for freebees, as many say. Remember that, by law, undocumented immigrants can’t apply for any social assistance.

The argument that immigrants “come here to take advantage” of the United States is false. Most immigrants come here to work, and they pay taxes. However, these undocumented persons can’t apply for any assistance—not unemployment benefits or Social Security when they retire, which seems inhumane because part of the taxes you pay when you work go precisely to your unemployment benefits and to your Social Security.

In short, immigrants work hard, often doing jobs most Americans won’t do, and they subsidize the U.S. economy by not having the right to collect what is theirs.

The border situation is dramatic, and there is no solution in sight, particularly in this electoral period. To what extent can we be optimistic that this situation will change for the better after the election?

Till next month.


  • Eduardo Stanley

    Eduardo Stanley is the editor of the Community Alliance newspaper, a freelance journalist for several Latino media outlets and a Spanish-language radio show host at KFCF in Fresno. He is also a photographer. To learn more about his work, visit

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