The portents were plentiful, reaching back 30 years. Yet none but a clairvoyant could have predicted the aftermath on June 15, 1982 when the Supreme Court in Plyler v. Doe provided undocumented children with a guarantee of education through high school. Three decades to the day, a mixed-race president (whose Kenyan father was hounded out of the

cuffs.jpgAn essay in today’s New York Times, “Unexceptionalism:  A Primer,” by the novelist, E. L. Doctorow, describes in four “phases” how America can take steps to become unexceptional, that is, “indistinguishable from the impoverished, traditionally undemocratic, brutal or catatonic countries in the world.” 

Phase one begins with Bush v. Gore

Luis Gutierrez and Angelo Paparelli.JPGLast week I ventured into an alternate reality. Like the child, Alice, descending through the rabbit hole, I engaged on immigration with Executive-Branch officials, immigration lawyers, members of Congress, including the indefatigable champion of immigration reform, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, their staffs, and a group of 7th and 8th graders advocating on the Hill for passage

From the first prehistoric evenings sitting around campfires, humans have been telling stories. Heroic myths, fairy-tale fables, oral histories — all have been seared into heart and memory through the power of narrative. Civil and criminal trials are merely stylized forms of storytelling.  Journalism’s hook, theatre’s Sturm und Drang, reality television’s sour and sweet confections —

President Obama had a macho moment this week when he suggested, rhetorically, a poll of ghosts. “Ask Osama Bin Laden” and the “22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field,” he proposed, “whether I engage in appeasement.”  The storied bugaboo of foreign-policy appeasement, best typified by the flaccidity of British Prime

Magnet.jpgThe recent CNN GOP debate on foreign policy surprised many for what it included and excluded.  Amazingly, nothing was said of the European debt crisis that threatens to create severe financial blowback in America.  The surprise by inclusion came from Republican flavor of the month, Newt Gingrich, who responded to a domestic policy question on immigration

help wanted 2.jpgWith all the political hoo-ha about the need to prevent rascally businesses from employing unauthorized workers intentionally, the public ought not be faulted for assuming that the concept of “employment” under immigration law is clearly defined.  Sad to say, but the assumers give life to the maxim that when we consider facts not in evidence

Today, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist savagery of September 11, 2001, the nation pauses to remember the fallen and reflect on how our country has changed in the decade past.  PBS and The New Yorker offer worthy contemplations on the changes since 9/11 and today, and two immigration lawyers, Cyrus Mehta and Jonathan Montag

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Tool Belt.jpgThe dog days of August are behind us, yet the economic doldrums persist.  Unemployment remains unchanged and unacceptably high at 9.1%. The White House forecasts that it will stay there through the New Year and then likely drop only a tenth of a percentage point for all of 2012. 

Congress returns this week to Washington. Vituperation