In the weeks and days leading up to 9/11, comprehensive immigration reform was within grasp. President Bush was spending political capital. Mexico’s President Fox, before becoming the best F-Bomber ever, was fully invested.

The pieces were falling into place. Which means we were *that close* to me advocating for puppies.

Instead …

Two decades later, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, President Bush spoke in Shanksville, PA, about the, “growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within.”

We are at a crossroads.

Is immigration a bridge to…


In January of 1979, after his seminal CBS News special on the Vietnamese boat people fleeing the communist regime, Ed Bradley stood on Ellis Island. He told America, “For us the Vietnam War is over. And, like it or not, we lost that war. But, while there, we sold many of its people a way of life, an attitude. And now they are the losers. And we face moral dilemma.”

In Afghanistan, history is repeating itself.

On February 4, President Biden signed an executive order that included, a “review of the Iraqi and Afghan SIV programs and submit a report…


Today’s edition of Noorani’s Notes pulls together the various Day One immigration actions by President Biden. Subscribe to this daily newsletter here.

Let’s jump into it….

Immigration was a large part of President Biden’s first hours in office. We’ll get to that below.

First, some important new data from our friends at the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). They released a new report today, “Immigration After Trump: What Would Immigration Policy That Followed American Public Opinion Look Like?” …


Four years and one interregnum ago, I wrote that I didn’t believe the 2016 election was about policy or politics. Rather, “It was an election about culture, values and who we are as a country.”

Nearly every single day since January 20, 2017 has been consumed with one action or another attacking immigrants and immigration. The number of times we asked ourselves if things could get worse were only exceeded by the number of times they did.

In that November 9, 2016 note, I asked if you were “in” for the fight we would face.

And, to a person, from…


Today our hearts are with members of Congress and their staffs, law enforcement, journalists and others directly affected by the storming of the U.S. Capitol and other congressional buildings by angry mobs.

Over the last few days, I have been thinking about why immigrants and refugees so want to come to the United States of America. Most of the time, we think it is for better economic opportunities, for a safer life.

As our nation has staggered through this transition period, as authoritarian forces here try to hold on to power, as authoritarians around the world act with greater impunity…


Our most searing points in history are often defined by how we treat children. Particularly children who are alone.

In the last four years, the Trump administration’s separation of children from their parents left an indelible mark. New research we conducted in North Carolina begins to show the extent of family separation’s ripple effects among voters who once identified as evangelical Christians but no longer do.

In a question asking people to prioritize different immigration policy pieces, white former evangelicals rated “reuniting immigrant families separated at the border” most important with, “Ending family separation at the border,” ranking third.

Keep…


Credit: Graphic Studios MH

The longest Tuesday of our lives is over.

We were a divided country in 2016. And, well, we are just as, if not more, divided now.

Even if an election night poll by Public Opinion Strategies found that “The President’s position on immigration was a net negative with voters,” the 2020 election was not a repudiation of Donald Trump’s ideology. While there is sure to be a debate among conservatives as to the direction of the party, Trumpism will define the GOP for the time being — at least until the 2024 Republican nominee for president emerges.

The Washington Post


On the morning of November 9, 2016, I wrote, “[This] was an election about culture, values and who we are as a country.”

2020 is the same. The differences between the candidates’ visions for America could not be clearer.

While at this point, more Americans have voted for change than not, whether or not that leads to a new occupant of the Oval Office, we do not know. As a result, the federal government’s approach to immigration may not change.

What lies ahead is unpredictable and worrisome, on many levels.

On the other hand, looking past the election, there are…


Credit: Brad Greeff

In just three years, the Trump administration has effectively ended asylum in the U.S. as we know it.

People with legitimate fears of violence and persecution are being returned to danger. We are failing to protect children from being trafficked, mistreated, or separated from their families. As the Arizona Republic has reported, the U.S. will begin charging a fee just to apply for asylum. …


Credit: Ponomariova_Maria

Twelve days till the election and what topic is missing from the conversation? Immigration.

Think about where we were four years ago. Candidate Trump would not go a rally, much less a tweetstorm, without vilifying immigrants, refugees and immigration.

Sure, these days Trump breaks out the old tropes from time to time. But something has changed. Turns out his voters aren’t quite as exercised about immigration as he expected.

The Public Religion Research Institute’s new American Values Survey brings the change into stark relief.

In their 2016 American Values Survey, PRRI found that “[n]o issue is viewed by more Americans…

Ali Noorani

President and CEO of National Immigration Forum and America is Better, author of There Goes the Neighborhood, host of the podcast, Only in America.

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