Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

February 3, 2013

Locals glad to see movement toward immigration reform

GOSHEN — When President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of Senators announced last week they have proposals on immigration reform, many Goshen residents were instantly interested.

One such person, Goshen immigration lawyer Thushanti Kamalakanth, said she sees a lot of potential in the plans being proposed by the president and the Gang of Eight, but acknowledged that the plans are still very much a work in progress.

“I think that done well and done together, these four elements, the key components of their plans, they will result in an immigration system that is orderly and humane,” Kamalakanth said. “It is not that detailed at this point, but it does talk about how immigrants who are already here will have some hope and some pathway to citizenship. It’s not going to be easy at all — it’s not an amnesty — but at least there is some plan so that the illegals here are able to work their way to citizenship.”

Kamalakanth was quick to note that she does not feel passage of any such reform plan will happen overnight, and encouraged those with a vested interest in the reform to be patient.

“If people are thinking comprehensive immigration reform is going to happen overnight, it’s not,” Kamalakanth said. “Will it happen within the next two years? Most probably. Within the next two months? I don’t think so. But what’s encouraging is that on both sides of the isle, the one thing they seem to be able to agree on is that we do have a broken system in terms of immigration. So I’m excited just from the fact that the conversation is getting started.”

Also feeling good about the proposed plans is Gilberto Perez Jr., an associate professor of Social Work at Goshen College and founder of Bienvenido, a program for newly arrived Latino immigrants offering resources in health, education and quality of life.

“I would affirm the direction the president and the senators are taking the proposal,” Perez said. “I think that there’s a need to have policies that prioritize human rights and labor rights and access to health care, and I think giving people access to legal status moves us in that direction.

“I’m not totally gleeful, but I am encouraged, because there’s a long road ahead for the senators and the president and the House of Representatives to come together on a comprehensive immigration law. But I think there’s hope.”

Like Kamalakanth, Perez said he feels strongly that at least some form of the proposed immigration reform plan will make it through, due in large part to the growing realization by Republicans that they need to be more immigrant-friendly if they hope to get elected in the future.

“I think the electorate this past November, the Latino electorate, sent a strong message to the president and the country that we want to be heard,” Perez said. “I think we’ve quickly seen how Republicans and Democrats started talking to each other a little more after seeing how a majority of Latinos voted. I think the decision by Latinos to get to the polls has really helped bring this topic to the forefront, so I think there is a strong sense of wanting to get this reform passed.”

Bob Schrameyer, Goshen resident and head of the group Citizens for Immigration Law Enforcement (CILE), isn’t quite so sure.

“It’s probably going to be a moot point down the road, because unless the border is secured, there’s not going to be any support in Congress, at least not from the House,” Schrameyer said. “And from what I’m hearing, Obama isn’t very keen on doing much more to secure the border. So unless that’s a part of it, I don’t think they’ll ever get any legislation passed.”

For his part, Schrameyer said he agrees with the call to toughen up on employers hiring undocumented immigrants. He even said he’d be OK with a path to citizenship for those undocumented immigrants already in the country. What he won’t support, he said, is an amnesty.

“I guess I could live with a pathway to citizenship, but it’s not going to fly to just give these 10 to 15 million illegals some sort of an amnesty program,” Schrameyer said. “There’s no easy solution to this thing. But again, the amnesty is really a no-no. I think a pathway to citizenship, yes, but the border has to be secured and they really need to crack down on employers. The starting point should really be border security. Everything else is secondary.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014

  • Akela.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Available cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These loving animals are looking for permanent homes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0423 BC IN Common Core Indiana panel approves new school standards

    A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this fall.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The week in photos

    April 22, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers