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Why Immigration Reform is a Progressive Game Changer

Source: The Nation

For decades, progressives and Democrats have searched in vain for a wedge issue to call their own, something that could match the success Republicans have had in using race, abortion and homosexuality to split the electorate. Yet unable even to leverage environmental catastrophe, drastic economic inequality and near global financial collapse to their advantage, Democrats have instead mastered trimming and triangulating, accepting much of the conservative agenda while promising to implement it more effectively. But if Democrats could overcome their shortsightedness and embrace immigrants’ rights—as passionately as Republicans mobilize around tax cuts, fetuses and war—they may find the holy grail they’ve been looking for, one with the power to transform domestic and foreign policy. Here are nine reasons immigration reform, especially legislation that will grant citizenship to the millions of undocumented Latinos, is a progressive game changer: read more

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Colombia: Uribe’s Parting Shot

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

The rupture of diplomatic relations between Venezuela and Colombia after a special session of the Organization of American States (OAS) on July 22 marks increased animosity between the outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez.

The dispute between the two bombastic leaders from opposite political poles is nothing new. What creates the drama — and the possibilities — of this new turn of events is the backdrop.

Uribe is a lame duck, ever since being denied a constitutional amendment to run for a third term. His successor, Juan Manuel Santos, will take office on August 7. Santos’ inauguration marks the end of the eight-year reign of Uribe, whose military strategies to counter drug runners and guerrilla groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) have been backed by the U.S. government to the tune of some $7 billion dollars. While leading to some advances in reducing assassinations and kidnappings in Colombia, these strategies failed to achieve peace, and the Colombian conflict continues to take lives and cause tension throughout the region. read more