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I am a political scientist by training but at heart I am a change maker with an insatiable drive to correct the injustices that plague Nigeria.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Republican Presidential Candidates Clueless On Immigration?

Ahhh and so we find ourselves in the midst of another presidential election season. We are only in the beginning of another round of debates, ads, grandstanding and mudslinging from both sides of the aisle. As with every election year immigration is proving to be a hot button issue this year.
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One of the frustrating pieces to me about the candidates is that they are only talking about illegal immigration. This, as many of you know, is only one section of the immigration “problem”, “issue”, “nightmare”. Where do the candidates stand on the issue of legal immigration? We need to extend our conversations beyond “a path to citizenship” and “the need to build fences.” How do we work to reform the immigration process for all seeking to become citizens of the US?

While the problems that exist in the current immigration system far exceed the time and space needed for us to discuss them, I do believe that we can find common agreement on the fact that our systems in place are not working. There are not checks and balances in the immigration process or system. There is not a clear cut direction or guidance for immigration cases. While it is very unfortunate, the current reality is that each case is decided upon by the officer in charge of that case. This makes for discrepancies at best.

Please join me in pressing our candidates to outline a comprehensive plan for immigration reform. This plan needs to go beyond the issues of “border crossing” and “stolen work papers.” We need to hear not only how are we going to ensure that our borders are safe but how are we going to reform the system in order to deal with the current problems as well as have a clear cut direction on immigration.

We need to force our candidates to come out with specific, well-thought out, actionable plans with timelines. Please join me in telling our candidates that it is no longer okay to issue blanket statements about immigration. We need to hear their plans for immigration reform for both illegal immigrants as well as legal immigrants seeking a lawful status adjustment.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Minnesota Marriage amendment 2012

Minnesota has joined many states that have decided to limit an individual’s ability to receive the same benefits that married heterosexual couples are entitled to. On the ballot in November Minnesotans will vote whether to limit the definition of marriage to be solely between a man and a woman.

The Catholic Church has forcefully taken a very public stand on this issue. They are urging Minnesotans to vote for the amendment. It is rather concerning that in this case a separation of church and state doesn’t seem to apply.

While I understand that some have moral beliefs regarding the sanctity of marriage, I ask fellow heterosexual couples, how would you feel if you were denied benefits based upon who you chose to marry? How would you feel if you were denied benefits because you married someone of a different race, someone of a different faith, or someone from a different culture?

I believe that we need to stop denying individuals rights to health insurance and benefits in the case of their spouses’ death simply based on the gender of the two people that are married. This argument is not about morals but rather is about rights.

Am I the only one that is seeing the Catholic Church as a bit “hypocritical” given the scandals that continue to rock the Catholic Church. Perhaps they have bigger battles to fight.