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Aftermath: Shootings at Binghamton, NY Immigration Center

In the wake of yesterday’s shooting, some of the readers here, may be wondering how this affects the grand scheme of immigration policy. After all, the shooting was by an immigration at an immigration center. Note: If you did not follow the developing story yesterday, you can read the details in the following CNN Article from April 04, 2009.

The incident has escalated to a nationwide story, now seemingly representing greater issues like gun control and immigration policy.

My belief is that we can only learn what the short-term and long-term effect will be once law makers begin to shape the motivation behind the massacre. Currently, law enforcement officials are still speculating, and no one is certain that we’ll ever know.

According to the New York Times:

As the city of Binghamton, N.Y., grappled with the loss of 14 lives in Friday’s massacre at an immigrant services center, the city’s mayor and police chief on Saturday offered reasons why the man went on a rampage before turning the gun on himself.

Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said the suspect, a 42-year-old Vietnamese immigrant identified as Jiverly Wong, was “depressed after recently losing a job,” the chief said on NBC’s Today Show. “He spoke very little or no English and he was upset that people degraded and disrespected him for that reason.”

So, what does this mean for immigration policy? Will visas be put on hold? Will there be stricter screening of immigrants? Will immigration law finally become a functional system where everybody who deserves to win, does (before being led to insanity)?

Personally, my thoughts are that incidences like this illustrate the volatility involved at the heart of the immigration debate. Perhaps, this was the powder keg needed to ignite the immigration reform debates that I mentioned in my post on the Immigration Highlights yesterday. If lawmakers seize the Beinghamton incident as an impetus for changing immigration policy, then we may see some changes yet (in the long term). However, I, personally, do not think that we will see immediate changes in visa processing. Unfortunately, there is no way to know or confirm this. Do you agree? What are your thoughts?

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  1. AK4-7
    April 4th, 2009 at 17:56 | #1

    I read an article in the LA Times where I saw something that looked like it related to your post, Arshil.

    “Ali Noorani — executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a pro-immigrant advocacy group in Washington, D.C. — said he urged people to resist using the shooting for political purposes in the immigration debate. Any workplace shooting is horrific, he said, but this was especially tragic because it occurred at a place that gives hope to newcomers to the country.

    “This is truly an American tragedy in that these were people who were looking to become the newest of our American communities,” Noorani said. “So many people come to this country fleeing persecution or violence, and here they were studying to become citizens — only to become victims of violence.”” The link is: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-binghamton-shooting-hosta-2009apr04,0,956695.story?page=2

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