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Editorial: Don’t push immigration reform under rug

Thousands young people line up outside Navy Pier August sign up  for chance participate federal program thcould protect them

Thousands of young people line up outside Navy Pier in August to sign up for a chance to participate in a federal program that could protect them from deportation and provide opportunities to work and study legally in the U.S. | John H. White~Sun-Time

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Updated: November 30, 2012 6:09AM

Illegal immigration from Mexico, after declining since 2007, is up again.

Not by much, say researchers from the University of Southern California and a Tijuana university, who can’t give hard numbers.

But, they say, more folks moved north in the first six months of 2012 than back south.

What does this mean?

Anti-immigrant animosities, which had ebbed, are sure to roar back in if the trend continues. And the next president and Congress can’t shove immigration reform to the bottom of the agenda, as has been the case during the Obama administration and before.

The U.S. still needs a sensible and humane path to citizenship for about 6.1 million undocumented Mexican immigrants. “Self-deportation” is a fantasy, especially as the economy picks up.

And we need that Dream Act, which would give permanent residency to about 1.8 million illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children if they serve in the military or go to college.

Immigration reform, contentious as it is, must be a top priority in the new year.

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