Most Americans - from the Obama family in the White House to my little family in Texas - will get a much-deserved break from work on Thanksgiving Day. But millions of others won't. Wal-Mart, Target, Macy's, Radio Shack, and other retailers are also requiring their low-paid workers to put in a shift.
On November 20th, President Obama finally announced his plan to fix the country's dysfunctional immigration system. After the disastrous midterm election defeat, the administration started to make quick executive moves on critical issues, such as climate change and net neutrality. Based on corporate media's relentless effort to sensationalize the administration's swift actions, it seemed as though the Obama administration would also make a "Big Move" on immigration. Nonetheless, once the official announcement was made, his plan was a hollow branding effort, just like his presidency.
Under the new plan, it is estimated that about 5 million out of 11.5 million undocumented immigrants will receive temporary relief. It is great that 5 million folks will be relieved from the fear of deportation. However, his plan rather shamelessly revealed the administration and his party's honest views toward undocumented immigrants.
Over the many years I have been involved working within the Arab American community, I have had to contend with a range of myths and misunderstandings about both the nature and composition of the community as well as their attitudes toward major issues of concern facing the United States.
On the one hand, we have engaged in demographic work to better know who we are, where we come from, and where we are living in the US today. Our first major effort, in this regard, was "Arab America Today" a wonderful book, based on US census data, written in 1990 by my brother, John Zogby. At the same time, since 1996 we have conducted a biannual poll of Arab American voters in order to better understand not only how the community votes in elections but how they self-identify personally and politically and how they see the issues facing the country.