SAN FRANCISCO -- Recently, in front a packed crowd at Duke University, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice regretted the failure of passing the comprehensive immigration reform act and the shift in Americans' attitude toward immigrants.
Accepting and welcoming immigrants "has been at the core of our strength," she said. "I don't know when immigrants became the enemy."
These days it is refreshing, if rare, to hear someone of Rice's stature to speak on behalf of immigrants. Over the last few years the public discourse has been shrill and, if anything, media coverage seems to stoke anxiety to an unprecedented level.
Instead of a larger narrative on immigration -- from culture to economics, from identity to history -- what we have now is a public mindset of us versus them, and an overall anti immigrant climate that is both troubling and morally reprehensible.
America's difficult love story
Yet I often see the story of immigration in America as a kind of difficult love story.