This is a blog about appeals, and ordinarily, I examine appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and in the federal courts and the Supreme Court.

Today, I write about an appeal to those in another branch of government  - Senator Schumer and the Gang of 8.  It's no secret that comprehensive reform of our immigration laws presents both an enormous challenge and an unique opportunity in relation to  economic, social and humanitarian conditions in the United States.  And the initial reform proposal is expected any day. 

In anticipation of the announcement, hundreds of thousands of citizens, residents and immigrants have placed their hopes in an appeal to Senator Schumer to ensure that families are permitted to remain together and that the harsh and damaging pattern of family separation, leaving children without one or more of their parents, will finally come to an end.  

Even more, all over the country voices are raised in an urgent,  heartfelt, humanitarian appeal to Senator Schumer to ensure that any proposal  unequivocally puts an end to the inhumane treatment of non-citizens in detention, namely, the arbitrary and deleterious use of  solitary confinement in immigration detention facilities. Such punitive treatment of civil detainees is only the tip of the ICEburg in a failed detention system that must be thoroughly reformed in favor of alternatives to detention and the discretionary evaluation of each individual with respect to whether he poses any threat to public safety, as well as arrangement for competent legal representation for most detainees.

The current state of our immigration laws - both in content and the manner in which they are implemented - cries out for change and improvement. And none more so than those aspects related to the safety, family and liberty of those within our borders. Safety concerns are receiving more than enough attention in the context of improving border security. Now it is time to step up for our family and humanitarian values.