Life, Death and Immigration Reform

A family member's cancer bout made this writer see how border wars divert attention from larger issues.

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Perhaps I have the order of business reversed. Maybe picking a big goal first would help end our political gladiator culture. Political compromise can feel like death by paper cut unless there is a bigger vision, something you are compromising on to achieve.

To make room for truly epic battles -- curing cancer only one among them -- we must tackle issues like immigration reform with a solutions-minded approach. I think of Danielle, a girl who gave her all to this world until the end. And I think of the long journey that Dr. Q took to become the man he is, a man who tried to save her.

Theirs are two American stories in one nation, a country that has to stop feuding and start dreaming big again.

Farai Chideya is a distinguished writer in residence at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Institute for Journalism. She is the author of four books and blogs at

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