Passage of comprehensive immigration reform is not imminent and the DREAM Act still does not have a real chance of being approved anytime soon, although we wish.
But there have been some minor yet encouraging victories.
One that has given a sense of real satisfaction to the many who have suffered abuse and discrimination at his hands has to do with the infamous Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff" has been ordered to pay Julián and Julio Mora, two Mexican men, $200,000 in a racial profiling case. Arpaio's deputies had detained the pair for three hours after stopping their pickup truck outside a landscaping company in February 2009.
But this time Arpaio's shenanigans carried an expensive price tag for Arizona taxpayers. A federal judge determined there was no probable cause to stop the men and they were entitled to monetary compensation. Chalk one up for the good guys.
The second piece of good news also comes by way of Arizona. This November, Russell Pearce, president of the Arizona state Senate and the main sponsor of the state's racist anti-immigrant SB1070 law, will face a recall election. Pearce is the first state legislator to face such an election.
A grass-roots effort spearheaded by people appalled by Pearce's extreme anti-immigration stance, collected enough valid signatures from registered voters to force a special election. It would be great if Pearce was sent packing in November.
The third and perhaps most significant of these victories happened in Manhattan Federal Court. A judge ruled yesterday that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement must release documents explaining why they have misled state governments and the public about the federal Secure Communities program.
"While the Obama administration boasts of the Secure Communities program to win political points with Republicans, it has kept actual policy details nearly secret from Congress, state partners and the American public. Thankfully, federal courts, not ICE, get the last word," said Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
NDLON, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Cardozo Law School Immigration Justice Clinic were the plaintiffs in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against ICE, Homeland Security and the FBI.
Promoted by DHS as a tool to catch and deport undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes, the agency's own statistics show that more than 60% of those deported under the program were involved in low-level offenses.
The program currently operates in almost 1,400 jurisdictions in 43 states and is set for expansion nationwide.
Gov. Cuomo last month pulled the state from the deportation program, following Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn who had done the same weeks before. Days after Cuomo's decision Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick took the same courageous step.
"As we've seen in states and localities across the country, the more the public learns about Secure Communities, the more they say 'no thank you' to its implementation," Alvarado said.
No, immigration reform is not about to be approved, but at a time when hostility and prejudice are the immigrants' daily bread, these small victories are a welcome source of encouragement.