Friday, May 19, 2006

Thankful for Silence by Arcuri and Meier on Immigration

I have written quite a bit during this race about issues that I wish that the candidates would talk more about, but this morning, I want to turn an about face and thank the candidates for not talking about a particular issue: Immigration.

There's a lot of fuss and bother coming out of the White House and Congress about immigration these days, but the fact is that there is no particular immigration crisis. The United States of America is not getting more illegal immigrants than it has in recent decades. There is no new problem with legal immigration either. All that's new is that the Republican Party seems to have found a new way to express its bigotry, with ridiculous White Pride anglocentric campaigns for making it a crime to sing the national anthem in Spanish, though Congress approved a Spanish language version decades ago, and even an insistence coming from a Fox News television personality that non-Hispanics have more babies so that "our" culture doesn't become overwhelmed.

The immigration issue is being played shamelessly to whip up racist fears and hate. It's this year's Willie Horton. So, Michael Arcuri, Ray Meier, and Brad Jones deserve some gratitude for refraining from taking advantage of the raw emotion involved.

I am concerned that, even by bringing the issue of immigration up in this form, the spell will be broken, and one of the Republicans will try to ride the anti-Hispanic pony to victory, but at a time when our President is trying his hardest to distract us all from the terrible offenses against our liberty being committed by his Administration, it's refreshing to live in a refuge from the storm.

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Postscript:

In a sign of the dangerous levels of hate excited by the Republicans' anti-immigrant crusade, the United States Senate joined the House of Representatives yesterday in voting to approve a law that makes English the only official language of the United States, and authorizes the refusal of government services to people, even American citizens, who do not speak English.

This kind of ethnic-based nationalism is frighteningly reminiscent of the rhetoric of the Nazis and Fascists. It should have no place in American government.

5 comments:

Biggus Dickus said...

Silence?

If anything, the 24th district should be at the forefront of the national immigration debate because of our unique demographics and experience.

We're blessed with having one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the entire nation.

We have a higher per capita rate of immigrant business ownership than 99% of the country.

We're home to thriving communities of immigrants from Somalia, India, Vietnam, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Russia. We have one of, if not *the*, largest Bosnian communities outside Bosnia itself.

Sweet Jebus John, we're cited by the United Nations as a shining example of immigration and re-settlement in action.

And you're "thankful for silence"?

We're the proof of why immigration works and how important it is to this country. For us *not* to weigh in is a shameful rejection of our responsibility to our immigrant population and the nation as a whole.

Your friend forever,
Biggus Dickus

Anonymous said...

Well, Biggus, then you and I seem to disagree on tactics, if not on the issue itself.

I don't trust a political election debate to elevate this issue. Both candidates are going to try to get elected, and it would be a rare politician to choose what's right over what's convenient.

I also think that, if the candidates were to accept immigration as an important campaign issue, they would be inadvertently accepting the frame of immigration in crisis - which it's not.

So, right now, I think that silence is one of the best ways to keep this particular congressional campaign clean of the anti-immigrant, and specifically anti-Hispanic, hate that is sweeping much of the rest of the nation. I'm thankful for the candidates' silence on this subject because, right now, the topic of immigration is being used as a way to appeal to the worst aspects of voters' natures. I still have some hope that people will realize that they are being toyed with, and will simply walk away from the issue until it calms down to a more rational level.

If things continue to get much worse though, you're right - our candidates would have to speak out. I'm just concerned about the right timing. Yesterday's action in the senate brings us that much closer to a cultural crisis (of Anglo making) that cannot be avoided.

Anonymous said...

Ray Meier hasn't been all that silent on immigration. Here's what he told an interviewer from the conservative magazine Human Events:

Immigration Reform: Borrowing the title of Rep. J.D. Hayworth’s (R.-Ariz.) new book, Meier said Congress must do “whatever it takes” to gain control of the border. While he wouldn’t commit to building a fence, he also wouldn’t rule out some sort of physical structure. He supports the deployment of additional Border Patrol agents to the U.S.-Mexico border. As a lawmaker who represents a large population of immigrations from Bosnia and Eastern Europe, he said it’s highly unfair to legal immigrants when people enter the country illegally.

Read the whole thing at:

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/blog-detail.php?id=13436

Anonymous said...

The Neocons actually have a magazine called HUMAN Events? Unbelievable. Maybe it was a typo and they mean Inhuman Events? I get the publisher is one of those "compassionate conservatives".

Anonymous said...

Biggus, we are home to one of the largest LEGAL Immigrant populations.