Monday, April 26, 2010

Sanctuary Nation: The Left's Fight for Amnesty

Sanctuary Nation: The Left's Fight for Amnesty
Monday, April 26, 2010
Posted by: Chris Field at 12:42 PM

The Obama administration and Democratic Congress's hardcore progressive base is demanding that the liberal-dominated government get to work on its promise of immigration "reform."

And judging by the rhetoric and movements of the Democrats, it looks like that's their plan.

While the timing of the fight has been in question -- though it's now looking more and more imminent -- there should be no doubt that the pro-amnesty Left is preparing for the open-borders battle royal.

After months of sitting on the sidelines of the health care debate, immigration advocates brought their message directly to Washington. … [T]ens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters descended on the nation’s capital to participate in the pro-amnesty “March for America.” While the House of Representatives wound down the final votes on ObamaCare, liberal activists paraded around the National Mall wielding signs that read, “No Human Being Is Illegal” and “We Work for America.” Their message for President Obama and his colleagues in Congress was clear: We want amnesty, and we want it now. […]

The rally’s list of participants reads like a who’s who of the Left’s heavy hitters: National Council of La Raza; NAACP; SEIU; Southern Poverty Law Center; AFLCIO; National Urban League; ACORN; National Education Association; Code Pink; George Soros’ Center for American Progress and many more. […]

It is no coincidence that groups on the Left are growing more and more anxious about pushing through their plans for “comprehensive” reform as the close of the 111th Congress draws nearer. The electoral support of liberal, pro-amnesty groups such as the National Council of La Raza and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is key to Democrats’ electoral success. These groups were ardent supporters of Obama’s health care overhaul legislation, and now their leaders are weighing in on immigration reform.

Groups such as SEIU know a plan for amnesty translates into millions of new votes for liberal causes and candidates that union leadership fervently support. In June 2009, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina told a crowd of progressives gathered for the America’s Future Now! conference that the Left’s battle for immigration reform is a battle for political power. “When they voted in November, they voted overwhelmingly for progressive candidates,” Medina said, referring to Latino voters. “Barack Obama got two out of every three voters that showed up.”

Medina, a long-time union heavyweight, has been honored by Chicago’s Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for his ongoing work for progressive immigration reform and became an honorary DSA chairman in 2004. He has been advising Barack Obama on immigration policy since 2008 when he joined Obama’s National Latino Advisory Council.

“I think there’s two things [sic] that matter for the progressive community,” he continued. “No. 1, if we are to expand this electorate to win, the progressive community needs to solidly be on the side of immigrants, that we’ll expand and solidify the progressive coalition for the future. … No. 2, we reform the immigration laws, it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters … if we have 8 million new voters who … will be voting, we will be creating a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”

Not only would a new policy of amnesty mean bigger support for the Left’s political causes, but as vice president of the radical SEIU, Medina knows his union also stands to drastically expand its dues-paying membership.

Obama and his progressive colleagues know that liberal immigration reform would be strategically advantageous for the Left’s political future and have worked for more than two decades to secure an easy path to citizenship for America’s growing number of illegal aliens. The Congressional Progressive Caucus added “earned amnesty for illegal immigrants” to its list of top priorities in 2006. That same year, Obama’s strongly pro-union secretary of labor, Hilda Solis, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote in The Nation: “It is time to implement a plan that grants legal status to hardworking and taxpaying immigrant workers already established in this country.”

In remarks delivered in July 2008, then-candidate Obama announced to a crowd of La Raza supporters, “Make no mistake about it—the Latino community holds this election in your hands. … I know how powerful this community is. Together, we won’t just win an election; we will transform this nation.”
Border Crossing
Rich Galen
Monday, April 26, 2010

Back in the good old days, Social Security held the title of "the third rail of politics." Anyone who dared bring it up was certain to start an argument they weren't going to win.

Now, it's immigration. Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law a bill which, according to Reuters

Requires police to determine whether people are in the country legally and to question them if there is suspicion they're not. It also forces immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times.

The law, SB1070, makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork and forbids local cities and counties from passing laws which would, in effect, form sanctuary cities by forbidding their local police to enforce the law.

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune the Mexican government issued a statement over the weekend saying it would "all available means in supporting its citizens."

"The Presidency of the Republic reiterates its absolute commitment to the protection of the human rights and dignity of all Mexicans abroad, independent of their immigration situation," the statement said.

At first blush, most Americans would, and should, cringe at a law which brings to mind images of a 1930's German soldier demanding "papers" of civilians going about their normal business.

On the other hand, Arizona is ground zero for illegal immigration with (depending upon which report you read) between 450,000 and 650,000 illegal immigrants in that state. The 2010 census will not help define that number any more closely because illegal aliens are not likely to have filled out and sent back their census form.

Hispanics have become an important voting bloc for Democrats and, with Democrats' mid-term electoral fortunes continuing to fade, using the Arizona law as a launching pad for a major registration and turn-out effort in November makes good political sense.

To that end, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) and President Obama have apparently decided to shove aside important climate change/energy legislation which was to have been introduced today by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in favor of turning the nation's attention to what they consider to be a more politically favorable immigration debate.

Senator Reid is in a difficult re-election bid in Nevada and there is a significant effort to raise the level of Hispanic participation on his behalf. A Washington, DC based group, The Hispanic Project is leading that effort. According to The Hispanic Project's announcement, Nevada

"was one of three competitive states, (along with New Mexico and Colorado), with the largest percentage increase of Hispanic voters from 2004 to 2008. In 2004 Hispanic voters were 10 percent of all Nevada voters. By 2008 they comprised 15 percent of the vote."
The group intends to target the "estimated 70,000 unregistered [but] eligible Hispanic voters" to get them out to vote in November.

Indeed, the reporter who covers climate and energy issues for the Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin wrote in her piece about the collapse of the climate bill this morning that Reid "sees immigration reform as more essential than energy to his reelection bid."

One of the issues about immigration which should be discussed is its effect on our unemployment situation. When unemployment was below 4 percent - effectively full employment - we needed people to do the work. But, with unemployment at 9.7 percent, shouldn't we be looking for ways to get people who are here legally into the jobs now held by people who are not supposed to be here at all?

So, by putting off - perhaps until the next Congress - meaningful legislation which might have led to reducing our dependence on foreign oil, in favor of legislation which may maintain our dependence on foreign workers Harry Reid and Barack Obama have chosen convenient politics over good policy.

That is a border they should not have crossed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First of all - Obama and the Democrats don't care about illegal aliens, they only care about their votes. They only care about staying in power. This is a last ditch attempt to gain votes for the 2010 elections. All it will accomplish is to anger more voters. Do we really want to be the United States of Mexico? The "We Are The World" Democrats sure want to be.