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Yo No Say; You Don’t Either


As a life-long Democrat there is almost nothing that gives greater political pleasure than watching members of Republican Party fight amongst themselves. That the issue is immigration – the issue of our time, really – up pleasure to, well, almost fascination. We got some politicking going on here and ya know what? I think a lot has been missed in this conversation. In itself, that’s fascinating.

I am no immigration policy expert. I read Marc Cooper and think he’s right. And I think the White Boy politics of guys like Mickey Kaus and Bill Bradley is sadly misplaced. I live in California; it doesn’t bother me that I will soon live in a country that is not predominantly white or European. I figure if folks really believe all that stuff about the U.S. Constitution being a flexible document and democracy an enduring philosophy that can withstand tremendous social and economic change as well as sustained criticism, then well, we’re gonna be okay as a country and as a society. It’s the faith in the document, not the paper, that binds us as a society and when people peacefully exercise their right to free assembly, they’ve clearly gotten the memo. Too bad Mickey and Bill are still reading the English-only version.

But still, I got a question for all you Democrats out there; all you big strategy thinkers who are contemplating a Congressional upset of the Republicans next fall. How come no one is playing immigration as a family issue – an issue of importance to women and children first – in this debate? Because if you look closely, as people are starting to do, that’s one massively over-looked aspect to this conversation. One that our Republican friends get in big way. Republicans – and President Bush is dying to look like a moderate these days – may take the Democrats here.

Could it be because Democratic Party politics is still run by white guys? The family, women and children message had to be pounded home to Anglo Big Media outfits by high school students in LA who started the protests. Now, I thought both political parties were falling all over themselves to capture the Latino and Hispanic vote. So you’d think Democrats would have glomed on to this, no? So wat happened? How come – as white man Keith Olberman said to fellow-East Coast white man Howard Fineman last night on the TV – no one saw the mass protests by hundreds of thousands of people coming? Shouldn’t someone like Hillary Rodham Clinton or John Edwards been out there saying “Hola”?

Keith, he may know beisboll but he ain’t watching Univision where today’s headline – and my Spanish stinks – says “Plan Gives Hopes to Milllions.” So I think the answer may well be the oldest of all time: We don’t speak the language, read the papers or listen to the right radio stations.

The concern in immigration communities about families being separated – about parents being turned into criminals – is real and true. And it is profoundly unfair. It’s unfair to parents, many of whom are working hard to stay here, to stay within the law and to become productive members of this society and who have come here for the same reason my grandparents came: To have a better life for their children. The current situation is profoundly unfair to children – who could be forced to repatriate to countries where they are strangers or to remain here, where they are legal residents even if their parents aren’t, in their own childish care or the care of strangers. Tell me who benefits from this insistence on enforcing, in retrospect, a law we winked at as inexpensive labor moved across the border? No one. Not a single person.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 2:07 PM | Permalink

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