Marcus Stern: Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform are certain to welcome any effort by the Obama administration to unilaterally open pathways to citizenship for many currently in the country illegally. But the draft is also sure to outrage immigration-restriction groups.
Mario Solis-Marich: The folks in charge of Democratic political strategies decided last year that immigration should not be a topic in this year’s fall elections. The head in the sand strategy was so pervasively accepted that Democratic controlled state legislatures like Colorado dumped key immigration agenda items in an ill-fated attempt to mute the debate and top Presidential advisors encouraged postponement of immigration reform. As it turns out you can’t easily quiet 14 million families and their friends.
Articles by Diane Lefer, Seth Hoy, Randy Shaw, Ivan Eland, Kenneth Weisbode, Norman Solomon, Ron Wolff, Carl Matthes, Tracy Emblem, Mike Price, Carl Bloice, Andrea Nill, Sylvia Moore, Anthony Samad, Lawrence Wittner, Joseph Palermo, Linda Milazzo, Nea Friberg-Price & Jed Von Dielingen, Dick Price, Georgianne Nienaber, Robert Reich, John MacMurray Charles Hayes, Adam Eran, and Berry Craig.
Seth Hoy: Although Secretary Napolitano trumpeted DHS’s new border initiatives as well as past achievements, she also acknowledged that the border can never be hermetically sealed and that stalling immigration reform by highlighting border security issues is not the answer to our immigration problems.
Andrea Nill: At a recent town hall meeting in Tempe, Arizona, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) announced that President Obama is “holding border security hostage” to immigration reform. Kyl claims that Obama suggested in private that Democrats won’t secure the border because, if they do, Republicans will have no reason to support immigration reform
Randy Shaw: Holding self-identified “progressive” politicians like Barack Obama accountable for fulfilling campaign commitments actually improves the chances for progressive election victories, as it pressures Democrats to satisfy their base. And as the critical midterm elections approach, ensuring this grassroots base is motivated and mobilizable by holding Obama and Congressional Democrats accountable is even more imperative.
Tanya Acker: There are many among that celebrated group of “We the People” who are opposed to the Arizona law but who nonetheless remain deeply troubled by our broken immigration system. I am one of them and, frankly, I do not need to be lectured about the consequences of illegal immigration by Mr. O’Reilly or anyone else.
Seth Hoy: Absurdity takes many forms in the immigration debate. For example, restrictionists have blamed immigrants for everything from global warming and our mortgage crisis to the swine flu epidemic and leprosy. (Where did my other sock go? Immigrants!) But this week, we reach a new level of absurdity—the exploitation of a bi-lingual cartoon character. In a news article published last week, America tackles the age old question, “Is Dora the Explorer an Illegal Immigrant?” Insert. Eye roll. Here.
Andrea Christina Nill: Gordon described a “perfect storm” consisting of three factors. First, the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine radicalized the political discourse. Second, beefed up border security along the California and Texas borders with Mexico redirected smugglers and cartel operatives toward Arizona. And lastly, the economic recession. Gordon explains that “politicians who love their job a lot more than they love their state or their country” exploited the three factors and led Arizona into the predicament it’s in now.
Natalie Davis: Whether the GOP and its militant wing like it or not, they are Teabaggers. Theirs is the Teabag Movement. And this country is in deep trouble if they win. The Teabag Party/GOP oppose equality for women and gays — more than a few have said to me that despite their admiration for gun-totin’ TV star Sarah “Pitbull with Lipstick” Palin, they believe all other women should “get back in the kitchen.”
Mario Solis-Marich: A sore spot among Latinos has long been that America accepts our cultural best while openly vilifying us in general. Salsa has long replaced ketchup as our country’s favorite condiment. Suburbanites love the hard work ethic that is embedded in our cultural DNA and that they so readily hire. Tierra, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Eve Longoria, Raquel Welch, Vicky Carr are loved. Yet these same people are conflated by the media with drug smugglers and terrorists. The disconnect is painfully irritating and quite frankly politically and socially unsustainable.
Articles by Robert Reich, Kevin Lynn, Maro-Solis Marich, Cynthia Loo, John Delloro, Joseph Palermo, Mario Solis-Marich, Andrea Christina Nill, Berry Craig, K. Danielle Edwards, Georgianne Nienaber, Lydia Howell, Linda Milazzo, Tina Dupuy, Jim Fuller, David Love, Michael Sigman, Irene Monroe, Robert Reich, Wendy Block, Tom Degan, Denis Campbell, Charley James and Lulu Demain, Carl Matthes, Kenneth Weisbrode, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Tom Degan, John Delloro, Sikivu Hutchinson, Carl Bloice, Jerry Drucker, Mario Solis-Marich, Ed Rampell, and Tracy Emblem.
Mario Solis-Marich: As the pressure mounts around the country on the police state known as Arizona, eyes turn to Washington for comprehensive immigration reform. Top Senate aides informed me this morning that despite news stories to the contrary, Majority Leader Harry Reid has not backed off of the idea of pursing an immigration bill as the next order of Senate business. The clarification is one that may be too nuanced for some but is an indication of the balancing act the Leader feels he must make to hold the Democratic caucus together while trying to pursue legislative remedies to the huge problems left to fester during the days of the past Republican majority. The clarification however will probably not satisfy the Latino community as the disrespectful sting of the slap in the face delivered by Arizona lingers.
Friday Feedback: I saw a great sign downtown today in the Immigration Reform March, “Jose didn’t take your job — Goldman-Sachs did.” It is time that those who are having a hard time began to show the courage to blame the ones who have really trampled on them: Goldman-Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Chase, Exxon, BP, and the filthy rich who didn’t get that way by doing the work
Tina Dupuy: In fact, everything about SB 1070, Arizona’s new ruthless immigration law signed last week seems refried. It’s the same bill Governor Janet Napolitano vetoed twice. It’s a three-peat of a bad idea. And it’s a political cliché: when the economy is struggling, scapegoat “illegals.” In 1994 California’s then-Governor Pete Wilson knew the drill: His notorious re-election commercials showed immigrants running over the border like invading pathogens and he got to appear responsive to voters’ fears.
Mario Solis-Marich: The arrests led to even more unrest as supporters of the incarcerated youth turned up at the jail and demanded their release. Today passions remain strong as young Latino activists commit to continue to hit the streets demanding national leadership on the immigration issue and a veto of the Arizona State Bill 1070.
Andrea Christina Nill: Though Reid has by no means tabled immigration reform, getting a bill won’t be easy. The legislative calendar is packed and leaves little room for obstacles or distractions. Reid seems confident that he already has 56 votes, but he may be pressed to find the last few supporters he’ll need to get a piece of legislation past cloture. And while his statements seem to have left the prospects for reform unchanged, of more significance might be the fact that Graham was quoted today saying: “immigration is going nowhere this year.”
Andrea Christina Nill: If Obama decides to tackle immigration reform next, some have wondered what the tea party response would be. Interestingly, it may not be an issue for most rank and file tea party members. When asked whether immigration was an issue that motivated how they voted, tea parties responded that it was just as low on their priority list as the average population.
Mario Solis-Marich: Latino voters, long weary of the harshness of the conservative attack on immigration reform, have grown accustomed to GOP games on the issue. However, never has a message been so clearly articulated across the social, cultural, and ethnic divide as the Spanish / English word chosen by the GOP to define itself.
Randy Shaw: One clear impact of the health care victory: a deeply demoralized activist and progressive base has been reenergized. Activists who had lost faith in Obama’s ability to get things done now have evidence that candidate Obama’s “Yes We Can” spirit has not disappeared, a boost in enthusiasm that may have greater short-term significance than the substance of the health care bill.
Randy Shaw: I knew how proud Burton was of his protégé, Nancy Pelosi, but his description of her as a single-minded “bulldog” never jibed with my own perceptions. Until now. Because when the history of the health care reform effort of 2009-10 is written, Speaker Nancy Pelosi deserves chief credit for making it happen.
Friday Feedback: Illegal immigration is the enemy of all workers, regardless of color. An open border and an endlessly enlarging pool of labor brings the value of all labor down. One of the many problems facing the state of California is the LOW WAGES enforced here by an open border. Supply and demand always works in the labor market. Increase the supply and the demand lowers.
David A. Love: The Tea Party movement, a twenty-first-century incarnation of the angry white mob—with corporate backing no less—exploits the fear of the foreigner. They and their cohorts in the anti-immigrant movement stoke the fires of hatred and resentment, among a population hit by recession and searching for the enemy.
Andrea Christina Nill: A study by Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California found that immigration reform would increase California’s “state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run.” A separate study by Raul Hinojosa of the University of California, Los Angeles similarly found that immigration reform which includes a path legalization could generate at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years.
Andrea Christina Nill: Local news outlets are reporting that last week, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio disseminated a stinging letter urging Republican primary voters to support right-wing shock jock and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in his bid for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat.
Andrea Christina Nill: Though Kellar insists his remarks weren’t intended to “express animosity towards non-whites,” local Democrats describe Kellar’s comments as “symbolic of the Republican Party’s attitudes toward immigration in general.” The rally was organized by several California anti-immigrant groups including the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutemen, the Santa Clarita Tea Party, and designated hate group Save Our State.
Randy Shaw: In the Beltway, the Obama Administration frustrated key constituency groups and organizations by failing to push for transformative change. In the world where most people live and work, activists were not deterred by Obama’s inaction and instead seized upon the “Si Se Puede” spirit to build successful campaigns for justice.