Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Romney label by Arizona’s Russell Pearce could be damaging

Russell Pearce & AZ Gov. Jan Brewer
You remember Russell Pearce.  Arizona’s resident bigoted and racist state senator until the people of his district threw him out of office in disgrace recently for his extremist views.  Pals with the state’s best known racist and neo-Nazi, J.T. ready.  Pseudo-author of Arizona’s famous anti-immigration law.  Yes, this is the one, and now he has another notch on his gun.  He has placed GOP presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, in his despicable category.

Russell Pearce said that he and Romney have “identical” views on immigration.  For some, most specifically Hispanics, that is the kiss of death for the candidate.  Democrats have already jumped on the bandwagon to make Romney look like an extremist in his quest to unseat President Obama.  Although I am firmly behind the President, I’m not sure Mitt Romney is that much of a fanatic, although he may eventually have to be in order to enlist Tea Party support.

Romney’s campaign website “outlines an immigration policy that calls for securing the border by completing a high-tech fence and hiring border patrol agents. He also said he supports E-Verify and opposes ‘magnets’ for illegal immigration, such as amnesty programs and in-state tuition for people in this country illegally,” according to Cronkite News. 

But Pearce does claim that “…much of his {Romney’s} policy was modeled – by people who I’ve worked with – after my legislation.”

Mitt Romney on immigration

U.S. representatives Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, along with Charlie Gonzalez of Texas and Xavier Becerra of California comment that “Romney has allied himself with Pearce, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former California Gov. Pete Wilson and other backers of stringent laws against undocumented immigrants.”  This is all followed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s endorsement of Romney back in February that just adds fuel to the anti-immigration fire.

Looking at President Obama’s position on immigration reform, there appears to be no change from his State of the Union speech in 2011 and 2012.  But there are also no bold moves to advance an aggressive agenda on the issue.  Lots of talk and no action.  This is what the Hispanic community is looking at, plus the fact that Obama is setting records on deportation.  However, the one real plus in the president’s corner is the mud-slinging against Hispanics by the GOP.

GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich makes Obama's case:

Here are the President’s remarks on immigration in 2011:

Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet they live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us.

It makes no sense.

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. And I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult. I know it will take time. But tonight, let's agree to make that effort. And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, who could be further enriching this nation.

And then in 2012:

Let's also remember that hundreds of thousands of talented, hardworking students in this country face another challenge: The fact that they aren’t yet American citizens. Many were brought here as small children, are American through and through, yet they live every day with the threat of deportation. Others came more recently, to study business and science and engineering, but as soon as they get their degree, we send them home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else.

That doesn't make sense.

I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. That’s why my Administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That’s why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office.
The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away.

Barack Obama speaking to latinos

Very similar, but in 2012 condescending to the fact that the upcoming election will prevent real reform while making another pitch for the Dream Act.  Giving in to election year realities is expected these days but there is no excuse for the fact that nothing was started in the last 3-plus years.  A real shocker would be for Obama to propose and push his immigration plan right up to November showing the forcefulness he needs to exhibit, in the process locking the Hispanic vote.

Hind-sight is always 20/20, but I have always thought the President should have tackled immigration reform before health care, but, then, that is probably the reason I am not a White House advisor.

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