Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Immigration: Strange bedfellows

Secretly, I was counting on the xenophobes across America to bring down this crappy immigration bill. And it worked!

I know it's a bad thing to want that, despite the bill being worse than the current untenable situation. Because the danger of this is that when we do try to pass some more proactive, beneficial legislation after the 08 elections, we will encounter a stronger, more unified anti-immigrant voice. I blame Lou Dobbs for harnessing and riding this sentiment to higher ratings, and amplifying it, but I suspect that the next immigrant rights rally I go to will have more than a few straggling haters (despite the implosion of the press-whoring anti-immigrant group the Minutemen' over inflated egos and embezzlement. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of fellows, really.)

If the Sensenbrenner bill served to unify the immigrant rights movement across America, this year served as a galvanizing force for our opponents. Some of these people may actually support legal immigration versus undocumented immigration, but too often it's a throwaway line, a talking point, to conceal their real desire to drive all us people out as discussed in the NYTimes' article Grassroots Roared and Immigration Plan Collapsed:
“These people came in the wrong way, so they don’t belong here, period,” Mrs. Thibodeaux, a Republican, said of some 12 million illegal immigrants who would have been granted a path to citizenship under the Senate bill.
One of these days, that headline is going to be "Grassroots Roared and Immigration is Finally Just." The NYTimes poll showed that a majority of Americans do support immigration reform and a path to citizenship, so I have faith that one day we will overcome. One day as well, we'll get an article about Asian American clout nationally and politicians hounding us not just for our money but our votes, but meanwhile I'm glad for my Latino companions in the movement.

And the NYTimes confirms my earlier suspicions that Reid was skillfully driving a wedge in the GOP's base.
The office of Mr. Reid, who had emphatically sought to hold Republicans accountable for sabotaging a presidential priority, distributed a document titled “Republicans Brought Down the Immigration Bill.”

It listed news reports and Republican statements that put the onus on the president’s party. “Last night, Republicans torpedoed comprehensive immigration reform,” the statement said.

Republicans fired back, saying Mr. Reid never embraced the bill and had, rather skillfully in some people’s opinion, set up Republicans to take the fall.

Howdya like Dem apples? Yums!

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