The fight for immigration reform goes on in the name of Ted Kennedy

LatinaLista — Since Senator Ted Kennedy’s death, advocates, editorial cartoonists, commentators and politicians have tried to turn the contentious debate over healthcare and immigration reform by proposing that Congress work extra hard to pass both bills in tribute of Sen. Kennedy’s devotion to each issue.

Editorial cartoon contrasts two tributes to Sen. Ted Kennedy – the traditional flying of the flag at half-staff and a white flag raised to signal the passage of the 2009 Health Care Reform bill.
(source: Boulder Camera)

Roll Call contributing writer, Morton Kondracke explains in his column’s intro:

Along with a health care reform bill, it would be a fitting tribute to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) if Congress could act on his other great unfinished cause: immigration reform.

There is no doubt that advocates for undocumented immigrants lost a great friend and champion in Sen. Kennedy, but the fight continues.
The latest round in the ongoing battle over immigration reform is an unprecedented collaboration that illustrates how the greatest legacy of Ted Kennedy’s political career — the ability to work with the opposition to reach solutions — is being taken to heart.


Five hundred twenty-one local and national organizations signed off on a letter sent to President Obama demanding that the 287(g) program be terminated.
The 287(g) allows for qualifying state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. The consequences of the program has resulted in increased racial profiling by law enforcement officials, has negatively impacted response time to the greater community and has resulted in abuse of the program and its victims.

Reports of abuse in local communities have been widespread. In Davidson County, Tennessee, the Sheriff’s Office used its 287(g) power to apprehend undocumented immigrants driving to work, standing at day labor sites, or while fishing off piers. One pregnant woman—charged with driving without a license—was shackled to her bed during labor. In Gwinnett County, Georgia, even without formal 287(g) powers, over 350 individuals were detained and deported from the jail this February after being arrested for driving without a license, a county ordinance violation, or on traffic or misdemeanor charges. The Gwinnett jail is triple-bunked, with one person in each cell sleeping on the floor, and the jail’s internal SWAT team is known for appearing in ski masks to subdue detainees it deems uncooperative. Yet, Gwinnett County is among the 11 jurisdictions granted new 287(g) approval by Secretary Napolitano earlier this month.
In a recent research report, Justice Strategies, a nonpartisan research firm, found evidence that links the expansion of the program to racial animus against communities of color. According to FBI and census data, sixty-one percent of ICE-deputized localities had violent and property crime indices lower than the national average, while eighty-seven percent of these localities had a rate of Latino population growth higher than the national average.

The 521 organizations that signed the letter range from the expected immigrant advocacy groups and social justice organizations to non-partisan think tanks and even police organizations.
To bring greater awareness to the issue, all local organizations that signed the letter will host vigils, marches and other activities today (Thursday) and tomorrow.
It makes no sense to continue tearing families apart and criminalizing people from being able to legally return to the country, which most often happens when they undergo deportation proceedings, when any immigration reform measure is bound to legally recognize undocumented immigrants.
Then instead of fixing the problem of illegal immigration, the CIR will only encourage those parents and children who were deported to come back illegally to reunite with their families.
It’s a problem that can be averted if the administration works with foresight and vision, and quits trying to placate a vocal opposition that will never be fully in favor of any federal policy that brings 12 million people out of the shadows and onto the road of being granted full voting privileges.

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12 Comments

  1. cookie said:

    Ted Kennedy sponsored this misguided immigration legislation of 1965, which set our nation on its current course of high immigration and high population growth, the 1986 amnesty and the current massive population of illegals we currently have in this country. This despite his own words, which I quote here:
    “Out of deference to the critics, I want to comment on … what the bill will not do. First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, S.500 will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and economically deprived nations of Africa and Asia. In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think. Thirdly, the bill will not permit the entry of subversive persons, criminals, illiterates, or those with contagious disease or serious mental illness. As I noted a moment ago, no immigrant visa will be issued to a person who is likely to become a public charge … the charges I have mentioned are highly emotional, irrational, and with little foundation in fact. They are out of line with the obligations of responsible citizenship. They breed hate of our heritage.”(Senate Part 1, Book 1, pp. 1-3)

  2. Evelyn said:

    They say people are what they eat and this is the TRASH racists are feeding themselves.
    America’s Greatest Traitor Dies
    August 26, 2009 by BNP News
    Modern America’s greatest traitor, Edward Kennedy, has died, after nearly destroying European America. He leaves behind a scandalous political career which was laced with lurid tales of drugs, sexual abuse and moral degeneracy.
    Apart from his reprehensible personal life, Senator Kennedy is best known as the “godfather” of America’s immigration policy since 1964, and is possibly the one individual most responsible for the current demographic displacement of European Americans from that continent.
    As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Senator Kennedy had chief oversight responsibility for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which he allowed to degenerate into one of the most ineffective agencies in the Federal Government.
    He was the chief sponsor of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which abolished the national-origin quotas that had been in place in the United States since the Immigration Act of 1924.
    During debate on the Senate floor, Kennedy, speaking of the effects of the act, said, “First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same…. Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset…. Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia…. In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think…. The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”
    Of course, precisely the opposite happened, and the Act resulted in a flood of new immigration from non-European nations that changed the ethnic make-up of the United States. Immigration doubled between 1965 and 1970 and doubled again between 1970 and 1990. European origin Americans have dropped as a percentage of the American population from nearly 90 percent to the low 60 percent of today. At current immigration rates, European Americans are on course to become an absolute minority in their country within twenty years.
    Despite the demographic change which proved Kennedy was a bare faced liar, he shamelessly proceeded to foster a further set of laws which actually encouraged the Third World invasion of America. He was behind the Refugee Act of 1980, and a major proponent of the fraud-ridden 1986 immigration amnesty. In both cases, he deliberately lied in public about the number of “immigrants” who would exploit the legislation, claiming that the effects would be minor.
    In reality, about 2.7 million illegals qualified for American citizenship, one of the single largest population additions in American history, and the lure of amnesty drew a further five million illegals into the country.
    Kennedy also promoted his anti-white legislation without any regard to the cost in administrative and financial terms. His 1980 Refugee Act created a massive taxpayer-funded bureaucracy which today, according to its own figures, works through at least 100,000 fake asylum applications each year, in addition to the ‘genuine’ ones.
    The Seasonal Agricultural Worker (SAW) amnesty, promoted by Kennedy, saw fraud rates as high as 70 percent. The number of illegals who used the amnesty to gain access to America was estimated to be at least three times the number of those who qualified given the size of that country’s agricultural labour force.
    http://www.alipac.us/ftopict-168414.html

  3. Paolo said:

    Regardless of what anyone feels about about the content of the first two paragraphs, the rest is right on the money. Kennedy’s bill did exactly what BNP described. The immigration bill resulted in further bad behavior on the part of foreigners and in the crisis of illegal immigration that we have today. While Kennedy may not have intended this, it is an indisputable fact that SAW had a negative outcome and we find ourselves up to our chins in poverty stricken and illiterate peoples from south of the border.

  4. Evelyn said:

    The reason for the FIRST Kennedy bill was because, “we found ourselves up to our chins in poverty stricken peoples from south of the border,” because of our failed foreign policy, meddeling in their countries, and our greediness.
    Just like the first time we have no one to blame for the influx of immigrants from other countries following their wealth to our country but ourselves.

  5. cookie said:

    Most Americans haven’t approved of many things that our government has done but does that mean the American people themselves should be punished for it when we don’t even get to vote on many issues? Our government promised to secure our borders after the 1986 amnesty but they didn’t. So should the American people roll over and put up with the outcome of that which brought in millions more illegally into our country? I don’t think so! The government is supposed to protect our soveirgnty and do what is best for the majority not their corporate buddies and we are not going to pay for the consquences of their actions!

  6. Paolo said:

    “Just like the first time we have no one to blame for the influx of immigrants from other countries following their wealth to our country but ourselves.”
    This might be true except that the majority player in the Latin American blame game is Mexico; the country of origin for most illegal aliens in the U.S., which economists and any educated person are aware has more than enough wealth, is so corrupt, inept and selfish that they won’t provide employment for their own. The wealth is there Evelyn; you just prefer ignore it and blame Americans and put the burden of Mexican poor on the U.S. taxpayer. The moral burden is on Mexico, but Latin Americans are too proud to look in the mirror. If you’re looking for social justice Evelyn, look south, if you dare to admit the failures of our culture.

  7. Evelyn said:

    Failed Foreign Policy,
    Why Do Immigrants Come to the U.S.?
    http://revcom.us/a/127/Immigration-en.html
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Meddling in their Countries
    Stealing Mexico – Bush Team Helps ‘Floridize’ Mexican Presidential Election
    by Greg Palast
    http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/07/341919.shtml
    World Media Gets Order to Make Mexican Vote Fraud Disappear Down the Memory Hole
    http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/07/342179.shtml
    ~
    Scroll down to
    Tlatelolco — yes, it was the CIA
    Mexico, role the CIA played in the massacre when Mexicans tries to “Fix There Own Country” and oust the corrupt gov. US sided with corrupt Mexican gov. Sent in CIA.
    http://mexfiles.net/category/ciudad-de-mexico/tlatelolco/
    ~
    U.S.Troups invade these countries.
    GUATEMALA
    1954
    Command operation, bombing, nuclear threat: CIA directs exile invasion after
    new government nationalizes U.S. company lands; bombers based in Nicaragua.
    EL SALVADOR
    1981-92
    Command operation, troops: Advisors, over-flights aid anti-rebel war,
    soldiers briefly involved in hostage clash.
    NICARAGUA
    1981-90
    Command operation, naval: CIA directs exile (Contra) invasions, plants
    harbor mines against revolution.
    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=47519&page=4
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Our Greediness.
    Consumption, Not Population Is Our Main Environmental Threat
    The United States always gets singled out. But for good reason: It is the world’s largest consumer. Americans take the greatest share of most of the world’s major commodities: corn, coffee, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, rubber, oil seeds, oil, and natural gas. For many others, Americans are the largest per-capita consumers. In “super-size-me” land, Americans gobble up more than 120 kilograms of meat a year per person, compared to just 6 kilos in India, for instance.
    By Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360. Posted April 14, 2009.
    http://www.alternet.org/environment/136449/consumption%2C_not_population_is_our_main_environmental_threat/?page=entire

  8. Che said:

    “we have no one to blame for the influx of immigrants from other countries following their wealth to our country but ourselves.”
    - ?

  9. morris said:

    “The reason for the FIRST Kennedy bill was because, “we found ourselves up to our chins in poverty stricken peoples from south of the border,” because of our failed foreign policy, meddeling in their countries, and our greediness.”
    The reason for this is because Latin Americans run their countries poorly. They are full of ambitious evil, greedy politicians and dictators that look out for themselves, and don’t mind selling out their own people for the sake of a buck. This same propensity is found in the culture of corruption in Mexico today.

  10. stacy said:

    “Just like the first time we have no one to blame for the influx of immigrants from other countries following their wealth to our country but ourselves.”
    Evelyn, I haven’t heard anything from you on our balance of payments with China, where billions of American dollars go to pay for goods paid for in U.S. dollars. Doe that mean that we should immigrate to that country in a self-righteous fit to reclaim our wealth and jobs? You talk nonsense, Evelyn! International trade and the movement of jobs between countries won’t change by people listening to your diatribes on the injustice of it all!

  11. Evelyn said:

    Evelyn, I haven’t heard anything from you on our balance of payments with China, where billions of American dollars go to pay for goods paid for in U.S. dollars. Doe that mean that we should immigrate to that country in a self-righteous fit to reclaim our wealth and jobs?
    E
    stacy you would be the first to immigrate to China if your family were starving and you were living in poverty and you knew you could have a better life for you and your family.
    I also know you would never admit it.
    Most racists are also sociopaths. They dont have the ability to put themselves in other peoples shoes who are suffering. They are incapable of feeling empathy.

  12. Traci said:

    E said: “They dont have the ability to put themselves in other peoples shoes who are suffering. They are incapable of feeling empathy.”
    I guess that would make the government of Mexico and the haves of Mexico who ignore the have-nots, also sociopaths, because they seem to care so little for their own people. It seems that I recall a certain middle class amusement in Mexico that mocks your starving poor in a game involving evasion of fake U.S. Border Patrol people. LOL!

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