LatinaLista — Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is hopping mad — just like the rest of his party over the passage of the President’s healthcare bill. The only difference between Graham’s anger versus his colleagues is that he’s going to take it out directly on undocumented immigrants.
With so many news outlets reprinting Graham’s remarks it’s hard to tell just how many times he’s made the threat/promise that:
“Immigration is not going to happen in the Senate. There is no desire to do immigration in the United States Senate in 2010.”
U.S. Senators South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham and Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat used to be partners in crafting a new senate version of immigration reform. Yet, Graham has pulled back from immigration saying that as far as he’s concerned it’s a dead issue given the way Democrats pushed through healthcare reform. (Photo: Reuters)
Congressional sources tell Latina Lista that, unlike healthcare, there has to be a bi-partisan vote on the immigration bill, otherwise the votes just aren’t there to pass it.
If Graham steps away as he is threatening to do, it will make it harder, not impossible, but harder for other Republicans to come forward and work on immigration.
While Graham and his colleagues may think this is the perfect way to get back at the Democrats, please their Tea Party aggressor followers and avoid getting embroiled in an issue that is bound to be as volatile as healthcare, they’re wrong.
Because while they want to act less like statesman and more like vindictive sore losers, their inaction is enabling states to continue on the wayward course of implementing their own immigration laws — the latest such law would charge any undocumented child playing with a toy gun with a felony.
It’s called House Bill 3341 and would make it unlawful for undocumented residents in the state of Oklahoma to possess “any pistol, imitation or homemade pistol, altered air or toy pistol, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun or rifle, or any other dangerous or deadly firearm.”
The innocent idea behind it is that no one wants guns in the hands of true criminal aliens — people who have no conscience when it comes to taking another’s life. There’s not a decent person anywhere — immigration advocate or not — that doesn’t want that.
Yet, where this bill ceases to be innocent and becomes over-the-top mean-spirited and vicious is when it includes the terms “imitation, homemade pistol and toy pistol.”
Technically, that would apply to any undocumented child who wants to play cops and robbers or superheroes or whatever game that captures the imaginations of children who play out, like generations before them, with toy guns.
Under this law, because no age limit is set, the technicality exists that an undocumented child found with a toy gun would be charged as a felon.
One would hope that common sense would set in and innocent children would not be dragged away from their families and traumatized because they violated this law, but in these times of rampant paranoia and outright prejudicial hostility towards Latinos, that kind of assumption unfortunately can no longer be made.
It especially can’t be made in a state that is awaiting Senate approval on a bill that would require school districts to report the number of students who are undocumented immigrants.
States like Oklahoma feel empowered to set their own rules on immigration because no one from the federal government tells them otherwise — the White House and Justice Department are strangely silent as each state legislative body impedes on federal territory and now we have Republicans who shamefully are putting politics first, rather than acting like legislators and creating legislation to make this country stronger and more just.
Unfortunately, it’s just too easy to victimize the most vulnerable who live among us.