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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Can the Republican Party unite a divided country? The signs aren’t good

Can the Republican Party unite a divided country? The signs aren’t good

LatinaLista — It’s natural that people are going to disagree. That’s a given.
And when it comes to political party delegates assembling together to craft the party’s platform, disagreement is historically accepted as part of the process, but eventually things are worked out.

However an embedded FOX journalist hanging out with the Republican delegation as they craft their party’s platform in preparation for next week’s Republican National Convention, revealed that there are two issues Republican delegates are grappling with that specifically impact the Latino community — illegal immigration and making English the official language — neither of which Republicans can see eye-to-eye on.
What’s worse, these are issues that are not just dividing the Republican Party but creating a national chasm along racial lines and moral convictions.
And if what’s happening behind closed doors with the Republican delegation is any indication of future political will to solve the immigration problem, the chasm is just going to get deeper with slim hopes that it will ever be repaired.


According to Shushannah Walshe, Republican delegates have argued for inclusion of amendments in the party platform that would further divide this country, and cast an alienated shadow over the Latino community.
Some of the amendments failed, others passed and John McCain will have to support ideology that in principle he may be in favor of, but wordage will be hard to spit out.
Among the issues the Republican delegates debated to include in their party’s platform, as they pertain to Latino immigrants and language, are: illegal immigration, proclaiming English as the official language, “anchor babies,” amnesty and comprehensive immigration reform.
In short, the only differences of opinion among party delegates was how severe to make the language regarding these issues.

Two delegates wanted to harden the language surrounding the issue of amnesty. The draft read, “We oppose amnesty.” But, delegates from North Carolina and Colorado wanted to include opposition to “comprehensive immigration reform” because they believe it is a code word for amnesty.
After much debate the amendment was not adopted and the language will remain as, “We oppose amnesty” without a mention of comprehensive immigration reform.

This is the first troubling sign that foretells that Republicans don’t want to solve the issue in a humanitarian way but stick to the enforcement-only, punitive measures that don’t see undocumented immigrants as a vulnerable group of people, but rather nothing better than a pack of animals that must be dealt with.

The immigration debate continued when the topic of English being the “accepted” language of the country opposed to the “official” language of the United States. The draft stated that English is the “common” and “accepted” language. The delegates from North Carolina and Colorado again wanted stronger language to make English the “official” language of the country.
Sam Winder from New Mexico wanted to add language that welcomed other languages, but did state that English was the official language of the country. Disagreement between the two sides continued, but a compromise was agreed on and put into the draft.

The trouble with any kind of amendment that makes such a broad judgement call is that those people who don’t know another language will feel justified in their rude behavior of demanding English be spoken when they simply overhear another language being spoken.

An amendment was proposed to deny citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants in the United States.
Kendal Unruh, a delegate from Colorado proposed the amendment and she introduced herself by saying she was from staunch illegal immigrant foe and former presidential candidate, Tom Tancredo’s district. She said that illegal immigration is the “number one issue” to the people in Colorado she represents and that the problem “breaks the back” of the health care system in her state.
Fierce debate broke out among the delegates when many saw this as unconstitutional and would mean changing the 14th amendment of the constitution, which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States. . .are citizens of the United States.” Charles Mifsud, a delegate from Ohio said he was in favor of a crackdown of illegal immigration, but opposed the amendment because “anchor babies” represent the “symptom not the problem,” which he sees as securing the border. The term anchor baby is a controversial expression that refers to illegal immigrants who give birth to babies in the United States and are then “anchored” to this country.
After the heated debate, the amendment failed, but the topic came up later when the question of counting illegal immigrants in the census came up.

It seems some members of the Republican Party are intent on making undocumented immigrants as invisible as possible. Some don’t want them included in the Census count.
You don’t have to have a college degree to know that is a bad idea. A government that doesn’t know how many people live within its borders is setting itself up for a catastrophic downfall.
How this could possibly make sense to anyone illustrates the level of disdain and insecurity fueling a racist agenda so putrid that its contamination of our government processes and justice systems is more than just frightening, it’s appalling.
Yet, some of these Republican delegates don’t care that what they are proposing may be startling to the rest of us.
As Sandra McDade from Louisiana told her fellow delegates, “We don’t have to be politically correct. We are Republicans!”
And there’s no disagreement there!

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Comment(1)

  • Texano78704
    September 2, 2008 at 9:57 am

    “…there are two issues Republican delegates are grappling with that specifically impact the Latino community — illegal immigration and making English the official language — neither of which Republicans can see eye-to-eye on.”
    Of course, these are two issues that at the bottom of the list of priorities in this countries, or should be.

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