LatinaLista — It doesn’t matter which side is talking about immigration these days because, like an overboiled egg, there are too many cracks in what’s being said to know if their ideas are fully cooked or not.
For example, today, Senator John McCain, chose to speak about immigration before a “non-Hispanic” audience. That’s a rarity since it’s pretty much understood that it’s a radioactive topic with most of his supporters. What made today so different was that he was in Scranton, PA and he wasn’t talking about Hispanic undocumented immigrants but Irish.
Yet, in reading the following quote, one can’t shake the notion that it was delivered along the same lines as his infamous “Hispanics are God’s children too” ad.
“This nation is all the stronger — this nation is stronger, this nation is stronger — for the infusion of fresh blood and vitality that has come to this nation wave after wave: Irish, Italian, Poles, everybody who’s come to this nation has enriched our nation, including our Hispanic citizenry. OK? That’s what America’s all about.”
While McCain has made no secret that before he supports any type of immigration reform, the border has to be secured first, it’s clearly not a priority issue with him. As one reporter noted, McCain won’t talk about immigration “unless the subject is something of particular interest to his audience, or he is asked about it.”
On the other hand, Obama has talked about reforming immigration and he even answered a questionnaire on the topic sent to his campaign – something the McCain campaign refused to do, let alone acknowledge.
In the past, Obama has said that he will address the topic of immigration reform in his first year of office. Yet in an interview aired on 60 Minutes over the weekend, Obama identified the two most pressing issues that he would work on immediately — the economy and the war in Iraq.
Two issues that definitely are of vital importance to the nation and which are, in and of themselves, as complex as the immigration issue. It’s a safe bet that these two issues alone can occupy any new administration for a good while.
So where does that leave the issue of immigration?
If the current rhetoric is applied to fixing the immigration problem, then it’s clear that both sides want to still address only the symptoms of illegal immigration, rather than looking at the core of the problem which is two-fold: undocumented immigrants are overcoming border security measures to arrive daily because work still exists and/or undocumented immigrants are reuniting with family members.
It’s one thing to force all businesses to run their hires through E-Verify and penalize them for hiring undocumented workers but it’s another to purposely keep parents separated from children or children separated from their parents because of a difference in legal status between the two.
The trouble with the current rhetoric on immigration reform is that everyone thinks that there are no more solutions for the issue or even a new way to address it. Just like most everyone thinks there’s only one way to peel an egg.
There’s always a new way to think about something — there just has to be the will to create a new vision.