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Some politicians need to learn meaning of “Nation of Immigrants”

LatinaLista — “We’re a nation of immigrants.” It’s a fact that is invoked by politicians when they try to make themselves relevant to minority communities. Yet, if there is one lesson to be learned from the 2010 midterm campaigns, it’s that the statement is nothing more than words-to-recite to some politicians who still don’t grasp its meaning.


There is no better illustration of this point than the case of Nevada’s GOP senate candidate, Sharron Angle. Ms. Angle chose to portray Latino (immigrants) as a reason for Nevada families to be afraid of any brown-skinned, Spanish accented person.

She, nor her campaign, took into account that Latino immigrants look like Latino citizens. Only a mind reader would be able to tell the difference between an undocumented immigrant and a citizen or even a legal resident immigrant.

Unfortunately, Ms. Angle is one of those politicians who doesn’t understand the true meaning of “nation of immigrants.”

For starters, “nation of immigrants” is a fluid concept that never stops. The nation is a continual moving sea of immigrants who come and go, both as citizens and undocumented — from all countries and who have settled in the United States for family, refuge or economic reasons.

Immigrants, their families and their offspring are part of the social and economic fabric of this nation.

So when politicians decide to demonize a particular group of immigrants to further their own political goals, as Ms. Angle did, they’re just not making a suicidal political move, they’re exhibiting an extreme ignorance to what the statement “nation of immigrants” really means.

The statement is recognition of the fact that this nation is settled and being settled by people of all different skin colors, accents, home languages and origins.

It’s an acknowledgement that this nation is not homogenous.

It should be an acknowledgement that immigrants — the people — are separate from the issue. In this case, the immigration issue.

An educated politician who wants to work on reforming issues knows it’s the problem itself that is the issue and not the people who take advantage of the situation — for good or bad.

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