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Immigration issue lends itself to political posturing from all sides

LatinaLista — Altogether there are six legal challenges to Arizona’s SB 1070. A federal judge announced today that the hearing date for the federal government’s suit against Arizona will take place July 22 — seven days before SB1070 is to go into effect.


Critics of the federal lawsuit pretty much agree on the same thing — they say it has more to do with political posturing by the Obama administration than any humane act of kindness.

They’re also saying that it’s because Obama doesn’t want to enforce border security or enforce immigration laws. Yet, what most GOP politicians don’t want to admit is that we have reached this point in the immigration debate simply because the Republicans have done exactly what they are accusing Obama of doing.

The GOP has politicized this issue through their uncooperativeness and refusal of signing on with Democrats to start the debate in Congress and the allowance of anti-immigrant factions to take over the issue. And as far as political posturing goes, words speak for themselves:

Reaffirming last week’s immigration address, President Obama proves yet again that he is not serious about dealing with the problem of illegal immigration,” said Rick Scott, health care executive and FL Republican gubernatorial candidate. ” He would rather punish law-abiding citizens for enforcing the law than deal with the illegal immigrants who are breaking the law. When I am elected governor, I’ll bring the Arizona law to Florida and the president will have one more lawsuit on his hands.”

Scott and other GOP candidates will certainly use this issue ad nauseum as they stump through the next few months until the November elections, and who can blame them?

With the immigration issue, they don’t have to think for themselves, they can use canned rhetoric and repurpose it for their communities, but best of all — they don’t have to personalize the issue.

The GOP has clearly decided not to put a face to the issue because that would defeat their objective.

Remember how McCain’s camp pounced on parading “Joe the Plumber” during the presidential election? By doing that, they strove in that instance to put a face to the issue, not to educate the public or even show that the GOP understood the public’s pain, but simply for political gain and to beat Obama. They knew by putting Joe and his story out there that people would personalize the issue and either empathize or sympathize with the man.

It’s no coincidence that the GOP political strategy has gone in full throttle reverse when it comes to the immigration issue. The GOP wants to dehumanize and depersonalize the illegal immigration debate by only spewing the terms “illegals” or “illegal immigrants” when talking about the real people who are at the center of the issue.

Yet, we have “Marta the Maid,” “Santiago the Student,” “Jose the Construction Worker” and the list goes on. Every one of these people is as real as “Joe the Plumber” and if ever an issue should be personalized it’s one that affects the future of 11 million men, women and children.


By not relaying the personal stories of these people, who are hard-working, otherwise stay out of trouble with the law, earn college degrees and are an asset to their communities and families, the American public can’t be blamed for not understanding who they are, what brought them to live in the United States or empathize with them, especially if all they hear are the negative and fearful things being said by Republican politicians.

It’s clear the GOP is using undocumented immigrants to further their agenda, just as was done with Joe the Plumber, but they really need to take a lesson from one of their own when it comes to using people simply for political gain.

Remember “Joe the Plumber”? Well, it seems he can’t stand John McCain now.

Joe, also known as Sam Wurzelbacher, told an audience in Pennsylvania this week that McCain “is no public servant.”

“McCain was trying to use me,” Wurzelbacher said, according to public radio correspondent Scott Detrow. “I happened to be the face of middle Americans. It was a ploy.”
“I don’t owe him s–,” Wurzelbacher continued. “He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it.”

In fact, Wurzelbacher’s dislike for McCain is so strong that he no longer supports Sarah Palin simply because Palin will campaign for McCain’s re-election.

And imagine, that’s just one guy unhappy with one Republican. What about 11 million plus another 30 million, give or take a few thousand, unhappy with the whole party?

I have a feeling the immigration issue then will become very personal to these politicians and this party.

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  • Lyndier
    July 9, 2010 at 10:36 am

    It’s fine for the pro-illegal immigrant side to personalize the issue. In fact, I don’t know where you’ve been, but I see the media doing it all the time in favor of the illegal immigrants. I do, however expect there to be fairness in personalizing the issue, if that’s what the media intends on doing. While I see all the bleeding heart stories day in and day out, I have yet to see stories of people who are still trying to get themselves untangled from the nightmare of their identity being stolen and used. I have a few friends that have had that happen to them, nobody has done a personal story about them. How about the personal story of an illegal immigrant in Colorado who tied a rope around the neck of his also illegal girlfriend and dragged her to her death? How about the personal story of American citizen who is fighting attempted murder charges for trying to stop two illegal immigrants with criminal records who were in the process of stealing his flatbed truck? How about the rancher who was murdered at the Arizona border? I’ll bet his family thought that was pretty personal. How about all the accidents that have been caused only to discover the fleeing other party didn’t have a drivers license, let alone insurance and was drunk at the wheel? I take it quite personally that I can no longer go to places I used enjoy because I no longer feel safe. I take it quite personally when I’m waiting for a bus and trucks of landscapers drive by honking and shouting things in Spanish and broken English and make me feel uncomfortable and a little fearful. Why is it that this is only a personal issue to illegal immigrants? When did the rights,not to mention considerations, of the American citizens cease to exist? And before folks start off on the broken record racist tirade, I should let you know I am of Hispanic descent. But then, I suppose that knowlege will only serve to bring out the sell-out and traitor arguments, right? So predictable and typical.

  • joe the plumber
    July 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Joe the Plumber was a tool used by the GOP. The sad thing was, the guy didn’t know it until late in the campaign.

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