Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Did Sen. Graham just slander the state of Texas?

Did Sen. Graham just slander the state of Texas?

LatinaLista — Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham surprised a lot of people by saying that he was going to propose an amendment to the Constitution to end birthright citizenship.


People were shocked at this announcement because among his GOP colleagues Graham was considered to be the only one who wasn’t going to shore up his reputation by attacking undocumented immigrants.

Unfortunately, sad to say, that was just the beginning.

Today, Sen. Graham announced that he does support “new” immigration reform but one that is “stricter.” He says times have changed since he last supported a reform measure that would grant legal status to undocumented immigrants.

“Everything has gotten worse. There’s a war in Mexico,” Graham said. “The drug cartel is coming over the border. They’re overrunning Arizona and Texas. People are under siege. The federal government’s failure to fix this in 2007 has led to the mess we’re in today.”

If Sen. Graham’s remarks were subjected to a “Fact-o-meter,” it would find there are only two factual statements: “Everything has gotten worse” and “There’s a war in Mexico.”

To say that drug cartels are overrunning Arizona and Texas is not just an inflammatory statement but a deliberately misleading slander against the state of Texas. No sense in trying to defend Arizona since their own Gov. Brewer did a great job slandering her own state with her statement of “headless bodies found in the desert.”

Sen. Graham’s attempt to justify a “stricter” immigration reform measure by lying to the masses so that people think they are or will be held hostage by cartel violence as they stroll along San Antonio’s River Walk or enjoy a rooftop concert from an indie band at Austin’s SXSW or if they should cheer on the Dallas Cowboys in the new stadium or the list goes on…is beyond insulting to the Lone Star State.

But unfortunately, that is what this immigration debate has devolved into — lies to justify a resurrection of early 20th century racist, yes racist, attitudes when people hid behind white sheets and warmed themselves by the glow of burning crosses.

It’s because of these attitudes that things have gotten worse.

Whether it’s Staten Island, where there have been 10 reported bias attacks against Mexican immigrants since April or Virginia where the Virginia State Attorney General now said that Virginia police have the authority to ask people they stop about their immigration status during criminal investigations, the anti-immigrant mood is being fueled by deliberate distortions from a leadership that wants to paint Latino immigrants as criminals as they shamelessly try to build their own political profiles.

Yet, in a state that has a proud history of Latino immigration and where most Latinos can trace their roots south of the border back only 2 or 3 generations, if even that long, what Sen. Graham said was plain wrong and offensive to the millions of Latinos who live along the Texas-Mexico border.

It was offensive to the millions of Latinos across the nation who, if they are dark brown, must now more than ever suffer the embarrassment from the uncouth of this country who openly stare and question out loud a person’s citizenship status.

Over the weekend, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that President Obama didn’t have the cojones to fix illegal immigration. Well, it would seem that the GOP doesn’t have the cojones ni las ganas to tell the truth when it comes to immigration reform.

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  • Richard Grabman
    August 3, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Make that one statement. There’s no war in Mexico… there’s a bunch of gangsters and an administration using anti-gangsterism as a rationale for military build-up… and a few areas of the country with inadequate civil protection. But that does not make a war.

  • Sarkany
    August 3, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Someone’s grasping at straws for his career, huh? I think he jumped all over this in order to distract from the gay rumors.
    Ultimately, the GOP has a problem with empirical facts, and they don’t seem to care when confronted with truth. They cater to an antiquated, idealized fantasy and their voters gobble it up like flies on caca.

  • Cindi Jane
    August 15, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Maybe two faced Lindsey isn’t the only one you should worry about. Just to show you that the Democrats are unprincipled and just pandering to votes, here’s Harry Reid’s take on illegal immigration in 1993. It would appear that Democrats aren’t being ethical but only being nice to pander for the Latino vote. I’m glad that “In Harry We Trust” isn’t on our pennies. You’re just being used. Lay down with dogs…….
    From the Washington Times:
    “1993 flip-flop: Sen. Reid introduced bill ‘clarifying’ birthright citizenship.
    For all the brouhaha over Republicans wanting to review the interpretation of the 14th Amendment, the citizenship/birthright clause, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, once supported revising the current interpretation of the birthright citizenship clause in 1993.
    Mr. Reid introduced a bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee as the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993. The bill, which died in committee after it was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Affairs, includes tough immigration provisions that would make many wonder where Mr. Reid truly stands on the immigration and border debate.
    Title X of the Reid introduced bill shows the Nevada Democrat took Senator Lindsey Graham’s, South Carolina Republican, idea on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment and documented it into legislation:
    “TITLE X—CITIZENSHIP 4 SEC. 1001. BASIS OF CITIZENSHIP CLARIFIED. In the exercise of its powers under section of the Fourteenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Congress has determined and hereby declares that any person born after the date of enactment of this title to a mother who is neither a citizen of the United States nor admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, and which person is a national or citizen of another country of which either of his or her natural parents is a national or citizen, or is entitled upon application to become a national or citizen of such country, shall be considered as born subject to the jurisdiction of that foreign country and not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States within the meaning of section 1 of such Article and shall therefore not be a citizen of the United States or of any State solely by reason of physical presence within the United States at the moment of birth.”
    Even the summary of the bill contains language that would offend many of Mr. Reid’s supporters who are pushing amnesty for illegal immigrants in the United States:
    “A bill to curb criminal activity by aliens, to defend against acts of international terrorism, to protect American workers from unfair labor competition, and to relieve pressure on public services by strengthening border security and stabilizing immigration into the United States.”
    The Center for Immigration Studies, wrote about the failed bill in 1993, describing it this way:
    Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 1351) that includes a provision that would limit citizenship to those whose mothers are United States citizens or legal permanent residents. However, Senator Reid’s proposal is to amend only the Immigration and Nationality Act, not the Constitution. Additionally, Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) is planning to propose an immigration reform package that will include a provision similar to that of Senator Reid’s. Whether or not Senator Simpson’s recommendation will limit the right to citizenship to only those whose mothers are citizens or legal residents remains to be seen.
    Opponents of these proposals argue that they go against the fundamental traditions of the United States. The citizenship clause was originally written to guarantee citizenship to all freed slaves, thereby establishing a tradition of inclusiveness. On the other hand, those in favor of the proposals believe birthright citizenship to be an attraction to illegal immigration. Under current law, simply because a child is born on U.S. soil, he or she is entitled to all the benefits that U.S. citizenship entails, including federal welfare benefits and the right to vote. Additionally, when that child turns 21, he or she will be able to sponsor his or her parents, and other family members, to the United States under the family reunification provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
    Mr. Reid has taken quite the 180 since he introduced his immigration bill in 1993. “They’ve either taken leave of their senses or their principles,” said Senator Reid of Republicans recently when asked about what he thought about the GOP push to clarify the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Mr. Reid tried to endear himself recently to Hispanic voters in Nevada when discussing border issues and told them, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.” Causing an uproar among Hispanics who are conservatives and Republicans, Mr. Reid’s past dabbling with the 14th Amendment cannot possibly make his liberal supporters happy………..”

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