Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > If Obama and McCain answer but one question about immigration, it should be this one

If Obama and McCain answer but one question about immigration, it should be this one

LatinaLista — About an hour before last night’s presidential debate, I received a press release entitled “Experts Available to Discuss Immigration After Tonight’s Presidential Debate.” Ten people with knowledge on immigration issues had cell phones in hand ready for any media questions that were bound to come their way had only the candidates gotten around to the topic.

Senators John McCain and Barack Obama “smile” after Tuesday night’s debate in Nashville, TN.
(Source: Berna Rosario)

But with the way the debate rules seemed to change throughout the evening, it’s no wonder there wasn’t any more time for questions. It’s particularly disappointing that immigration wasn’t addressed in light of another massive immigration raid that took place only 263 miles away from the debate site.
Had the candidates had time to answer a question on immigration, it should have been one question that would not have dealt with the regular issues that pit them against other members of their party like amnesty, border security or the border fence.
It would have been the one question that neither candidate has addressed but because of the situation in the country, it’s imperative that they do:
Do you support a moratorium on immigration raids?

The latest immigration raid took place in Greenville, South Carolina at a poultry plant where approximately 300 undocumented immigrants were detained.
In an AP article, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman was quoted as saying, “They’re all illegals. We have charged them with being in violation of U.S. immigration laws.”
Yet, an immigration attorney rebuked that statement by saying “A judge has to say that, they can’t just say that.” But ICE’s generalization of the detainees is not surprising as more reports surface that this branch of government is increasingly acting like the judge and jury before these people even get the opportunity to stand before a judge.

A 4-year-old boy waits for word of his mother, who was taken during the immigration raid in South Carolina.
And in too many cases, detainees and lawyers are revealing that ICE agents intimidate detainees to accept voluntary deportation back to Mexico or wherever they came from, knowing that it makes their efforts to legally reenter the country that much harder.
The raids have reached such crisis proportions that members of Congress are now calling on the President to put a moratorium on the raids.
Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus issued a call to President Bush to stop the raids.
In part, the letter to the President reads:

Let us be clear. We believe that the Department of Homeland Security has an essential mission to fulfill. We must secure the borders. We must ensure a legal workforce. We must hold abusive employers accountable for exploiting workers, whether they are immigrant or native-born.
Enforcement alone, however, no matter how well formulated or funded, is doomed to fail. We cannot deport our way out of this problem. The more we pursue millions of immigrants for simply working, the fewer resources we will have to root out terrorists, bring drug and human smugglers to justice, and deport those who are truly violent and dangerous to our communities.
Our call to cease workplace raids comes from our experience with their toll on communities and families, and our belief that they are ineffective law enforcement tactics…

If President Bush wants to salvage any kind of positive legacy, he should respond by enforcing the moratorium until Congress can suitably address the issue.
Also, since both candidates like to showcase their leadership skills during times of crisis, each should release a statement acknowledging the raids, the call for a moratorium and what each thinks should be done.
The response to this question would give all Americans not only a clearer idea of how each man would govern but answer the pivotal question — just how much change he would really bring to Washington.

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  • Evelyn
    October 9, 2008 at 4:03 am

    Please send this man an email asking him to step down. Let him know this type trash talk can not be tolorated! The ACLU has been contacted and are already on the case.
    Our View: Johnston County sheriff and his racist comments needs to go.
    They want him to step down. Two dozen civil rights groups are calling for the resignation of Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell. They’re angry about Bizzell referring to Hispanics as “trashy.”
    The sheriff has aimed racist remarks at the minority group that is only 11 percent of one of our region’s neighboring counties, including charges that Hispanics “rape, rob and murder” Americans, dodge taxes, “breed like rabbits” and drain social services. “Everywhere you look, it’s like little Mexico around here,” Bizzell said.
    So far, his alarmingly incendiary attitude has gained him popularity. “Everybody in this county sleeps a little better because he’s here,” said Linwood Parker, the mayor of Four Oaks. Bizzell’s racist tough talk helped him to the presidency of the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association, according to a News & Observer story. That is troubling commentary about a leading law enforcement group.
    Bizzell prides himself on being a red-blooded American who disdains anything foreign — including spaghetti or tacos.
    Calling him a bigot doesn’t bother him. Immigrants take American jobs, Bizzell says. (Good luck to farmers and others hoping longtime local residents will do the back-breaking cheap labor so many Hispanics are willing to do.)
    Bizell blames the feds for not doing more to stop the flow of Hispanics illegally crossing our borders. “Everywhere I go,” Bizzell says, “people say, ‘Sheriff, what are we going to do about all these Mexicans?’”
    Here’s a suggestion from President Lincoln himself: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” If Bizzell wants a solution to crime in Johnston County, he might want to study some facts. As the county’s Hispanic population has grown, its crime rates have fallen. According the State Bureau of Investigation, over the past decade violent crime has dropped in half and property crime is down as well.
    But Bizzell doesn’t appear as worried about crime as about his way of life changing. “How long is it going to be until we’re in the minority?” he asked.
    Not long, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Get used to it, sheriff. Like it or not, our society is changing. Maybe it’s time for voters to make some changes too, and elect a sheriff who can keep racism out of his office.

  • Evelyn
    October 9, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Is the McCain Campaign Behind the Hate Speech at Rallies?
    Posted by Steve Benen, Washington Monthly at 4:01 PM on October 8, 2008.
    “It is obviously with tacit approval; and quite probably on the campaign’s specific instructions.”
    Way back in February, Karl Rove heard a growing number of Republicans blasting “Barack Hussein Obama,” and warned his fellow Republicans to drop the line. Rove argued it would only perpetuate the notion that Republicans were bigoted, which in turn would hurt the party.
    That same week, at an event in Ohio, McCain was introduced by some conservative loud-mouth named Bill Cunningham, who blasted “Barack Hussein Obama.” McCain, who was not on stage during Cunningham’s harangue, later expressed said he wanted to “disassociate” himself from the remarks.
    McCain added that he would take responsibility to ensure that similar comments are not repeated at future campaign events.
    That was February. This is October:
    For the second time in three days, the speaker at a McCain campaign rally used Barack Obama’s middle name “Hussein” in a demeaning fashion to ignite the crowd.
    Speaking in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Bill Platt, the GOP chair of Lehigh County, twice referred to “Barack Hussein Obama” minutes before John McCain and Sarah Palin were set to take the stage.
    On Monday, a local Florida sheriff preceded Palin’s speech by declaring: “On Nov. 4, let’s leave Barack Hussein Obama wondering what happened.”
    To be fair, a campaign aide later conceded that this was “inappropriate rhetoric.” But the trend nevertheless seems to point in one direction: whipping the angry, far-right Republican base into a frenzy.
    That includes the increasing frequency of “Hussein” references, but it also includes looking the other way while campaign supporters exclaim “treason!,” “terrorist!,” and “kill him!” during official rallies.
    Josh Marshall, not exactly one for off-the-wall theories, argued the McCain campaign may very well be doing this deliberately: “It is obviously with tacit approval (to believe anything else is to be a dupe at this point); and quite probably on the campaign’s specific instructions.
    Given the regularity of the cries of ‘treason’ and ‘terrorist’ and the like, and the frequency with which the screamers seem in oddly convenient proximity to the mics, we should probably be considering the possibly that these folks are campaign plants. It happens all the time. It’s just that usually they don’t scream out accusations of capital crimes.”
    Send McCain A Message Concerning This Issue Here

  • Sandra
    October 9, 2008 at 8:28 am

    I could pose a similar question to many in here. Why do you think we should have a moratorium on the raids? In otherwords, why do you think we should stop enforcing our immigration laws?

  • laura
    October 9, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Marisa, you are so totally right. Since the question wasn’t asked at the debates, we have to raise it ourselves wherever we can.
    This is a disastrous crisis, created for no valid reason (in that way reminiscent of the invasion of Iraq) by the Bush administration and its henchmen – Michael “Katrina” Chertoff and his underlings at ICE. What worries me most is the complicity of Democratic party (in the same way reminiscent of the invasion of Iraq, where they went along because they thought it would get them votes).
    Is it true that Democrats just gave ICE billions of dollars more in funding, and approved the construction of more for-profit detention centers (in my opinion: concentration camps)?
    We need to support the Hispanic caucus and protest the Democrats who go along with the Bush/Chertoff war on immigrants. I have yet to hear Obama take a stand.

  • Texan123
    October 9, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Should America return to the policies that have created the illegal immigration problem–no enforcement? If there is no risk, no penalty for violating immigration law, using false ID’s for work, then how can we ever ensure a legal workforce?
    Americans were promised increased enforcement when the 1986 Amnesty Bill passed. Only recently have we seen ANY effort to enforce these laws in the workplace.
    You can not have it both ways. You can not have support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform that does not protect jobs for American citizens against future illegal immigrants.

  • Evelyn
    October 9, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    You know the saying “what goes around comes around” well, here is a perfect example.
    Minuteman Author Detained By Kenyan Immigration Authorities
    by Sonia Scherr on October 7, 2008
    Two years after glorifying the border vigilante movement in Minutemen: Battle to Secure America’s Borders, a book he co-authored with Minuteman Project leader Jim Gilchrist, right-wing propagandist and conspiracy hound Jerome Corsi found himself being deported—from Kenya.
    Immigration agents in Nairobi detained Corsi earlier today because, as one official told the New York Times, “His immigration forms were not in order.”
    Corsi was on his way to a press conference when he was taken into custody and forced to surrender his passport.
    It wasn’t the first time in recent months that Corsi’s attempts to generate publicity have gone awry.
    In mid-August, just as Corsi was in the midst of a blitz of media appearances to promote his latest bestseller, The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, Hatewatch revealed that Corsi had recently been a guest on the Political Cesspool, an overtly anti-Semitic and white supremacist radio show, and that he was scheduled to appear on the show again. (Corsi subsequently backed out of the second Cesspool appearance).
    According to WorldNetDaily, a far-right website to which he’s a prolific contributor, Corsi had been invited to Kenya by Christian missionaries who are concerned about the spread of Islam in the East African country.
    One of the principal, and thoroughly discredited, tenets of Corsi’s newest book is that Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, whose father is Kenyan, is secretly a Muslim. (Corsi is hardly a Republican operative; earlier this year he just as spuriously attacked GOP presidential candidate John McCain for supposedly accepting funding from a group with ties to Al Qaeda).
    Corsi was in Kenya to investigate and “expose details of secret deep ties” between Obama and certain Muslim politicians in Kenya, according to WorldNetDaily.
    No doubt Corsi’s failure to obtain a work permit in Kenya, which led to his detention, according to the Associated Press, is the result of dark forces at work.
    Also according to the AP, Kenyan officials transported Corsi to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where he was awaiting an evening flight to London.

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