Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Columns & Features > Guest Voz > Guest Voz: Senator Mike Gravel Declares: Latino Immigrants are America’s New Scapegoats”

Guest Voz: Senator Mike Gravel Declares: Latino Immigrants are America’s New Scapegoats”

By Mike Gravel

In Latina Lista’s second installment of special blog posts penned by candidates in the 2008 presidential election, we welcome Senator Mike Gravel (GraVELL).
Senator Gravel moved to Alaska after he received his B.S. in economics from Columbia University. In Alaska, he built a real estate business before pursuing politics. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 and was later elected to two terms in the U.S. Senate. He represented Alaska from 1969 to 1981.
While serving in the Senate, Senator Gravel was instrumental in getting the “secret” Pentagon Papers released, waged a five-month filibuster to end the military draft and introduced the amendment that authorized the construction of the Alaska oil pipeline.
He also founded several non-profit corporations dedicated to establishing direct democracy in the country “through the enactment by American voters of a federal ballot initiative called the National Initiative. The National Initiative proposes to let citizens vote for or against policy issues that affect their lives.
Senator Gravel announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential race on April 17, 2006.

I’m going to take the opportunity to tell you what no other politician has the guts to say.
Right now, Latino immigrants are America’s new scapegoats.

I tell this to audiences around the country.

Senator Gravel explains to a young boy about the misuse of power by law enforcement.
Do you think it’s a coincidence that our nation is in such a mess and our leaders are suddenly worried about undocumented workers?
Our schools are failing, we are in a disastrous war in Iraq, we have 2 million people in prison, our healthcare system is spinning out of control, and our economy is on the verge of collapse.
But our so-called leaders can’t stop talking about “border security?”
It’s time to get real.
Like all immigrants, Latinos have made our country stronger. And we need to bring them into the system — not throw them out and bar the door.
We need an amnesty program so that all undocumented workers can be registered and protected.
We should no longer tolerate the underground economy that allows employers to avoid social security taxes and abuse their workers.
We need to get real about the “war on drugs,” which is really a war on Latinos.
Latinos accounted for nearly half – 43 percent – of those convicted of federal drug offenses in 2000. Its time we stop the self-defeating drug war and devote those billions of dollars to treatment and education.
Whenever I say these things during the debates, the press calls me crazy. NBC even shut me out of the last debate because I’ve been challenging Hillary Clinton for supporting Bush’s warmongering against Iran.
I urge you — if you want to hear me challenge the “received wisdom” that targets you, please visit my website and give what you can.
Investing in the fight for your rights will always pay off.

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    November 2, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    The man talks a good line of how he wants things to be, but it is contrary to the feelings of the majority of us in the lower forty-eight. He will do, or attempt to do, all these wonderful things for illegal aliens and gain support and votes from the pro-illegal crowd. If, and only if, he succeeds in his loafty endeavor it will not effect his home state or his life personally. He will return home to Alaska where there doesn’t seem to be an invasion of illegal aliens.

  • Horace
    November 2, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    That’s rich! 20 million foreign nationals cross our borders without permission, some of which are the criminal element of Mexico and the rest of Latin America, tens of thousands of which are in our federal prisons, we show concern, and suddenly the liberals are saying that we’re using them scapegoats. That’s really funny. As Moldynado would say, ha, ha, ha, ha! The solution is there voluntary return to their rightful homelands. Go home like our visiting tourists.

  • Horace
    November 2, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    “Do you think it’s a coincidence that our nation is in such a mess and our leaders are suddenly worried about undocumented workers?”
    That illegal immigration has been permitted, and that we are even debating a proposal for amnesty is a symptom of how our country is messed up. Our citizen’s representatives, with the approval of the electorate, established the very laws that deny immigration by millions of poor and illiterate, and make their entry illegal. Marisa, you have the most convoluted perspective of right and wrong I’ve ever witnessed.

  • Horace
    November 2, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Scapegoats? We don’t need no steeeeeeeking scapegoats:
    U.S. states turning up heat on illegal immigrants
    Thu Nov 1, 2007 3:26pm EDT
    By Carey Gillam
    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) – Minor traffic violations do not usually warrant a press release from a governor.
    But when state police stopped a van on a Missouri road for ‘following too closely’ and found it was carrying 10 presumed illegal immigrants, Gov. Matt Blunt was quick to tout the incident as part of a new state program to hunt down undocumented aliens.
    ‘We will make every effort, implement every tool, and take every step to ensure the laws against illegal immigration are enforced,’ declared Blunt, announcing the arrests as he pursued tough new measures to push undocumented immigrants out of the state.
    Missouri’s efforts are among several now being seen around the nation as state and local officials race to make their territory as unappealing as possible for the nation’s estimated 12 million undocumented individuals.
    The campaign has drawn the ire of religious organizations, civil rights groups and some employers, who argue the actions are unfairly harassing and intimidating both illegal and legal immigrants.
    ‘You’re starting to see this around the country. They’re trying to scare people and they’re saying ‘We don’t want you here,” said William Sanchez, lead attorney for the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, which has filed suit to stop a new Oklahoma law that became effective Thursday.
    Immigration law historically has been the role of the federal government. But Congress has deadlocked on efforts at immigration reform, frustrating those outside Washington who say illegal immigration puts a strain on schools, health care, and other community services and costs Americans jobs.
    Forty-three states enacted 182 immigration-related laws this year, ‘an unprecedented level of activity,’ according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
    More than two dozen cities and counties have also introduced measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration, though many have been turned back by legal challenges.
    Measures vary widely but many focus on penalizing employers of undocumented workers, restricting public benefits, and making it hard for illegals to find places to live.
    Oklahoma’s new law is widely seen as the toughest in the nation, making it a felony to transport or harbor people without legal status, requires local law enforcement and businesses to enforce federal immigration restrictions, and reduces public benefits for illegal immigrants.
    ‘Illegal aliens will not come to Oklahoma or anywhere else if there are no jobs waiting for them. They will not stay here if there is no government subsidy,’ said the law’s sponsor, Oklahoma Rep. Randy Terrill, a Republican who believes the measure will make illegal immigrants ‘self deport.’
    Both critics and supporters said the punitive measures could prompt thousands to flee the state, a factor that has lawmakers in other states eyeing similar measures.
    ‘We are drafting our own legislation patterned after Oklahoma,’ said Utah Sen. Bill Hickman. ‘We’re developing two different groups in society – those that have to obey the law and those that don’t. Society can’t function very well that way.’
    Critics of the crackdown say local and state lawmakers have no constitutional authority to try to enforce immigration law, and the crack down is making it hard to find workers.
    ‘Reform of immigration law should occur through Congress. It is a federal issue,’ said the Rev. Steve Copley, a United Methodist pastor. This week he announced the formation of the Arkansas Friendship Coalition, which opposes laws targeting immigrants. Tyson Foods Inc. and Alltel Corp. officials are among the members.
    ‘We’re a nation of immigrants and the same hopes and dreams they share are the same hopes and dreams most of us share about a good life for our families,’ said Copley.
    In Missouri, Gov. Blunt has taken the opposite tact. Not only is he pushing state law enforcement to verify immigration status of people suspected of crimes, but also ordered audits of state contractors to ensure their employees are legal.
    Over the last two months, Missouri law enforcement has arrested 85 people after immigration checks and has worked out a deal with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to designate certain county jails to hold detainees.
    ‘This is how we’re doing business henceforth,’ said Missouri director of public safety Mark James. ‘We have 1,000 highway patrol, 100 water patrol and 30 to 40 capital police officers to work on this. If we can help that cause, then we’re doing something proactive.’
    (Additional reporting by Ben Fenwick in Oklahoma City)

  • George
    November 2, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Democrat pundit James Carville states that not all opponents of illegal immigration are racists. Is this a precursor of weakening resolve and flipflop by the Democrats on this issue? Illegal alien advocates stay tuned.
    “Here’s a gem in that memo from Democratic pollsters/strategists Stan Greenberg, Al Quinlan, and James Carville:
    The centrality of illegal immigration to the current discontent about the direction of the country may be taking us back again to a welfare moment. Just as many workers with moderate incomes, uncertain employment and health insurance could not understand why they were being taxed to subsidize the long-term idleness of those on welfare, many Americans are just perplexed that this country has lost control of the borders and winks at illegal employment, taxing the resources of local schools and hospitals and much more. Many of the voter responses to welfare were racist to be sure, as now with the response to illegal immigration, but many are not.”

  • Frank
    November 2, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Notice the terms he uses like “undocumented workers” and “immgrants” to describe illegal aliens? That tells you right there that he is dishonest.
    A war on drugs is really a war against Latinos? Oh my God!
    Congress can’t stop talking about border security? Wow, how dare they talk about such an unimportant issue as national security.
    This traitorus piece of trash needs to be voted out of his seat.

  • diana joe
    November 3, 2007 at 12:07 am

    the only trash here is you franklystained-as in trailer park trash-git on home already!

  • Frank
    November 3, 2007 at 7:32 am

    diana, as usual you resort to juvenile name calling rather than debating the issues. I feel sad for you that you feel you have to behave in such a childish manner. But then you pro-illegals have no valid arguments for supporting the illegal invasion of our country so you resort to these kind of tactics. That is why your side is losing and always will.

  • diana joe
    November 3, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Frank rants on=
    “That is why your side is losing and always will.”
    —–>news for you Franko-
    Our Side-is making you believe that we have lost-thats why we have actually beat yous to your own game-we assimilated alright fren..we assimilated long and hard enuf to make you feel you wasted us-keep up the’re eating up the worm and the hook!
    I said before you do sound very much like the serial killer of the border.

  • miguel
    November 3, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Canada, the US and Mexico are feeding us happy pills and we scarf them up and piss on each other. The injustice we are doing to the innocent people trying to survive is part of the plan of these politicos to divert your attention long enough so they collectively screw us.
    Divide and conquer, slight of hand, mis-direction. Call it what you will. We are falling for it and WE will pay the price.
    Look for the real reason under this pile of shit.

  • diana joe
    November 3, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    These guys are all Glen Beck that hater from hell that has been enabled by the CHRISTIAN RIGHT(which by the way are neither)
    to bash everything that wont assimilate AMERIKKKANISMS.Yeah what lies underneath these piles of chit is doom it isn’t anything new. It was designed a long, long, long time ago to keep the poor poor, and to make the rich believe that they would rule, and rank over the land-not!
    The real reason that these haters need to be on LATINO blogs is because they need dialogue for Glen’s next show-on immigration-they don’t have any real dialogue so they paste themselves to something that they feel they need to kill, and they do so by using “stolen parasitic venues”!Fack em’ if they can’t take a joke.
    There is more than the Christian RIGHT on this EARTH-and these are the true PATRIOTS-stop being idiots Glen Beck goons-we know how you get your funding.

  • Deport Lou Dobbs
    November 3, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Little Frankie, trying desperatley to get attention in the only forum where that is possible, said:
    “Notice the terms he uses like “undocumented workers” and “immgrants” to describe illegal aliens? That tells you right there that he is dishonest.”
    I think it tells me that you are f*cking narrow-minded. You use what term you want to use, others may do the same. Are you the “lable” police?
    I think you are a f*cking ignorant a$$ but your mother may think different. It is her right. I will not call her dishonest. Although that does not change her desire for you to move out of her basement while you are still in your 40’s.

  • Deport Lou Dobbs
    November 3, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Frank thinks that he is debating the issues?
    Hey, Frankie you are more delusional than I originally suspected.

  • Deport Lou Dobbs
    November 3, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Frank the Pot:
    “diana, as usual you resort to juvenile name calling rather than debating the issues.”
    Yet , in a previous post on this topic the civil-minded Little Frankie wrote in crayon:
    “…traitorus piece of trash needs to be voted out…”
    yep, that was not name calling was it Little Frankie?
    Life is hell without one’s meds.

  • gravel kucinich paul nader
    November 3, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Four names in unity cause: FEAR, MEDIA BLACKOUT, and SMEAR.

    November 6, 2007 at 10:57 am

    Say what? Fear, media blackout, and smear means exactlly what. For little DJ toilet mouth, I do not have hate for anyone and I frequent this blog, and others, to get a better prespective of the issues from both sides. Until you see an illiterate, poor person in a position of power, then you best rest assured that the rich, educated and powerful do rule over this nation and pretty much over you and me. That’s not saying it’s right, but the way it is and always will be.

  • Frank
    November 6, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    I know absolutely nothing about Glenn Beck. I have only heard his name that is all. Divide and conquer? Who is being divided? Americans and illegal aliens? Illegal aliens aren’t citizens so how could anyone be dividing us? All Americans know what our laws are. If some like in this group choose to ignore them, then they are the ones being the dividers not law abiding Americans.
    My remark was about a politician Diane, not about anyone in this group. I have been civil to the “debate
    rs” in this blog. However all you do is resort to name calling and insults to others like myself in here.
    I am retired have a wife and kids and never lived in my mother’s basement. More childish remarks from the juvenile potty mouths in here.
    Marisa, why do you tolerate this in your blog especially with your reputation?

  • Horace
    November 10, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Glenn Beck has a show on the Headline News channel, a cable station related to CNN. Glenn is an advocate of legal immigration and an opponent of illegal immigration. He’s on at 1800-hrs, CT, the same time slot as Lou Dobbs. Illegal alien advocacy groups hate him too. They equate his insistance that our laws be enforced to racism and being anti-immigrant. He’s subject to the mindless villification by the ACLU, The Race, and self-serving immigration lawyers, believed to be deserved by anyone who believes that we should enforce out immigration laws.

  • Bettybbb
    December 26, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    1. Our immigration law has a base line of family reunification with roughly proportional number of places for Americans of the various races and ethnic backgrounds.
    2. Amnesty would be approximately 90% Hispanic.
    3. Amnesty would give a HUGE PREFERENCE to Hispanics over other Americans with respect to family reunification and bringing in their race and ethnic group.
    4. Amnesty would give a HUGE PREFERENCE ot Hispanics over other Americans re the ability to take advantage of the amnesty as Mexico is next door. Others have to get their family here on expensive flights, escape through the airport etc – Even non Mexican Latinos have trouble as they get stopped at the Mexican border.
    5. Amnesty would give a HUGE PREFERENCE to Hispanics over other Americans / LEGALI MMIGRANTS who have to meet much more difficult conditions, ie medical, learn USA history, background check, and presumably no felony. Any illegal in the USA working is probably guilty of ID theft, a felony and should never be admitted to the USA.
    6. Politicians want it in order to increase their voting block, which is RACIST AND violates the EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW CLAUSE.
    Dems new motto:
    For the Hispanic race,evertying, for all other nothing.

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