I keep hearing word about this Republican Party that wants to 'reach out' to minorities and 'make room' for them in their 'big tent'. And I keep wondering 'Where are they?!'
The GOP I see, is the one that constantly makes excuses for the extremists among them who question the nation's first black president legitimacy not only as the President but as a citizen. They have, until very, very recently (as in after the thorough embarrassment brought about by the official long firm birth certificate. The short form produced earlier by the President would have been enough to get a drivers license in Hawaii, or any other state). They accuse this same President of 'grabbing credit' for the execution of Osama Bin Laden, our nation's 'Public Enemy #1' while seeking at nearly every term to give credit to the previous President, who publicly declared that Bin Laden's whereabouts were of little concern to him. After frightening the elderly with the specter of the President's health care reform killing their Medicare, they then frighten the elderly by threatening to essentially end Medicare in the name of the country's fiscal health.
And now, in Texas, breathlessly panting after Arizona-like immigration 'reform' they begin the process of alienating Hispanics by passing legislation that would gives law enforcement officials the de facto power of ICE officials. And they do this while not only Hispanics, but law enforcement agencies across the state say this is power that would encumber their ability to enforce the law.
"Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, the longest serving member of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, calledHouse Bill 12, “the most anti-civil rights legislation I have ever seen in the Texas House – having been here 27 years.”"
I'm too cheap to gamble, but I'm willing to bet some money that those sentiments are in the minority among those whom Republicans say they want under their tent.
I think its time to put an end to the perceived necessity to preface every defense of calls for a sane immigration policy with, '...of course we want to protect our borders...' No one I know of who has called for progressive immigration reform has called for open borders, or less border security. No one conservatives know have called for it either. What I have a serious problem with is laws enacted that are aimed at 'protecting' our country from a particular group. This is not a denial of the violence in Mexico by drug cartels, or the need to utilize every means at our disposal, nor am I saying that those who are not citizens in our country need not comport with our laws and follow a path toward naturalization or allowed to stay through a strict guest worker program. But laws based on fear mongering and bigotry are the very antithesis of the democratic spirit upon which our country was founded. And there are no simplistic rationale or sloganeering that can make something like HB 12 anything else but fear base legislation.
If you don't think that's true, remember the 'exception' one legislator wanted to make in one of her 'tough on immigrant' bills.