Progressive Politicians Selling Out Migrants for No Good Reason
Well, keep in mind what I was addressing. I was addressing misinformation by the other side that was engaging in scare tactics. So I was essentially quoting them. I was saying, "for those of you who are saying that illegal immigrants are going to be covered under this plan," I said that's not true. Right? So I'm using their language because I was addressing the misinformation that they are providing. And I was speaking directly to an audience, the American people, who because of this misinformation, I think actually were very responding often times in a negative way.I don't buy it.
Obama's use of the term dovetails with his ally Senator Schumer's public repudiation of the term "undocumented immigrant" in favor of the tough-sounding but legally meaningless term "illegal immigrant." Obama's usage dates back to a decision in early 2008 to adopt right-wing framing on immigration in the hope of later passing a legalization bill.
If that was the plan, it hasn't worked very well so far. We have no idea when the Democrats will introduce an immigration bill. Schumer keeps pushing the date back. I've seen little evidence congressional Democrats or the administration are interested in expending political capital on immigration. They want it to be easy. They want something handed to them on a platter, with the work already done.
Meanwhile, opponents of immigration reform are deeply committed to their cause. Most so-called supporters are lukewarm at best about the issue, and right now I place Barack Obama in that category.
Like many progressive politicians, Barack Obama wants immigrant votes but also wants the political safety he wrongly believes comes from using the mano duro ("hard hand") against immigrants. I say "wrongly believes" because pandering to nativist sentiment will not convince a single anti-immigrant voter to vote for a single progressive politician, it will only alienate migrant and migrant-allied voters and make the panderer seem like a weasel, never an attractive quality to the voting public. But this impulse to pander is one reason why DHS under Obama is fundamentally the same as DHS under Bush: same early morning home raids, same InSecure Communities, same high levels of deportation, same routine violation of due process rights. Obama wants the support of immigrant voters while he persecutes immigrant communities.
Like San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom.
Like Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter.
Like Democratic nominee for Philly District Attorney Seth Williams.
Like Newark mayor Cory Booker? (I don't have enough information to confirm this, but I wonder whether Newark Liberty International Airport's seriously immigrant-unfriendly policies have anything to do with the pressure on Booker to crack down on immigrants after the 2007 triple murder in which Jose Carranza, an undocumented immigrant, was charged.)
If you are a progressive voter and you support any of these politicians (excepting Booker--the jury is still out), I have a question for you.
Do you support exploiting fear of immigrants for political gain, as these politicians have done? If not, why do you give them your vote?
If you disagree with what these leaders are doing to immigrant communities, will you let them know? Otherwise, they have no incentive to stop doing what they are now doing, throwing immigrants under the bus without fear of consequence.