“It’s amnesty that America can’t afford,” Barletta said Monday. “We have to stop people from coming in illegally. This will be a green light for anyone who wants to come to America illegally and then be granted citizenship one day.”
“I hope politics is not at the root of why we’re rushing to pass a bill. Anyone who believes that they’re going to win over the Latino vote is grossly mistaken,” Barletta said. “The majority that are here illegally are low-skilled or may not even have a high school diploma. The Republican Party is not going to compete over who can give more social programs out. They will become Democrats because of the social programs they’ll depend on.”
Think Progres had this wonderful quote and a brief report on Lou Barletta, who recently stated that immigrants were essentially government dependents that were too uneducated to be Republican voters. They were going to go where the handouts were.
I'm adopted. This should be obvious to anyone wondering why I'm six feet tall and white, and at family reunions everyone else is five foot five and brown. I have the interesting experience of being the first college graduate in my family. Not only the first college graduate, but the first person with a masters, and soon I will be completing my dissertation for doctoral degree. I vote Democrat. Much of my family votes Republican. I'm not concerned with the why, what I'm concerned with is the implication that just because somebody immigrated here from Mexico or another Latin country, that they're somehow dumb dependents.
If I count right, I have at least four aunts and three uncles. Added to my mother, that makes eight children my grandmother had after coming to America. She wasn't a government dependent, and neither was my family. My grandmother worked every day of her life.my mother held multiple jobs to contribute to the family. All my uncles served honorably in the U.S. military. This in the second generation of a Hispanic immigrant family.
My family wasn't lazy. They earned their way in the United States. They worked, hard, to make their living. The government didn't give so much to them that they didn't give back. They gave back through their labor. They paid in taxes. They paid by serving in war during the Vietnam Era. The ironic part is that, despite what men like Barletta imply about my grandmother and uncles or aunts, that my family votes for his party. I do understand the why. I disagree, but its their choice.
The point, though, is that they are not what this man claims they are. They are not lazy. Hey are not uneducated. They have back to the U.S. And no man, from his privileged position in Washington, gets to insinuate that my family didn't work hard to make it. I wonder if this man has ever spent extended time in a place like the south side of San. Antonio, where some people had no heating, maybe a window air condition unit, and had a three room house for a family of eight or nine. I wonder if he has spent extended time living in a place with broken pavement, street violence, no access to libraries or book stores, underfunded schools and little economic opportunity.
Here's the solution to your Hispanic problem, Republicans. If you want their vote, treat them like human beings. Stop calling them dumb and lazy. They didn't come to America to be dependent, but to achieve economic success. Invest into their neighborhoods, ease their tax burden, allow them to rise up the economic ladder, fight so they don't face discrimination under the law, put more money into their schools, make it easier for them to vote, provide affordable and easily accessible medical care. The solutions to your problem are endless. The problem is that you're not the party that wants to embrace them.