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Anais Arias-Aragon poses for pictures with her certificate after receiving proof of U.S. citizenship during a ceremony in San Francisco, California January 30, 2013. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that he believes it is possible to get an overhaul of the U.S. immigration system certainly by the end of the year if not the first half of 2013.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Immigrants want to be American, not placed in legal limbo.
As we've been discussing the last several months, the GOP faces a lose-lose proposition on immigration—they either stand in the way of reform and lose the Latino and Asian votes in perpetuity, or they work toward reform and create millions of new net Democratic voters.

Either way, they suffer short-term pain, but if they play nice, they at least earn the ability to make a long-term play for those votes.

Well, the House GOP thinks it has found a third way—stop hunting down and deporting undocumented immigrants, but prohibit them from becoming U.S. citizens, hence voting. This is a popular solution in the conservative punditry as well, thinking it'll help alleviate their electoral and demographic pain.

But it will do none of that, because the underlying premise is still bigoted and discriminatory—the notion that Latino and Asian immigrants who've come to America to build a better life can never be Americans. And if they're going to send that message, they might as well just obstruct because that's not going to win them any immigrant votes. What's worse—those legal-but-not-American immigrants will breed, and most will have family and friends who are citizens. Who vote.

Then there's the Christian Right, which has laudably jumped on the reform bandwagon.

There has also been a shift in thinking among southern conservative religious leaders, who see Hispanics as a growing part of their congregations.

"Part of it has been a real campaign for awareness of the issue and what’s at stake on the issue," Land said. "There’s also the fact that some evangelicals have figured out that these people are mostly allies when it comes to social issues and unless you drive them away by being anti-Hispanic, they are going to vote the way social conservatives would like them to."

Shhhh, no one tell them that Latinos are more negative toward capitalism than Occupy Wall Street protesters, and that in 2012 exit polling, they were far more likely than the American population at large to support a woman's right to choose and marriage equality. Older Latinos, like older everyone else, are more conservative and religious than young people. And Latinos are nothing if not young—the average age of a native-born Latino is 18.

The Christian right should support immigration reform because it's the Christian thing to do. But if they want to delude themselves into thinking they'll gain electorally from it, all the better.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:26 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's interesting to watch (14+ / 0-)

    the disparate parts of the Republican coalition at war with itself.  I suspect they will just alienate Latinos even more.

    Here is a fun read about their demographic doomsday:

    This local British-American ethno-racial hegemony in the South was eroded somewhat by the migration of Northeasterners and Midwesterners to the Sun Belt following World War II and the advent of air-conditioning. And now, predominantly nonwhite immigration from Latin America and Asia threatens to make white Southerners of British Protestant descent a minority in their own region. Texas and Florida are already majority-minority states. It is only a matter of time before the same is true of every state in the South. Southern whites will go from being a minority in the nation as a whole to a minority in the South itself.

    If Southern culture had a tradition of assimilating immigrants, then cultural “Southernness” could be detached from any particular ethnicity or race. One could be an assimilated Chinese-American good old boy or a Mexican-American redneck.  To some degree, that is happening. And Southern whites and Southern blacks have always shared many elements of a common regional culture.

    But it is difficult, if not impossible, for many white Southerners to disentangle regional culture (Southern) from race (white) and ethnicity (British Protestant). The historical memory of white Southerners is not of ethnic coexistence and melting-pot pluralism but of ethnic homogeneity and racial privilege. Small wonder that going from the status of local Herrenvolk to local minority in only a generation or two is causing much of the white South to freak out.

    The demographic demise of the white South is going to be traumatic for the nation as a whol

    The white South's last defeat

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:33:19 PM PST

  •  the short-sightedness of the GOP Southern Strategy (6+ / 0-)

    yet again, and again....

    and unless you drive them away by being anti-Hispanic, they are going to vote the way social conservatives would like them to

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

    by annieli on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:36:23 PM PST

    •  The GOP lives in their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, Justin93

      bubble of out of date information and sensibilities. They still see Hispanics as those who fled Cuba to populate southern Florida.  A conservative bunch to be sure, and yet dying off---and these days, a very thin slice of the pie when it comes to defining the Hispanic population in America.

      The GOP is indeed the stupid party. Because they are incapable of learning, or availing themselves of the facts the rest of us know and understand.

      My God, if you're dumb enough to be shocked that Romney lost, with all the information that was out there to tell you his loss was imminent, you're damn dumb. And this goes from the top of the party down.

      Morning Joe's shock at Obama's win shows you just how far and deep the dumb spreads. Here's a guy who has countless minions to keep him up on realities, a guy with a "news" program on MSNBC. And yet he was clueless. Because he chose to be. What a dope.  They're all a bunch of dopes.


      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:39:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now there is some good eatin' (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Railfan, JeffW, rbird, Justin93

    It's a shit taco anyway the Republicans look at it. Long Range thinking is not exactly their forte. I am not sure any kind of thinking is.

  •  Oh, come on now, Kos. That logic works just fine! (5+ / 0-)

    See how it works over in the U.K.?

  •  Heh. "Right thing to do." That concept and (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, JeffW, rbird, Justin93

    Fundamentalist Christian politics do not mix well.

    Take back the House in 2014!!!! ( 50-state strategy needed)

    by mungley on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:28:18 PM PST

  •  Go to any southern conservative megachurch, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, JeffW, Justin93

    and you'll find the pews chock full with black voters. But when it comes to the voting booth, different ballgame. Just because you might find Latinos in the pews doesn't mean you'll see they'll become Republicans.

  •  Arizona legislator Steve Smith, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, JeffW

    the worst legislator in America, continues his grandstanding—introducing more anti-immigrant bills that are unenforceable and will only cost the state more in court cases.

    Another English-only bill on the table in Arizona

    HB 2283 requires any publication or document, other than voting material, issued to the public by a state agency to be in English and requires the non-English version to only be issued online and maintained in print at the state agency office," reads the bill's overview on the Legislature's website.
    And it sure helps win Latino votes too!

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:36:26 PM PST

  •  Anyone in the GOP that goes "too" far (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxomai, JeffW, rbird, Justin93

    will be primaried.  

  •  There's a deeply ideological blindness (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grapes, Justin93

    about much of the anti-immigrant public that makes it tough for them to understand the political realities at work.

    They don't seem to grasp that everyone has a family and a community, and that people don't just advocate for themselves (as seems to be the "ideal" conception of the citizen on the part of much of the right in particular) but for their fellow family and community members—and that it is their right to advocate for these people from their position as citizens.

    I saw this when I first married my wife, who was not at that time even a permanent resident yet (though she was here entirely legally).

    People routinely referred to "them" and to "her people" and "her country" when I would complain about immigration policy (we experienced it firsthand, and it is a mess).

    They would try to present arguments in a kind of ethnonationalist way about my responsibilities as an "American" versus "those people."

    They seemed flabbergasted when I made clear to them that this was my wife and a family member and that, in fact, immigration policy and my "fellow Americans" were a distant second in importance to me. They would stutter when I would suggest that as a citizen, I have a small voice with respect to immigration policy and I would use it to try to allow more of "them" (including my wife) to become "us."

    Much of the anti-immigrant crowd, as a matter of everyday life circumstances, simply see "us" in red, white, and blue terms, and have trouble conceiving of any "us" that crosses national or cultural boundaries that they take to be sacrosanct and prior to all other forms of relatedness or lack thereof.

    I swear I had some conversations with working class white guys in their '60s who thought that I was by all rights closer to them than I was to my wife, just because "we were both Americans" and she was a "foreigner."

    -9.63, 0.00
    "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

    by nobody at all on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:47:06 PM PST

  •  To Gain All Of Those Democratic Votes (0+ / 0-)

    That you are counting on you are going to first have to grant LPR status to all of the illegal immigrants, and then you are going to have to naturalize all of them.

    Before you count your chickens you might want to first look at naturalization rates among those granted amnesty with IRCA

    46%, 44%, 37%, those are the naturalization rates among Mexican citizens granted amnesty under IRCA. For SAW IRCA immigrants from Mexico, the naturalization rate was 28%

    Illegal immigrants don't come to America because they want citizenship and the "American Dream", they come for a job.

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:46:22 PM PST

  •  I wouldn't be surprised if thier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, Justin93

    third way is actually the worst because not only do you piss off minorities for the long term but you encourage them to turn out which if that happens well 2016 could be a fun year for the democrats

  •  You Got That Right Kos! (0+ / 0-)

    Without a doubt!

    the underlying premise is still bigoted and discriminatory—the notion that Latino and Asian immigrants who've come to America to build a better life can never be Americans. And if they're going to send that message, they might as well just obstruct because that's not going to win them any immigrant votes. What's worse—those legal-but-not-American immigrants will breed, and most will have family and friends who are citizens. Who vote.
    The National Immigration Forum News

    Contact Your Government Officials
    (Senators, Especially, But, Contact All Of Them Too)!
    Tell Them That The DREAM Act (And Immigration Reform), Must Be Considered And Passed!

    Online Info, How To call, e-mail, or mail U.S. state and federal elected officials and government agencies.

    Remind Them, That It Is The Grandchildren Of Immigrants Who Put Them Where They Are!

    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:43:04 PM PST

  •  Who wouldn't permanent serfdom? (0+ / 0-)

    That's what this is: you can work for Massa', but don't dare think you might get to have a say in how the Lord runs things.

    Disgusting.  Fundamentally, viciously unAmerican.  

    But hey, it worked for the Conquistadors.  Heck, the Talibangelicals will even save the little Indians souls.

    Right after they work them to death, of course.

    The only people who think anyone will fall for this are the bigots running the Thugs.

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