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Demonstrators march against amnesty for illegal aliens, during a rally against the immigration reform bill in Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington July 15, 2013.  REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana
The anti-reform movement has been nuts for a while now.
Watching these right-wing meltdowns over the possibility of immigration reform increasingly reminds me of Confederate rhetoric used in the various secession documents. There's the overwhelming surety in the superiority of White Folks, and dire warnings of how America will surely lose itself if we let those folks have a say in it, both things so supposedly obvious and certain that they are worth committing violence for; I'm not necessarily saying it's a fair comparison, I'm just saying that when you start talking about the American way of life and American society and culture being threatened by the increased presence or power of any non-white group, the language used does tend to blur together. Here's a "Center for Immigration Studies" guy giving a speech to a Texas Tea Party group, and he would fit in pretty damn well with any of the various white supremacy voices of 50 or 150 years ago.
If comprehensive immigration reform passes, we will lose our liberty and become a one-party state, we will watch our nation be balkanized along ethnic and cultural lines and lose its social cohesion, as we witness what is an essence a population transfer from another country with a different language, a different culture, which will become the dominant demographic in this country. We will witness the erosion of the middle class and the emergence of a vast, restive permanent underclass. We will watch the Constitution become a dead letter, as the rule of law is overthrown.
And the reason America will become a one-party state is because apparently the Republican Party would rather slit its collective wrists than do anything that would convince those people that they could vote for their party as well. Oh, and because giving people already here some paperwork will naturally result in them becoming a permanent underclass, since those people wouldn't possibly have the smarts to move up the wage ladder with the rest of us (not that too many of the rest of us are either, but details, details).
We did a study, a huge study, we got a lot of money from our main donor. And, by the way, we divided the study along religious lines, because we were interested in watching, because religious leaders – God help me, find a baseball bat, there would be a whole lot fewer of them around – but they are all of them, right across the spectrum, are the leaders of the amnesty. From the Conference of Catholic Bishops to every Jewish organization to the National Conference of Churches, all of them are all in the same league.
When you're threatening to murder religious leaders with a baseball bat, you are probably doing religion "wrong," but there you go.

Now here is the thing: Our Center for Immigration Studies guy is not unaware of the comparison to past civil rights battles. Or the violence committed in them. Or the possibility of war over over it. He all but embraces it; when a questioner wonders aloud about putting a Texas militia on the border to "take care" of the perceived problem, Immigration Studies guy shuts him down by saying the federal government would bring the military in to stop them.

Questioner: So they would go to war with their own people to keep these people…

Steinlight: That’s correct. I mean, obviously, I’m not talking about the same context at all, so don’t be offended. If you think about what happened, say, in the South, during desegregation, when governors who wanted to defend integration used the National Guard – the federal government sent the 101st Airborne Division out. What I’m telling you right now is that if Texas militia, in Washington language, ‘takes the law into its own hands,’ that is to say tries to enforce the law that the federal government will not enforce, right? The federal government will send the United States Army into Texas and disarm you, violently or nonviolently. They will not permit it.

These people ain't right in the head. They are, however, the spitting image of people America has heard a great deal from in the past. They're not even terribly "offended" by that.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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