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Racism, the Shutdown and CIR: An Immigration Law Professor's View. By Roger Algase

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Geoffrey Hoffman, Clinical Associate Professor and Faculty Supervisor of the University of Houston Immigration Clinic, writes about the pervasive effects of the Tea Party's racism in his recent article Immigration Reform 2013, the Shutdown and Miss America All Have One Thing in Common (policymic.com October 17, 2013) Here is the link:

www.policymic.com/articles/68613/immigration-reform-2013-the -shutdown-and-miss-america-all-have-one-thing-in-common

"The Miss America pageant, the recent government shutdown and immigration reform appear to be disparate and distinct topics, but they are actually related in a deep and meaningful way. The racist response to the crowning of the first Indian-American Miss America is indicative of a growing fear of diversity in America that will pose a major obstacle to our legislative process moving forward...

The opposition to funding Obamacare was just a pretext for a larger agenda, to reduce the size of government at all costs. The Tea Party and its advocates would like nothing more than to (partially) shut down the government - permanently...

The consequences of such a shutdown would be felt (and were felt, to a limited extent) primarily by minorities and the less fortunate, those with a need for programs considered "non-essential" like Head Start, school lunches, and health care...


"The same racism that that motivated the Tea Party's decisions can be seen in the rants against Nina Davuluri [Miss America]...It revealed a deep anxiety which will become ever more present among certain members of our society as our country's demographics change and evolve...

Professor Hoffman then explains the connection with immigration reform:

And this brings us to immigration reform. There is no question that Senate Bill S. 744 is a major accomplishment and would go a long way toward reforming America's broken immigration system...

But if the Senate bill (in some modified form after a hoped-for conference between the House and Senate) is to pass, we must first acknowledge and deal with those intransigents in the House who have now shown themselves so starkly and visibly. Do we imagine that those in the House who worked for a government shutdown by advocating defunding Obamacare would ever agree to revamp a broken immigration system in any positive way?"
(Emphasis added.)

Professor Hoffman concludes:

"Since such opponents have now made themselves known, let us find strength even in their ignominious ramblings. Let us resist racism and prejudice which is really what is behind their rhetoric and obstructionism... Immigration reform is deeply connected and intertwined with a larger issue lurking behind all policy decisions: How we see ourselves in a future America, what that America looks like, and how our government functions to make that future a better one for all. Until we grapple with these issues, no reform can happen."
(Emphasis added.)

The media, and even some immigration advocates, are bending over backward to ignore or try to gloss over the relationship between the Tea Party's attacks against any government program which would benefit minorities (though the Tea Party has no problem with one big and expensive government bureaucracy - ICE, which, even during the shutdown, was continuing with President Obama's record number of deportations of Latino and other brown immigrants in a vain attempt to appease the bigots on the right - see Pablo Alvarado, Putting immigration on right path, Politico, October 21).

dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=1579227D-CDAO-4F25-A308-284A2085267C

But trying to downplay the fundamental role of white racism in obstructing or vilifying anything that would benefit or reflect favorably on minorities, whether a Miss America crown, government programs to help the less well off, or meaningful immigration reform, will not make bigotry, or its pernicious effects on America's politics, go away.

Everyone who cares about immigration reform, and the future of America as a multiracial society free from racism and prejudice, should read Professor Hoffman's full article.




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Updated 10-22-2013 at 08:42 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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