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Did Far Right Wing Hate Kill Immigration Reform? By Roger Algase

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

In my last two posts, I have explained at length why immigration reform legislation in Congress is completely dead, not just partly or temporarily dead, and why no one should expect it suddenly to come back to life any time before the 2016 presidential election at the very soonest.

As in the case of any killing, it is natural to search around for the culprit or culprits. The obvious culprit, of course, is the House Republican leadership. But why did that leadership, which had at least been making a few noises last summer and fall about how it might it might be willing to consider enacting reform "the right way" by passing "piecemeal" bills, finally decide instead to take out the knives and do away with reform entirely?

Again, the answer is clear; all but a handful of House Republicans (19 at most, according to the right wing outlet Newsmax) are either strongly opposed to reform or afraid to support it because of strong Tea Party influence in their gerrymandered white dominated districts.

The Tea Party and its allies are therefore the real culprits in the death of immigration reform, as indeed I have been arguing in many of my posts over the past several months. But why is the Tea Party so opposed to immigration reform, and to immigration in general?

Is the Tea Party a legitimate movement, with a philosophy of government and ideas which can be taken seriously and with which there can be some kind of dialogue? Is there some common ground which immigration advocates might be able to find with the Tea Party which could be a possible basis for a rational discussion between the two sides??

To answer these questions, it is helpful to look more closely into the mindset of those who profess to speak for the Tea Party, or to it. One such person is Stephen Steinlight, who calls himself a "senior policy analyst" at the anti-immigrant lobby group which goes under the misleading name "Center for Immigration Studies" (CIS, not to be confused with USCIS).

I first wrote about Steinlight in a post that appeared last Christmas day, but there was little in the way of good will or holiday cheer in his expressed hatred for Latino immigrants, which included almost every anti-immigrant stereotype and racial slur that has been used against immigrants to America from just about anywhere during the last century.

I also pointed out the irony of someone such as Steinlight, who has fought well and hard to combat the scourge of anti-semitism according to his biography, engaging in the same prejudice against Latinos that he opposes so vigorously when directed against his own ethnic group, which has been the victim of such terrible persecution within the lifetimes of many people who are still around today (including yours truly).

Lat us see what Steinlight's latest comments are about immigration reform in order to find out if there has been any evolution in his thinking since last December.

According to an article by Miranda Blue in Right Wing Watch dated March 27, CIS's Steinlight: immigration Reform A Psychotic' 'Plot Against America' That Will Kill The Constitution, Steinlight, in a recent speech to a Texas Tea party group, called comprehensive immigration reform a "plot against America" that will kill the Constitution and cause Americans to "lose our liberty and become a one party state.".

He also said that Republicans who support the CIR bill "are psychotic, so greedy as to be politically blind, or just stupid." He also warned that we will:

"witness what is in essence a population transfer from another country with a different language, a different culture, which will be the dominant demographic in his country."

As for the many religious leaders of different faiths, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish, who have spoken out in favor of reform, his advice is:

"God help me, find a baseball bat because then 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."
[sic] (Bold added.)

The above statements all belong to the classic language of hate. It is also, almost word-for-word, the same language that was used against Steinlight's (and my own) Jewish forebears in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, not to mention Italian, Polish, Middle Eastern, Asian and African immigrants during the same period, right up to the 1965 immigration reform law which Steinlight and many other immigration opponents still condemn because it no longer gave special preference to white immigrants from Northern and Western Europe.

the link is:

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/conten...l-constitution

This, in essence, is the kind of "thinking" that killed immigration reform in 2014. Until this kind of crass bigotry and blind hate is eliminated as a political force in our society, immigration reform will remain a distant dream.

_________________________________
Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 30 years, he has been devoted to helping business and professional applicants overcome the obstacles of our complex immigration system and achieve their goal of living and working in America.

His practice centers on H-1B and O-1 work visas, PERM labor certification and EB-1 extraordinary ability green cards, and permanent residence through opposite or same sex marriage, as well as other immigration and citizenship cases. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com













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Updated 03-31-2014 at 01:06 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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