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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Is Hillary Clinton the Lesser of Two Evils on Immigration?

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Social justice writer, public education advocate, immigrant rights activist, and US Navy Veteran Robert D. Skeels has published an essay that explores the immigration policies of key Democratic Party leaders including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano, and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the context of both neoliberalism and U.S. interventionism in Latin America. The essay is entitled: "Lesser Evil? The Democrats and immigration policy in the era of neoliberalism."

Skeels' examination of key Democrats, and their roles in imposing draconian immigration enforcement, has resulted in the conclusion that Hillary Clinton's heavy handed record on immigration should give immigration reform activists pause.

He writes:

While Clinton frequently modulates her rhetorical positions, it is more than she is generally to the right of most of her fellow Democrats. Instead, she is often to the right of many Republicans on immigration issues. Exemplary is this 2004 newspaper passage: “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is staking out a position on illegal immigration that is more conservative than President Bush”. This was not a fluke, the self-proclaimed “Goldwater Girl” has consistently held herself out as being tougher than Republicans on immigration and has crafted a message that essentially tars all immigrants as being possible terrorists. Consider the latter part of this passage: “In an interview on WABC radio, she said, ‘I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants,‘ and in an interview on Fox News she accused Bush of not doing enough to ‘protect our borders and ports‘”. Akers Chacón rightly identifies this strategy—one that Clinton has mastered: “the Democratic Party has not only made ‘winning the war on terrorism‘ its clarion call, but it is also responsible for helping to shift the debate to the border.” The unparalleled nexus of domestic law enforcement, barriers, increased border patrol, and so-called “Homeland Security” bound by policies including Secure Communities is something that Clinton has advocated for during her career. Maestas deftly sums this up: “Democrats like the Clintons have championed ‘get tough’ policies that have bolstered bureaucracies and enterprises (private prisons) who have an incentive to maintain the status quo.”

Click here to read the entire essay.

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Do the names Paul von Hindenburg and Franz von Papen mean anything to readers, or has historical amnesia, or just plain ignorance, set in to the point where no one knows or cares about the factors that enabled the rise of Hitler to power in 1933?

    Without going into detail, both Hindenburg and von Papen were old style right wing autocrats, hardly models of liberal democracy. Yet, at least for a while, they were the last line of defense, Hindenburg as President of Germany and von Papen as Chancellor, against Hitler's rise to power, before they finally caved in.

    Hindenburg, ultimately asked Hitler to become Chancellor after the Nazis won the largest number of votes in the 1932 election. Thus began the Nazi era.

    What is the point of dredging up all this ancient history in a discussion of Hillary Clinton? Only this: Hillary is far from a model liberal politician - on immigration or anything else. Probably not just a single article, but volumes, or maybe a whole library, could be written about her shortcomings as a politician and office holder, not to mention those of her husband.

    But Hillary is committed to preserving our democracy and our constitution. Barring a Bernie Sanders miracle, she is the last line of defense against a Donald Trump dictatorship.

    Trump does not yet have his SA and SS storm troopers out in the streets beating up opponents and singing that Muslim and Latino blood will flow, just as Hitler's "special task forces" sang about Jewish blood flowing in 1933.

    But the seeds of Trump's dictatorship have already been planted - in his racist attacks on Muslim and Latino immigrants, his plan to build a Wall, and carry out mass deportation of 11 million Latino, Asian and black immigrants, his vile racial attacks on the judiciary, his addiction to violence and torture, and his vicious, scurrilous attacks on women, disabled people, war heroes and anyone else who gets in his way. These are only a taste of what we can expect if Trump takes power.

    For those who enjoy tearing down and demonizing Hillary, go ahead. But do not pretend that what would follow instead of Hillary would not be unimaginably worse.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 06-07-2016 at 09:39 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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