As you may have noticed, supporters of a get-tough approach to immigration have ruled the World-Herald's Public Pulse page on that issue. Progressives need to make our voices heard also. Please write the World-Herald's Public Pulse page at pulse at owh.com before June 21, when Fremont will vote on its anti-immigrant ordinance. In case they help, some angles to consider are attached.
Thanks for your help. You're welcome to contact me with questions and comments.
Some “Thinking Points” on Immigration
• Although many call the people in question “illegal immigrants,” some better ways to think of them are as economic refugees, neighbors, fellow children of God, or the term of your choice. The label “illegal immigration” makes the issue one of law enforcement, so using this label risks labeling yourself as against enforcing the law.
• Instead of burdening police with a duty that doesn't belong to them, as Arizona has done, we should support the public agencies responsible for enforcing laws on immigration, housing, and employment discrimination.
• The presence of these immigrants is a symptom, not the problem. Potential examples of the real problem include:
? Although Big Business promised that NAFTA and similar treaties would create broad prosperity south of the border, this promise has not been kept. Unable to find work at home, people risk everything to come to our country.
? Decades of bias in our Farm Bill toward agribusiness have put small farmers out of business in both America and south of the border. If they can't stay on the land, where will they go?
? Although conservatives said we had to wage a War on Drugs, this war has failed to protect us and has made life a living hell for too many of our neighbors to the south. We need to rethink our drug policies and to help Mexico stop the violence.
Please avoid the following arguments:
• The ordinance is unconstitutional because it would require racial profiling to enforce it, and that's not allowed.
• Immigration enforcement is a Federal duty, not a local one.
• The ordinance would be expensive to enforce.
While true, these argue that it can't be done, not that it shouldn't be done. Conservatives argue that it's necessary and right. We need to argue that it's wrong.