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Still No Immigration Reform From Washington - Who Will Immigrants And Their Supporters Vote For In November?: Left of Center View

American voters tend to be single subject participants in the democratic process. The vast majority vote either along party lines, or by various affiliations. Religious folks vote for the candidate that most mirrors their beliefs, while others tend to cast in with the candidate that champion their cause. So it would make sense that immigrants and their supporters throw their support behind those candidates that share their viewpoint on immigration reform.

The problem is that most politicians actually care very little about the subject. For the most part when we talk about immigration on a national level what we are really talking about is folks from Central and South America. Itís a great rallying point in the southern states along the border, but not so much up north. Canada is more worried about us going there than we are worried about them coming here and in most of the middle parts of the country there simply arenít enough for it to be a big concern.

Granted in the southern border-states immigration is a hot button topic. Senate and Congressional candidates can win or lose an election on that one issue alone. But everywhere else itís just another plank in the platform. There are much larger blocks of voters that must be appeased, the elderly with Medicare and Social Security reforms or bailouts, making actually getting anything done on a national level is next to impossible. Something else always comes first.

Even the unions, one of the strongest voter blocks in the country canít take a united stand on immigration. Labor needs to stand together, so even though they may hem and haw and drag out the whole ďtheyíre taking our jobsĒ line the reality is that for most unions undocumented workers are little or no threat, and itís a problem that solves itself Ė union workers are documented workers. The fact of the matter is that for most unions, the problem isnít people from foreign nations taking American jobs, itís that the jobs going to foreign nations.

Immigration reform may end up deciding a race here and there in New Mexico or Texas, but on a national level it will most likely go the way of the other sweeping federal reforms. Like the financial bail-out, that in reality did little more than allow the Wall Street bonus structure to continue uninterrupted. Or health care reform, which unless itís radically changed will accomplish little more than allowing insurance companies to add to their coffers. The problem is that any time this country tries to do something on a national level it goes to Washington. Washington, where the lobbyists and politicians go out to expensive dinners and hammer out the details until the great reforms are so diluted by cocktail conversations that there is very little that changes for the little guy, the American citizen.

Immigration reform is something that needs to start on the community level. People need to work with people. It needs to move from a sound byte to a communal practice. It needs to be combined with other issues, such as economic hardship and the loss of jobs, not just lost to undocumented workers in America, but to jobs being sent overseas as well. Immigration reform needs to be incorporated into the penal code and international relations. Immigration is what this country was built on. America was a colony, a place where immigrants came to improve their lives. Immigration is the common bond and that shared bond should be one of our greatest strengths, not the lynchpin that divides us. Let us stop pointing the blame for our current woes at those below us and redirect our anger and need for reform at those above, who truly deserve our scrutiny.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Still No Immigration Reform From Washington - Who Will Immigrants And Their Supporters Vote For In November?: Right of Center View

That all depends on how much they actually know and care about the records of the people they vote for. While the Democrats talk a good game they donít seem to deliver much to the people they are supposedly fighting for. In the four years since the Democrats took control of Congress they have not passed one significant piece of legislation to address the immigration crisis in America despite running on it as a core issue in the last two elections. They seem to expect people to forget what they did in their last term when they make promises for the next term.

Unlike the liberals most true conservatives running for office have a plan to address the immigration crisis in a fair way that respects the rule of law and works in the best interests of the American people. Long before there was a ďpath to citizenshipĒ plan from the Democrats, Republicans supported guest worker programs and other legitimate means for people to come to this country to support their families while making sure that Americans didnít lose their jobs to people working under the table. Republicans have been ready, willing and able to come to the table for the last four years but have been shut out of the discussion by Nancy Pelosi and her congressional goon squad of committee chairs and calendar setting bureaucrats. While theyíve been calling Republicans the ďparty of noĒ they have been the ones actively working to keep conservative voices muzzled in policy discussions on Capitol Hill.

The thing that immigrants need to know is that conservatives are not your enemies. We tell you the truth and donít sugarcoat it. We wonít promise you some undeliverable utopia just to get elected. We do expect people to be held accountable for their actions but that does not make us bigoted or anti-immigrant. We welcome people from all nations who make the effort to go through the immigration process and put in the time to earn their citizenship. We think that those people more than anyone else should be supporting our goals. Why would they want to cheapen their efforts to become U.S. citizens by letting people get away with cheating the system through another amnesty program? The legal immigrants deserve to have their efforts validated by enforcing the laws to make everyone follow the same rules they did to become citizens.

I guess the real question here is do those immigrants that have earned the right to vote in elections want to see someone devalue their efforts by offering all the benefits theyíve worked hard for to anyone who could slip past border security? I know if it was me I would not want to see people getting all the benefits that I worked hard to get without putting in the time and effort that they should to get them. Personally, Iím a fan of people earning what they get. I was raised to believe that nobody deserved a free ride. I see hard working legal immigrants every day and my hat is off to them. They followed the rules, stood in the lines, took the tests and became citizens the right way. Every American should welcome them with open hearts, minds and arms. They are not our enemies in any way.

At the end of the day it is about honesty when you step into the voting booth. Who do you trust will tell you the truth? Have Republicans ever told you they were going to throw the rules out the window to give one group preferential treatment over another? Nope, itís never happened. We tell you what we are thinking and what we will do when we take office. You have to ask yourself, which side actually delivers what they promise? More often than not it is the conservatives that actually deliver.

Tony M. - California | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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