Racism, jabber and immigration

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House minority leader, made a couple of statements last week that earned her the ire of the Republicans.

“I think race has something to do with the fact that they [the Republicans] are not bringing up an immigration bill,” she said. “I’ve heard them say to the Irish, ‘If it was you, it would be easy.’”

If anyone doubts the Pelosi’s veracity, one need only meet Representative Steve King, someone who, if racism were a virtue, would be placed on an altar.

Rep. Steve King, someone who, if racism were a virtue, would be placed on an altar.
Rep. Steve King, someone who, if racism were a virtue, would be placed on an altar.

Such is the racism of this Iowa Republican that, despite his pitiful mediocrity as a legislator, he occupies a place of honor among the extremists in Washington because of his runaway hatred for immigrants.

Proof of that hatred is this quote:

“We could also electrify the wire [on the border] with the kind of current that wouldn’t kill anyone but would simply discourage them [potential immigrants] if they played with it,” King said during a debate on control of the border between Mexico and the U.S.

“This is what we do with cattle all the time,” he added.

It is hard to believe, but this man, who dehumanizes immigrants by comparing them with cattle, is no less than the vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and one of the politicians with the greatest influence on the issue in Washington.

In that position, to no one’s surprise, King has devoted himself to closing all doors to the undocumented. He doesn’t care that multiple surveys have shown that most Americans — the people he’s supposed to represent — favor the legalization of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants now in the country.

Always hungry for publicity, King is notorious not for his scant merits in the service of his constituents but for his hallucinatory statements, loaded with racial hatred.

It is not easy to hate the Dreamers, children who were brought by their parents illegally into the United States, youngsters who grew up in this country and aspire with a fervor worthy of admiration to an opportunity to pursue their dreams of higher education. It is not easy — unless your name is Steve King.

Last week, King, who previously had accused them of being drug “mules,” said that the Dreamers who want to enlist in the armed forces not only should be rejected but also deported at once.

Rep. Jeff Denham introduced the ENLIST Act.
Rep. Jeff Denham introduced the ENLIST Act.

“We have a bus for you to Tijuana” was his message in reaction to a bill called the ENLIST Act, introduced by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) with bipartisan support.

The ENLIST Act would allow undocumented immigrants to join the armed forces and legalize their immigration situation once they successfully complete their military service. Although exchanging books for rifles is never a good idea, that’s something that many Dreamers who feel as American as King himself wish to do.

“Citizenship must be precious, not handed out like candy in a parade,” said King in a typical burst of cheesy patriotism.

Of course, King never exchanged books for a rifle. This fire-eating extremist who supported with sick vehemence the war in Iraq and added his voice to the clamor to bomb Iran, had no compunctions about asking for a student deferral to avoid serving in the armed forces in Vietnam. Cheesy patriotism, all right.

The fact that a recalcitrant nativist like King holds an office of vital importance for the millions of immigrants whom he so openly despises discloses the magnitude of the leap to the far right made by the Republican leadership and proves Pelosi right about the true motive of that leadership’s inability to act in good faith to solve the immigration crisis.

Thanks in good measure to racists like King, of the much-touted integral immigration reform there’s nothing left but a mirage raised to keep the Hispanic voters pacified. That is why the only real alternative right now is to demand that President Obama use his executive powers to end at once the deportations that so much unjustifiable pain have caused to millions of immigrant families.

Everything else is jabber.


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