Six Immigration Lies, Dispelled

Ron Saxton’s* television commercial entitled “immigration facts” made me remember an article that Ron must have missed when he was surfing through Alternet…

Oh and Ron, people are not “illegal.” People commit actions that might be against the law, but undocumented people are not “illegal.” Calling a person “illegal” takes away their humanity/dignity.

*Ron Saxton is a candidate for governor in Oregon.

Six Immigration Lies, Dispelled
via Alternet:

In the ongoing battle over immigration, conservative rhetoric continues to escalate. It’s racist, and it gets results. This year, more than 30 states have passed 57 laws banning the undocumented from receiving social services or pledging National Guard troops to patrol the southern U.S. border.

Here, then, are the six racist myths driving the immigration debate, dispelled.

Immigrants are not animals. Last week, Rep. Steve Katz, R.-Ariz., presented his proposal to Congress for a “super fence” along the border. “We could electrify it,” he said, “not enough to kill somebody but enough to make them think twice. We do that with livestock all the time.” If the problem eased, he suggested, we could open it up again and “let the livestock run through.” Enough said.

Neither are they terrorists. In Colorado, a dramatic series of debates ended with the state legislature passing a law requiring adult applicants for public services to prove citizenship. Republicans complained about being beaten down in a “Friday night massacre” because the law didn’t go far enough, according to State Rep. Debbie Stafford, R-Aurora.

“We’re helping to create the next generation of terrorists,” she told the Rocky Mountain News . There is no documented connection between immigration and terrorism. When making the flimsy argument that immigration threatens our national security, conservatives like to cite the example of the 9/11 hijackers. Yet, they forget that all 19 hijackers entered the country legally.

Tent cities at the border would be 21st-century concentration camps. Don Goldwater, Arizona’s leading Republican gubernatorial candidate, wants to arrest border crossers, imprison them in tents and make them build that coveted super fence. All those National Guard troops sent to the southern border would be kept busy guarding the camps.

There’s no invasion. In Idaho, Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez, modeling himself after Tom Tancredo, accused his opponents in a Senate race of “collaborating with the unarmed enemy invading America.”

His grandparents were Mexican immigrants, but he fears the consequences of letting in more of their kind, calling this a war: “Either we protect and defend Old Glory at every challenge, or we all learn Spanish and get used to the chicken and worm on the Mexican flag.”

They speak English, just not “English only.” Mayor Tom Macklin of Avon Park, Florida, pushed for a new law based on a Pennsylvania precedent that makes English the city’s official language — in addition to fining landlords and denying business licenses to those who accommodate the horde. The city will remove Spanish from all documents, signs and automated phone messages.

They do not drain public coffers. Lamenting the strain the undocumented impose on our public services is a favorite straw man erected by nativist politicians. Yet, once again, the facts don’t support the argument. Studies in state after state show that immigrants pay their fair share of taxes.

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