Obama’s Right: Anti-Immigration is Anti-American

by guest blogger Steve Vaughan

President Obama hit Republican upside the head with the unAmerican stick yesterday.

They certainly deserved it.

“This whole anti-immigrant sentiment that’s out there in our politics right now is contrary to who we are. Because unless you are a Native American, your family came from someplace else,” Obama said. “Don’t pretend that somehow 100 years ago the immigration process was all smooth and strict. That’s not how it worked.” The grandparents and great-grandparents of politicians taking a hard line on immigration, he said, were also “somehow considered unworthy or uneducated or unwashed.”

“When I hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different from my kids or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care, I think that’s un-American,” Obama said.

He’s right.obama-immigration

Nativism is unAmerican.

There have always been nativist fringers…but that’s what they are, the fringe.

Before Hispanics and Asians, their targets were the Irish, the Italians, the Jews.

Nativism is a sucker bet in American politics. You could ask Patrick Buchanan.

The forces of reaction always lose here, because this is a country founded not on common blood lines or common cultural ties but on a shared commitment to an optimistic vision of the future that sees more freedom for more people as the inevitable path forward.

The party of pessimism doesn’t win in the U.S.

When I heard Donald Trump arguing to “Make America Great Again,” my first thought is “America is already great.” And it’s greater now than it was 10 years ago or 50 years ago or 100 years ago. Because the American Dream is within reach of more people.

We’re not perfect. We haven’t achieved “justice for all.” But the strength of America, the real exceptionalism of America is that we keep trying and getting closer. They say that “the arc of history bends towards justice.” That’s truer here than it anywhere else, despite those who want go back rather than forward and would like to strip America of everything that makes it exceptional in the name of nativism.

Steve Vaughan is a reporter and writer residing in Richmond, Virginia. He holds a degree in Political Science from VCU and a masters in Wise Ass from the School of Life.

Republicans: “Nice country you got here. Shame if something were to happen to it.”

Republicans have pledged to not fund Homeland Security because Obama is allowing immigrants with children to not be deported under very strict circumstances (the old Reagan immigration policy).

Got that?  All of us will be at risk unless we kick families out of the country to fend for themselves, Lord-of-the-Flies style.

Republican political advisers Doug and Dimsdale Piranha

Republican political advisers Doug and Dimsdale Piranha

And then they want to blame Democrats. “If there is a successful attack during a DHS shutdown, we should build a number of coffins outside each Democratic office and say, ‘You are responsible for these dead Americans,’” said Republican Senator Mark Kirk.

So they admit to their blackmail and say that if people die because of it, it’s the fault of the ones who refuse to be blackmailed.

But then something amazing happened. Some Republicans looked at the polls for once and realized their position is hugely unpopular. Over 60% of Americans favor Obama’s immigration policy.

Senator Kirk was the first one to pedal backwards, saying “I generally agree with the Democratic position here.”  No more talk about coffins.

At least for now.  Give it another week.  Something else equally as deplorable is certain to happen.

Just say no to ill eagles!

“Anti-immigrants crying about how we should help our poor here first instead of kid refugees from Central America would never help poor kids here.” – Lalo Alcarez   ill-eagles-550x400

You have to wonder about the mindset of these people.  They hate immigrants so much that they block buses bringing aid to the kids.  They’re willing to kick children across the borders to fend for themselves.

“I mean, come on,” they think.  “It’s not like these kids are white.”

These are the same people who say things like “Why do I have to press ‘1’ to speak English?” and demand that everyone should know the language while they misspell every other word on their protest signs.  These are the same people who (as Lalo Alcarez points out) demand that we take care of our own first while simultaneously fighting against any sort of program that would help us take care of our own first.  These are the same people who think that immigration is some huge conspiracy by Democrats to create more Democratic voters (who will not even be eligible to vote for many years even if we admitted them today).

There’s a reason the eagle is ill.

The decline of the male WASP

I wonder how much of the anger over the Obama administration is because of the decline of the male WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant)?

Much of the debate against immigration seems to center around the “problem” of America not being the province of WASPs any more. And much of the “war on women” seems to decry the decline of the male in power. Conservative commentators like Pat Buchanan have written books about how terrible this is for our country, claiming that the U.S. “won’t look like the U.S.” in the future.

For those people who think that having a ruling class of the male WASP is what America is all about, the Obama administration must have seemed like Hell when it first came into office. We had:

  • A (half) black President
  • A Catholic Vice President
  • A Mormon Senate Majority Leader
  • A Catholic woman Speaker of the House
  • A woman Secretary of State
  • A black Attorney General
  • … not a male WASP among the most powerful people in the United States. And then he goes and appoints two women to the Supreme Court — a Catholic one and a Jewish one.

    Then, by his second term, he’s letting women and gays into our military front lines!

    So is this why there is such a radical movement by the right to fight immigration and to push back against women and gays? Is it because they fear losing their male WASP hierarchy?

    I think in the long run, the Obama administration’s greatest legacy may be the breaking down of so many of these barriers. The acceptance of women and gays in the military is as important as when Truman desegregated the army in the 50s.

    And those male WASPs will just have to learn to share.

    The cost of the immigration bill

    And now, another in my series of impressions of Republicans.


    “We cannot afford Obama’s Stimulus! I don’t care if it will fix our roads and bridges and bring jobs, we just don’t have the money. And a national health care program? We can’t afford to give health care to our citizens!

    What’s that? You want to spend $38 billion on a wall that will have very little impact on illegal immigration? A cost that even conservative Forbes magazine calls a “Bonanza for Defense Contractors”? You say that the money we’d be spending per illegal immigrant would provide health care for millions? Your point is?

    Oh, while we’re at it, let’s buy a few more tanks and planes the military doesn’t want or need, too.”

    uncle sam money

    Editorial cartoon of the day

    Editorial cartoon of the day

    Immi-grants for college

    There’s this silly meme going around now, comparing the cuts being given to the military for education with programs helping illegal immigrant children get an education.

    The reason he is giving her that expression is because the statement she makes is absolutely wrong (and stupid: “only” way? No one else gets aid? Give me a break.)

    This is a false comparison. The federal government funds the military and thanks to the sequester, money is being cut from the military budget. Blame the Republicans for forcing the sequester through (it was their idea) and then trying to convince all of us it’s Obama’s fault.

    The other example is from states like Colorado, and has nothing to do with federal funding. In Colorado, children who were brought here illegally by their parents and thus had no choice in the matter and who graduated from Colorado high school, were never arrested, were applying for citizenship, and who kept good grades were allowed to go to Colorado public colleges at the same rate as a Colorado citizen. Not greater than, exactly the same as. No tuition given to them, just the same discount as all the kids they went to High School with.

    Isn’t that what we want? Good kids with good grades becoming good citizens, paying taxes, and then staying in the US to help our economy? Don’t we want to encourage that?

    Editorial cartoon of the day