…about immigration reform:
I am very pleased that President Obama spoke at this National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast because it casts light onto a promising strategy that seems to be developing and that I have been advocating for quite a few years now: get faith/religious groups and their powerful message and organized constituency to be more actively involved in the fight to push for a more humane immigration policy and to combat the alarming hate speech & violence that is emanating from extremist right-wing news outlets like Fox News or radio talk personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage.
HOWEVER, I am a litle troubled about President Obama’s statement that “we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants” … yes, that should be theoretically true-but such wording just reinforces the same falsehoods: that the immigration “issue” is purely about “legality” when in reality it has to do first and foremost with POVERTY. The President goes on to say that “we can’t tolerate people that come in violation of the law just like we can’t tolerate employers who exploit undocumented workers to drive down wages.” I get what he’s doing strategically to make sure he’s speaking not only to the Hispanic audience but to those that will view his speech online and do not necessarily understand that the “problem of illegal immigration” is a HUMANITARIAN crisis. I get it. However, I can’t help but feel an emotional reaction to it and I gotta say, his focus on the “legality” aspect without a mention of the “poverty” aspect does anger me a bit. The President should know better than that.
Nevertheless, I am also very pleased that Obama highlighted the service of Latinos and Latinas serving proudly in the U.S. Military-while that career choice is not for everyone, it is nevertheless, something that MUST be acknowledged and honored-specially because most of the in-English corporate media hardly mentions nor honors their service. This falls in line with what typically happens: instead of recognizing the Latino contribution to making this country great, the mainstream media oftentimes just chooses to demonize Latinos and that is a slap in the face to us all.