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What immigrant voters should know about Mike Pence

Felicia Persaud | 7/21/2016, 1:12 p.m.
Just when you thought Team Donald Trump could not be more divisive, along comes the announcement of ultra-conservative Christian Indiana ...
Mike Pence, (R) Indiana, is Governor of the state of Indiana.

Just when you thought Team Donald Trump could not be more divisive, along comes the announcement of ultra-conservative Christian Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the vice presidential running mate.

If you thought Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants, women, the disabled and just about everything in between was bad, immigrants need to run for cover, given Pence’s stance on immigrants and immigration.

Still, astonishingly, this stance does not seem tough enough for the racists on the right. Ann Coulter tweeted, “Off the top of my head, the only person who would be a worse VP than Pence is Newt.”

But just in case you have been wavering about who to back in that rock and a hard place you find yourself in ahead of the November 2016 general election, think on this:

Pence is staunchly anti-immigration, despite what rightwing nuts may claim. And that is on both legal and illegal immigration. He gets a 100 percent rating by FAIR, the anti-immigration Federation for American Immigration Reform. This 100 percent stamp from FAIR is similar to an NRA “A” rating, meaning a clear anti-immigration badge!

Pence is the same man who wanted to report and deport undocumented people in hospitals.

In 2004, then Congressional Representative Pence voted for HR 3722, the Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments Bill, which would have required hospitals to gather and report information on possible undocumented patients before hospitals could be reimbursed for treating them. The bill also stated that hospitals wouldn’t be required to provide care to undocumented people if they could be transported to their home country (i.e., deported while they’re in the hospital) without a “significant chance” of their condition getting worse. Luckily for us all, the bill failed.

This Colombus-born 50th governor of Indiana, like Trump and many in his party, believes in “no amnesty” immigration reform, even though right wingers claim it is a “no amnesty, amnesty” and are giving Pence heat on it.

In June 2006, as a member of Congress, Pence unveiled a plan he called “no amnesty immigration reform,” which consisted of increased border security and strict enforcement of laws against hiring undocumented workers, including a guest worker program that required potential participants to apply from their home country to government-approved job placement agencies that match workers with employers who cannot find Americans for a job.

Pence wants English declared the official language of the United States. In 2007, as a Congressman, Pence co-sponsored a bill that would have declared English the official language of the United States and made it mandatory that anyone seeking naturalization speak fluent English. The bill did not make it out of committee.

He also wanted to block Syrian refugees from entering Indiana. In 2015, Pence announced that he was ordering state agencies to suspend the relocation of any more Syrian refugees to Indiana until he received assurances from the federal government that “proper” security measures had been taken. In 2016, a federal judge ruled that Pence could not block refugees or funds for resettlement from coming to Indiana. Pence ordered the attorney general’s office to seek an immediate stay on the judge’s action and appeal it.

So there you have it. Will it be Hillary Clinton or the Trump-Pence ticket? The power is in your hands. Let’s protest peacefully but also ensure we make it to the voting booth this November.

The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.