Call it hypocrisy, plain and simple! While Republicans have pushed an enforcement-only immigration agenda and self-deportation, speaker after speaker at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last week were quick to tell of their immigrant roots.
Sen. Rick Santorum, a hard-nosed objector to immigration reform, spoke of his Italian grandfather in his address on Aug. 28, while Ann Romney, the wife of Mitt Romney, was happy to share that she was the descendant of a Welsh migrant.
On the same night, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talked about America being made up of the sons and daughters of immigrants even as Mia Love, the rising Black star that the GOP was quick to turn the spotlight on, shared her story of her Haitian parents moving to the United States in 1973 with just $10 in their pockets.
Today, Love says because of that dream, she is now mayor of a town in Utah.
Yet, despite all the talk about immigrants and the dreams of those past, the GOP remains stuck to a hard-line position on immigration, opposed to “any forms of amnesty” for undocumented immigrants. This is the same party that has called for “humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily,” where several of its governors are passing their own draconian and racist immigration policies in states like Alabama, Arizona and Georgia and some of its members have threatened to sue the president for his humanitarian policy change that will benefit millions of young undocumented migrants–at least temporarily.
There is no middle ground in their stance despite calls from within their own ranks, including from Jeb Bush and his son, George P. Bush.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s position is a policy of “self-deportation.” There are no ifs ands or buts about Romney’s position, regardless of his pandering to the Latino voting bloc through the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio, who now claims Romney will change his tune on his tough immigration policy after the election.
Really? Rubio and Romney must consider immigrants to be fools, just like they believe advertising to the Latino base in Spanish or trotting out their best Brown and Black party members and showing them off for the cameras at this convention will win over immigrant and minority voters.
The reality is that Republicans have definitely “pitched … far to the extreme right” on the issue of immigration, just as former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist stated in his public op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times endorsing President Barack Obama.
For the top members to be citing immigrant roots even as they continue veering down this dangerous racist path is beyond hypocritical. Christie, in his remarks, stated, “Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one.”
Well, let me add, dear GOP members and Mr. Christie, that standing up for immigrants will also continue to make America stronger in this century and the next.
The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.