Yes, you heard right.
Rick Perry says he will “secure the border” within 12 months of taking office. Of course, he’s still in a fight for the middle of the pack, but promises like this one can come back and bite you where the sun don’t shine.
I point to then-candidate Barack Obama’s promise to sign into law comprehensive immigration reform during his first term. Making such a bold promise when Republicans were going to be 100% against it, and even some gutless Dems (called Blue Dogs), has now haunted him when it comes to the Latino vote. Sure, a majority still supports him, and the more the GOPers debate the more they gravitate toward re-electing the President, but the big question is: Will there be enough turn-out to make it matter on E-Day? Well, Perry and the GOPers probably helped last night.
If Perry even comes out of the Primary, much less gets elected after what is sure to become even crazier anti-Latino, anti-immigrant rhetoric, can he achieve what he calls a secure border?
With Republicans failing on the economy, defending corporations and the wealthiest people, the landscape in Washington, DC just might change this cycle.
Meanwhile, the most humanitarian response (for lack of a better description) to the latest round of immigration questions came from The Newt last night.
Gingrich, suddenly the front runner in a national polls of GOP voters, said he would not “expel” illegal immigrants or divide immigrant families by sending home undocumented immigrant parents who arrived illegally.
Instead, Newt prefers to keep the cheap labor pool, exploit it some more, and then replace it with new workers every now and then. In other words, the same old thing we have now, except with some sort of legal status that doesn’t allow workers any rights. While this might get him some Bob Perry-type of money, his sudden surge to 1st place is sure to take a hit.
Bachmann and Romney, though, have all but avoided an all-out call for deputizing citizens for “migra” duty, if not some sort of deportation program.
Democrats may be weak on the pro-migrant side, and even punitive and terribly flawed with their enforcement programs, but the Republicans are sending a clear message: “We’ll exploit you, mistreat you, and ultimately, get rid of you.”
It would be easy to throw my hands up in the air, but I’m not a one-issue voter; if anything, given each Party’s platform, the Democratic platform still comes closest to what I believe, and I will venture to say what a majority of Latinos believe. And in the case of immigration, I’ll err on the side which is not pushing the hateful rhetoric.