Immigration reform champion Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) took to the House floor this morning to discuss the Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070, Arizona’s “show me your papers” law. Gutierrez gave a quiz titled, “Pick Out The Immigrant.” Watch the speech below. You’ll hear Gutierrez ask how Arizona officials determine which of the following are immigrants or descendents of immigrants between media figures Geraldo Rivera and Ted Koppel; young celebs Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez; sports stars Jeremy Lin and Tony Parker; and finally, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez Gives SB 1070 Quiz on House Floor: “Pick Out The Immigrant” by Mahwish Khan on 06/27/12 at 12:30 pm
Headlines Confirm That Mitt Romney Has a Serious Immigration Problem: His Own by Mahwish Khan on 06/27/12 at 12:03 pm
During the GOP nomination battle, Mitt Romney couldn’t talk enough about his anti-immigrant views. He vowed to veto the DREAM Act; called Arizona’s immigrant-crackdown a “model for the nation”; touted support for “self-deportation“; and courted hard-liners like Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio.
But the game has changed for Mitt Romney, and those anti-immigrant views he wielded so forcefully have become a huge political problem for the GOP nominee. The President’s directive to protect DREAM Act students from deportation and the Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070 have put the immigration issue at the forefront of the presidential contest. That’s proving to be disastrous for Romney, as evidenced by a slew of recent headlines and commentary. It’s not only the headlines, but the range of notable media outlets that are reporting it, including Time Magazine, Politico, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, ABC News, Salon, and The Daily Beast. It’s also being written about by influential writers, from liberal columnist/blogger Markos Moulitsas to conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, to one of the purveyors of DC’s conventional wisdom, columnist Dan Balz.
See for yourself:
Mitt Romney’s immigration problem, Washington Post by Dan Balz:
Mitt Romney has had a lot to say about immigration the past few days, but what he has said adds up to a giant question mark. Rarely has a candidate had as many opportunities to clarify or recalibrate his position on a vital issue, and rarely has a candidate passed up those opportunities as consistently as the former governor.
Immigration thorn for Mitt, The Hill by Markos Moulitsas:
Romney is trapped between his xenophobic nativist base and the political realities of winning battleground states with significant Latino populations — from Arizona, Colorado and Nevada to Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
Arizona immigration ruling complicates Republicans’ strategy with Hispanics, Washington Post by Peter Wallsten:
The quandary for Romney and the GOP is clear from recent polling. The Arizona law is very popular with whites and independent voters, according to data from the Pew Research Center, while many GOP strategists think their party has little chance for success in battlegrounds such as Colorado, Nevada and Virginia if Romney doesn’t win close to 40 percent of Hispanics.
The tension among Republicans over immigration has been a years-long struggle and became a point of contention during the GOP primaries, when Romney sought to win over skeptical conservative voters by attacking leading rivals for their more liberal immigration views.
GOP grasps for ideas on immigration, Politico by Scott Wong:
Congressional Republicans are everywhere and nowhere on immigration. Pulled between their get-tough conservative base and the reality that adopting such a hard line could cost them dearly with Hispanics in November, they’re doing the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” equivalent of phoning a friend — party standard-bearer Mitt Romney — for help.
But Romney, so far, doesn’t seem to have a clear answer, either.
Swing state Latinos could end Mitt Romney’s White House dream, Los Angeles Times by David Horsey
It is becoming increasingly difficult for Mitt Romney to climb out of the hole he has dug for himself with Latino voters, and, as a result, that hole could turn into a grave for his presidential campaign.
Romney plays immigration dodgeball, Salon by Alex Seitz-Wald
In two weeks of news cycles dominated by immigration news, Mitt Romney’s campaign has managed to say almost nothing about immigration.
Mitt Romney’s Achilles Heel: Immigration, The Daily Beast By Andrew Romano:
It’s hard to recall another presidential candidate who adopted a campaign strategy as self-defeating as Romney’s immigration muddle.
<On Arizona Immigration, a Supreme Court Rules, and a Candidate Hides, ABC News by Matt Negrin:
Romney’s silence on the specifics of the controversial immigration law is remarkable for the presidential nominee of the GOP, a party that has long made immigration policy a source of pride even if a few factions within it believe reform should be pursued in different ways.
Arizona Ruling Deepens Romney’s Immigration Muddle, TIME by Alex Altman
The more interesting dynamic following the court’s decision was the scrupulous evasion from Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, which is caught between the hawkishness of the Republican Party’s conservative base and the political imperative not to alienate Latino voters.
And, then, there’s this Washington Post column by conservative-leaning Kathleen Parker: Romney may soon be feeling the Arizona heat
What we have here is a sticky wicket.
And no one is in greater need of Goo Gone than Mitt Romney, who has said that Arizona’s law is a model for the rest of the nation. Not only has that law been deemed at least partly unconstitutional, but Romney is now positioned to be associated with profiling. Not the best way to court the Hispanic vote. Worse, if Arizona and other similarly minded states begin to apply the equal-treatment template across races and ethnicities, he’ll have everybody mad at him.
Not that the Arizona law is his fault, obviously. But angry people will pick the easiest target, and the Obama campaign will make sure those dots are connected. One thing is for certain: Romney can’t change his mind. He’s stuck with a position that, though appealing to Arizonans and others who are justifiably angry with our inert (inept) federal government, is profoundly offensive to our American sense of fairness.
That led to this headline at AMERICAblog by John Aravosis, linking to Parker’s column: Immigration is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for Romney
And the campaign is just getting underway…
CAD Walk 2012: Colorado to Kansas: Transitioning by Guest Blogger on 06/26/12 at 4:37 pm
We’ve been publishing a series of posts from the DREAMers of the Campaign for an American DREAM. Last month, they set off from San Francisco to begin a 3,000-mile, 8-month+ walk to Washington, DC to call attention to the DREAM Act and the need for immigration reform.
Today’s post is from Nicolas Gonzalez, a DREAMer from Chicago, Illinois.
The days are getting longer with the summer solstice right around the corner. We’re here in Burlington Colorado, waiting at the “Welcoming Center” only 17 miles from the border of our 5th state. We’re excited to be back on the road as we bring the blessings of all those who have been supporting Campaign for the American Dream (CAD) and all those whom we talked to outside the Obama for America office as the hunger strike was happening. The unity that was felt there was strong, as many different people gathered every night holding a candle or praying in the circle. The DREAMers who participated in the action, Veronica and Javier, sat on the other side of the glass listening in through a phone speaker with an American flag hanging right above them. They listened to people who supported them from before the action and all the new people that came day after day to drop off donations and tap on the window.
The experience is still in my mind as we continue to move on East.
There is a lot of excitement as we reach the Central time zone — not only because we are getting closer to Chicago but because its been a very transformative experience. It feels like we have been walking for a year now, but we are only a little over our three month mark. With Veronica now healthy, we are ready to take off and see what is next. She learned a lot through this experience and we’re just hoping that she’ll begin eating her vegetables.
One week later…
These past few days have been incredibly hot, with temperatures over 100 degrees. The expansive fields of corn and wheat begin to look like an M.C. Escher drawn in all directions during the day and like a Vincent Van Gogh “Starry Night” painting at night. Raymi and I laid down on top of the RV last night and it was beautiful; I mentioned how before the walk began, I would daydream about how it would be. I dreamt of that precise moment: just laying there watching all the stars and moon with the dark shadows of trees in the horizon.
The days are now going to begin getting shorter and we can’t believe we are halfway through this amazing journey across the country.
Immigration Reality: Obama vs. Mitt Romney by Pili Tobar on 06/26/12 at 4:17 pm
Many have been surprised these past few weeks. Not only has immigration dominated the headlines, but President Obama has dominated his opponent Mitt Romney on the issue. Why? Because Obama understands the new politics of immigration, while Romney is stuck in the past.
As America’s Voice has highlighted, the old conventional wisdom on the politics of immigration has been replaced by a new reality. The old political paradigm held that immigration was one of the third rails of American politics for Democrats who needed to win swing voters. Under this view, it was considered a losing move for Democrat to actually lean into the issue and take a progressive stance on immigration. The thinking was that conservatives would mobilize, a majority of swing voters would follow conservatives into opposition, and pro-immigrant voters, especially Latinos, did not care enough or count enough to make up the difference. As for Republicans, the old conventional wisdom is that by playing to the base (with red meat on immigration) you rally cultural conservatives, win over swing voters and divide Democrats.
But the new reality stands this conventional wisdom on its head. As President Obama has demonstrated recently by protecting hundreds of thousands of DREAMers and by suing the state of Arizona for taking federal law into their own hands–leaning into the issue 1) mobilizes Latino and other pro-immigrant voters, 2) attracts swing voters who favor solutions over paralysis and pragmatism over nativism, and 3) isolates and marginalizes the loud but not large anti-immigrant wing of the Republican Party. As for Romney, he seemed to believe he could play to the base in the primary and either use that to his advantage in the general election or drop the issue altogether. Now he finds himself sandwiched between a nativist rock and a Latino hard place.
Yes, anti-immigrant hardliners can make a difference in some low-turnout GOP primaries. But Republican voters as a whole are far more realistic on immigration policy than their elected leaders tend to be. For example, strong majorities continue to support comprehensive immigration reform, the DREAM Act, and President Obama’s bold decision to prevent the deportation of young people who go to college or join the military. And in the last three general elections – 2006, 2008, and 2010 – there is mounting evidence for the new reality. In 2006, Republicans tried to save their House majority by running against illegal immigration and lost. In 2008, Obama leaned into the immigration issue and won four Latino-rich states (NV, CO, NM and FL) that Bush had won just four years earlier. And in 2010 Harry Reid, Michael Bennet and Barbara Boxer leaned into the issue in their races, and powered by strong Latino turnout and support, saved the Senate for the Democrats. On the other side, anti-immigrant standard-bearers Tom Tancredo, Sharron Angle, and Russell Pearce all went down to defeat.
President Obama’s recent decision to protect DREAM youth from deportation and his strong statement after the Supreme Court ruled on his Administration’s challenge to Arizona’s SB 1070 shows that he grasps this new reality. He leaned into the issue and took bold action. Mitt Romney’s incomprehensible response to both shows that he still hasn’t gotten the memo. He’s reluctant to take on the nativist wing of the party – the very thing he has to do to increase his share of the Hispanic vote.
As a result, Republicans look ridiculous. Some are in overdrive in their attempts to re-write immigration history. They pretend that President Obama and Democrats didn’t support or pursue immigration reform, without acknowledging 1) Republicans obstructed Obama and Congressional Democrats at every turn when it came to comprehensive immigration reform; and 2) Republicans filibustered and voted against the DREAM Act. Others, such as Tom Tancredo himself, are busy suggesting that as President, Romney would rescind the protection for DREAMers – hardly a smart Latino outreach strategy. Only a brave few are speaking out in hopes that Romney stands up to the hardliners, presents a coherent, comprehensive plan and makes a compelling pitch for Latino support.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director here at America’s Voice:
Those waiting for Romney to grow a backbone, come forward with specific answers and improve his share of the Hispanic vote shouldn’t hold their breath. Romney doesn’t get the new and true politics of immigration. In the primaries he defined himself as a hard liner. Currently, he remains tethered to the hard right in his party even as he fumbles to find a new tone and some new attack lines. This leaves him and his spokespersons sputtering nonsense and vagaries in response to Obama’s gutsy moves. Sure, the issue will go away for a while but what’s he going to do when immigration comes up in the debates? It’s gotten so bad that his mishandling of immigration and the Latino vote may end up being one of the dominant political storylines come November.
Round Up: Response to the Supreme Court Decision on SB 1070 by Mahwish Khan on 06/26/12 at 3:58 pm
The Department of Justice has set up an email address and hotline in response to the Supreme Court ruling on Arizona SB 1070’s “show me your papers” provision, a law which would allow law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of detained individuals based on “reasonable suspicion.” This provision, Section 2(B), will lead to racial profiling and harassment of people based on what they look like and how they speak, even if they were born in America, and the Department of Justice is responding appropriately.
The Justice Department has set up a hotline for the public to report potential civil rights abuses.
The number is 855-353-1010, the email is SB1070@usdoj.gov
If you have a minute, please share.
For those of you still slightly confused about the Supreme Court decision, ACLU came out with this infographic, titled “What’s at Stake”to help break it down. And if you haven’t already, watch this analysis from Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund.
For those of you who aren’t visual thinkers, Adam Serwer does an excellent job in his blog post today over at Mother Jones. Here’s the crux of his piece, simplifying the courts decision for those of us who can’t read or speak legalese:
Here’s what the Supreme Court actually did on Monday. The justices decided that the lower court that prevented SB 1070 from taking effect was mostly correct—because most of the law’s provisions were likely unconstitutional. The Supreme Court declined to block the “papers, please” provision of the law—which Brewer refers to as its “heart”—that requires local authorities to check the immigration status of anyone they arrest. But the high court did not find the controversial provision constitutional, and so it was not “upheld.” Instead, the high court deferred judgment on the matter. Saying that part of the law was “upheld” incorrectly implies that the court decided the “papers, please” provision was constitutional. The justices were actually decidedly agnostic on that point.
“The majority said it didn’t know enough about how the law would work in practice to rule decisively. Because the law has never gone into effect, it just wasn’t clear whether the law would conflict with federal policy.” says Adam Winkler, a professor at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law who wrote a column for the Daily Beast noting that many media outlets got the distinction wrong. “The court said to Arizona there’s a right way and a wrong way to apply this law and we’re watching you.”
Romney’s Vague Position On Immigration Costing Evangelical Support by Luci Navas on 06/26/12 at 3:34 pm
As Mitt Romney fails to propose a solution to the immigration problem, evangelical leaders have been growing increasingly frustrated with him. Evangelical leaders recently came out in full support of comprehensive immigration reform during this month’s “Evangelical Immigration Table” and supported the Arizona v. US Supreme Court decision while remaining concerned over the prospect of racial profiling. Needless to say, evangelical leaders agree that Romney’s not right for the presidency.
Via Talking Points Memo’s Pema Levy:
“We want real, you know, muscle and details,” said the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and one of nine heads of the new coalition. “What are we going to do with the 11 to 12 million [undocumented] people here?” he said. “Right now what we lack is details on policy. Everyone is speaking in generalities. We want details.”
“He did not address at all what he would do with those who are currently here undocumented,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “And I do believe that somewhere down the road, that is the Jordan, the proverbial Jordan, that Governor Romney is going to have to cross in order to make a significant run for the Hispanic vote.”
Romney’s ever-changing immigration position–which has gone from supporting self deportation to promising a better solution than Obama’s, without actually saying what the solution would be–has been costing him votes from Latinos and evangelicals. It’s difficult to imagine him winning the November elections without them.
Supreme Court Sends Strong Signal to Nation on Anti-Immigrant Laws by Mahwish Khan on 06/26/12 at 9:31 am
With a 5-3 majority vote, yesterday, the Supreme Court sent a strong signal to the nation that Arizona’s anti-immigrant law is NOT a model for our country. The ruling was a warning to other states not to follow in Arizona’s footsteps.
While the Justices ruled that most provisions of the law were unconstitutional, they let the dangerous “show me your papers” provision stand. The Justices warned Arizona officials that they could only enforce the provision very narrowly, and the Court left the door open to striking the law down later on.
Regarding the “show me your papers” provision, Adam Bonin in his piece at Daily Kos writes, “Arizona could enforce this constitutionally, but was clear as to the limits on how.” ,
But for now, you can bet that with Sheriff Joe Arpaio still in power and with flawed programs like “Secure Communities”, we know that the Court’s decision will lead to racial profiling and harassment of people based on what they look like and how they speak – even if they are born in the US.
Community organizations on the ground in Arizona are launching a neighborhood defense project, and are on the lookout for examples of discrimination to bring the case back to court. Legal experts are putting the next phase of the court battle in place. Polls show that the President’s decision to stop the deportations of DREAMers is wildly popular. And in 2012, no state followed Arizona’s lead by passing copycat legislation…
Though the news from the court today was both good and bad, this is clear: the immigrant rights movement is strong and headed in the right direction.
Romney Keeps Ducking Key Questions Re: Arizona Immigration Ruling by Pili Tobar on 06/25/12 at 3:46 pm
Similar to the way he ducked the key immigration questions at his speech at last week’s NALEO conference, Mitt Romney today avoided a substantive response to today’s Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration law – despite being in Arizona. Additionally, while Romney’s statement attempted to call out President Obama for a lack of leadership on immigration matters, his transparent evasiveness instead underscored how Romney is failing the most basic leadership test – taking a position one way or the other on the pressing immigration questions at issue.
McKay Coppins of Buzzfeed nailed it with this post, identifying three key questions that remain unanswered by Romney:
Does he agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona “show me your papers” law?
In Monday’s ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the “show me your papers” provision of Arizona’s controversial, which requires police officers to check the legal status of anyone they suspect of being an undocumented immigrant. Evan after issuing a statement, Romney’s position on the provision remains entirely unclear.
In the written statement, Romney criticized Obama for failing to “provide leadership on immigration,” and said broadly, “I believe that each state has the duty — and the right — to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law.” His aides then told reporters the candidate would have no further comment on the ruling.
Does Romney believe law enforcement can or should be required by a state to check the legal status of any individual they deem “suspicious” of undocumented status?
Would he reverse Obama’s order to stop deporting certain immigrants?
Ten days after Obama issued an executive order to stop deporting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children or have served in the military, Romney has managed to completely evade a core question: Will he reverse the policy if elected president?
In a speech to Hispanic leaders last week, Romney used some rhetorical gymnastics to make it seem like he was going to answer that question:
“Some people have asked if I will let stand the president’s executive action,” he said. “The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president’s temporary measure.”
Left unanswered is whether he would reverse Obama’s policy while in the process of pursuing the “long-term solution,” and whether he would let the policy stand if Congressional action failed.
Does he agree with the parts in the Arizona immigration law that were struck down?
The murkiness of Romney’s position on the Arizona immigration law isn’t contained to the “show me your papers” provision — he has yet to weigh in on five provisions that were struck down today by the Supreme Court.
Among them: allowing police to detain immigrants indefinitely while they check their residency status, criminalizing the act of applying for a job for undocumented immigrants, and making it illegal for day workers to block traffic while waiting to be picked up for a job.
Romney has pushed back against Democrats’ false claims that he once called Arizona’s immigration crackdown “a model for the nation,” insisting that he was referring only to the state’s use of E-Verify. But Romney, who has cited the author of the legislation as an immigration adviser, has remained mum on whether he supports the rest of the law.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
What hypocrisy. Romney claims that President Obama has failed to lead on immigration reform when it is Romney who is failing the leadership test. In fact, he comes across like the school kid who says, ‘I know you are, but what am I.’
The President’s record is clear: 1) he tried to move comprehensive immigration reform but was blocked by Republicans; 2) he fought for the DREAM Act but it was stopped by Republican opposition; 3) his Justice Department sued Arizona even though it was unpopular to do so; and 4) he provided relief to DREAMers in a bold executive move.
Romney’s positions are anything but clear: 1) he says he’s for immigration reform but has yet to articulate anything close to a coherent, comprehensive plan; 2) he says he wants to help DREAMers but promised to veto the DREAM Act; 3) he opposed the litigation that led to key parts of the Arizona anti-immigrant law being found unconstitutional; and 4) he says he opposes Obama’s executive action to protect DREAMers but won’t spell out if, as President, he’ll rescind it or maintain it. Nor will he spell out what and how his secret “long-term solution” for the DREAMers might look like.
Let’s just say that on immigration, Mitt Romney is no profile in courage.
Access polling and analysis on the Supreme Court decision on SB1070 and Latino voters: http://www.latinodecisions.com/blog/2012/06/24/supreme-court-decision-on-sb1070-could-alienate-latino-voters/