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AL Law is Republican Immigration Vision Playing Out on the Ground, But Cain is Only Candidate to Embrace It to Date
Washington, DC – Multiple Republican presidential contenders yesterday blasted the Justice Department for suing South Carolina over its egregiously misguided immigration law. Yet with the exception of Herman Cain, they have thus far remained silent on the devastating toll Alabama’s own law is taking on families, businesses, and communities. Why the difference?
Well South Carolina is an early primary state, for one. But two, South Carolina’s law has yet to go into effect. The devastating toll of the Alabama law — which has been in effect in various forms since September 28th — is there for all to see.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “Even Republican candidates must realize that stories of Alabama children afraid to go to school and citizens harassed for looking Latino are having an indelible impact on the hearts and minds of Latino voters. Embracing the effects of this law would be political suicide to anyone who hopes to have a chance in the general election. But blasting the Justice Department for standing up to misguided state laws, and continuing to block real efforts at reasonable immigration reform, is not a winning recipe either for the GOP.”
At the Reagan Library Republican primary presidential debate in September 2011, Noticiero Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart challenged the Republican candidates to explain what they propose to do about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the nation, provided that the border was secure to their satisfaction. Despite Diaz-Balart’s repeated attempts to get an answer, the Republican candidates on stage offered little more than rhetorical fumbling and enforcement-only sound bites.
The “attrition through enforcement” agenda championed by the Republican field is actually playing out in Alabama, and decimating the state’s agriculture sector, damaging tourism, and destroying the state’s hard-earned efforts to move past its civil rights era reputation in the process. Thus far in the 2012 cycle, the only Republican presidential candidate to take a position on the Alabama law is Herman Cain, who endorsed Alabama’s approach, saying, “Under the Cain presidency, the Department of Justice would not be suing Alabama. The Department of Justice would be helping Alabama.”
“Republican candidates who embrace the Alabama vision for immigration policy are not only on the wrong side of Latino voters, but the wrong side of history,” concluded Sharry.