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Sarah Palin’s “Cojones” (and the Immigration Debate)

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Yep, I went there.

Maybe it’s because I would expect better from one of the leading women in politics, but I found former Alaska Governor and GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s recent “analysis” of the immigration crisis in our country particularly obnoxious.

CBS reports Palin’s latest headline-grabber: “Palin: Obama Doesn’t Have the ‘Cojones’ for Immigration Reform“. That pretty much sums up the level of the discourse here. See, it comes down to whose “balls” are bigger – Palin’s, Brewer’s, or Obama’s. There’s certainly more than enough testosterone in this debate to go around. Not to mention botox.

Blogger Prerna Lal writes at Change.org:

Cojones is a vulgar Spanish word for testicles, which translates to “balls” in English. Yes, Brewer has plenty of nuts in her administration, but that’s probably not what Palin meant. Her words were intended to emasculate President Obama, who Palin and her adherents see as not doing enough to “secure the border.” […]

Let’s take a few steps back here. When did manhood become a prerequisite for “securing the border” — itself empty rhetoric that serves as an excuse for inaction on immigration reform? It doesn’t take “balls” to make a sound immigration policy.

But seriously, ignore the fact that the Obama administration has paralleled and even outspent the get-tough era of the Bush administration on immigration enforcement per year. Ignore the fact that Obama’s Administration is on track to deport 400,000 immigrants this year, the majority of whom have no criminal record and are mainly working hard at menial jobs to feed their families. Ignore all of that — not to mention the fact that Sarah Palin just used a “Mexican” word on national television (blasphemy!).

It’s clear that our immigration system is dysfunctional, but our immigration debate is just plain irrational at this point. More guards, fences, and drones on the border hasn’t worked to date, and we would be insane to think it will work in the future — any attempt to promote border-only immigration policy is pure political pandering, plain and simple.

What would work would be smarter immigration policy that allows for an ebb and flow of workers during times of demand; that makes sure businesses hire the right way; and that provides a way for workers without papers to come forward, meet requirements, pay a fine, and become legal taxpayers and citizens. In other words, an immigration policy that lives up to our tradition as both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.