Earlier this week, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte explained to Univision Radio his plans for creating a permanent underclass by giving undocumented immigrants “a legal status,” but not citizenship. Then he had the audacity to say, “So there is no permanent underclass, there is no distinction other than to say people who enter here unlawfully will not get an advantage over people who have lawfully immigrated.”
Goodlatte’s transparent doublespeak won’t work with us – and we’re still not sure he’s even serious about passing real legislation. Immigration reform has two options going forward: a path to citizenship for immigrants who contribute to this country and consider themselves Americans in all but paperwork–or a permanent underclass, where we tell immigrants that they’re good enough to pick our crops but not good enough to be full citizens or to vote. One way is how Americans have treated immigrants throughout our country’s history. And the other way is so undemocratic that it has no constituency–even Mark Krikorian says that legalization without citizenship would be a “permanent subordinate status” and “a helot class.”
Let’s be real, Rep. Goodlatte. What you’re talking about is an entrenched underclass. And you know it.