November 10, 2012
THE RIGHT DOESN'T NEED TO ACCEDE TO DEMOCRATS, BUT TO DECENCY:
Welcoming Immigrants Begins With How You Talk About Them (Seth Mandel, 11.09.2012, Commentary)
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 10, 2012 8:45 AMImmigration reform and taking a more welcoming attitude toward immigrants makes sense on every level-economically, morally, culturally, etc. But at the risk of being accused of looking a gift horse in the mouth, I think something needs to be said about the way this argument is taking shape, with particular emphasis on the newfound expression of support for Hispanic immigration on the right. As I said, there are many logical reasons to welcome immigrants and to support immigration reform. But conservatives who have previously opposed it and are now admitting that cynical electoral considerations are driving their evolution are making an understandable, but still devastating, mistake.The way that conservatives talk about immigration reform must be reformed as well. They must understand that there is now a cultural suspicion of the right on the part of a large segment of the immigrant population, especially Latinos, and for good reason. Immigrants are well aware of the debate over immigration here. And they remember-and will for some time-that when they arrived here with nothing but the clothes on their back, desperate for a chance at a better life for themselves and their children, one party said "come on in" and the other said "turn around and go back."Simply supporting immigration reform is not going to do away with this, especially if people describe Latino immigrants as some kind of demographic setback they must alleviate in order to win elections. That's dehumanizing too.