Behind the Skewed Immigration Debate

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryAt an immigration committee hearing held on immigration in the North Carolina House of Representatives, three undocumented persons temporarily disrupted the hearing. They were arrested and with the exception of one let go. The third person, named Uriel Alberto, is now in deportation hearings because of his immigration status. Brought to the United States when he was only seven years old, he at first had a record for committing crimes that included driving under the influence and a few traffic violations. Not too horribly severe, but under the current immigration law it could still get Alberto deported. And these are the things that are being used against him. Ironically, Uriel Alberto turned his life around. He excelled academically in high school, and eventually graduated to go on to Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Despite how brilliant this young man may be, this country might yet throw him out.

As tragic as this is, my focus here is not on Uriel Alberto but on Ron Woodard and especially on NC (North Carolina) Listen. The real problem is how the debate in the North Carolina House of Representatives was playing out at the time. One very important thing I should explain is that NC Listen partners with the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Southeast Alliance for Sensible Immigration Policy. FAIR and the Southeast Alliance for Sensible Immigration Policy have been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-immigrant groups. These groups do not so much want restriction on immigration per se more than elimination of non-white immigrants . In the view of these three organizations, “illegals” are responsible for North Carolina’s (and America’s) high unemployment, crime, and general insecurity.

Because NC Listen is the principle representative in this debate, they are obviously shaping how the debate will go and what “recommendations” should be made in dealing with the “illegals.” This is the truly scary part. Like FAIR and the Southeast Alliance for Sensible Immigration Policy, NC Listen has been given a public platform to spew their non-sense by extremist politicians who in many ways are of like-mind with the people of NC Listen. It is becoming very clear that North Carolina may soon become the next state to adopt a state immigration law. Organizations like FAIR and the Southeast Alliance for Sensible Immigration Policy realize that the only way to change the immigration debate in their favor is to pull as many connections with state and local officials of like mind (or who are actually members of these organizations) as possible.

Simply put, FAIR and the Southeast Alliance for Sensible Immigration Policy are working with their state partner, NC Listen, to work within the state legislature to shape the immigration debate so that the state legislature will enact laws these anti-immigrant organizations want to see. When one looks at all this backroom politics, one cannot but help believe that there is a conspiracy for trying to trash the rights of all individuals for the agenda of a few.

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