Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Republican Agenda in 2006

Will be built on whatever lowest denominator they can find for populism. Immigration is a good one for that, because immigrants can't vote and because it taps into that deep vein of hatred towards outsiders.

This is why immigration is made into the big bugbear right now, so that all are properly sensitized to it by election time. Sadly, the wingnut PR campaign is not going too well. There are right-wingers who want illegal immigration because that is the way to get the cheapest possible workers, and then there are right-wingers who see illegal immigration as a drain on their tax payments and as competition for scarce jobs, not to mention the whole sensitive issue to do with the fact that the Republicans want to court the Latino voting bloc while attacking people who are almost all Latinos, too.

Well, it sure looks like the Latinos have been woken up:

About half a million activists have rallied in Los Angeles in the US state of California to protest against plans to criminalise undocumented workers.

Organiser Javier Rodriguez said demonstrators wanted an immigration system that was humane and not racist.

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make it a felony for immigrants to be in the US illegally.


The new bill would also impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and allow for the erecting of fences along a third of the US-Mexican border.

The proposals have angered many Hispanic-Americans, a key voting bloc in November's mid-term elections.

Mr Rodriguez, of the March 25 Coalition, said he wanted to stop "the approval of anti-immigrant reforms" and demand "migration reform that is humane and fair, and not racist".