Racism Killed Immigration Reform (by Jon Garrido)

The following are excerpts from Latino Businessman and Activist Jon Garrido's Racism Killed Immigration Reform (Hispanic News - 7.31.07):

A federal judge dealt a decisive blow against a dangerous trend of freelance immigration policies by local governments. Judge James M. Munley of the central Pennsylvania district, struck down ordinances in the town of Hazleton that sought to harshly punish undocumented migrants for trying to live and work there, and employers and landlords for providing them with homes and jobs.

In the year 2097, 50% of the entire United States population will be Hispanic...5% will be white...''

The browning of America is inevitable. No one can stop it.
The ruling was a well-earned embarrassment for Mayor Louis J. Barletta and his proclaimed goal of making Hazleton ''one of the toughest places in the United States” for migrants. In doing so, Judge Munley laid down basic truths.

Basic truths that every American should remember

First, immigration is a federal responsibility. State and local governments have no right to usurp or upend a vast, ''carefully drawn federal statutory scheme” that governs who enters the country and the conditions under which immigrants stay, study, work and naturalize. Congress may be botching the job, but has not delegated it.
Herein lies the crux of the problem, racism was the major contributing factor that killed immigration reform

An Hispanic friend, Sen. Barack Obama said the recent Senate immigration debate ''was both ugly and racist in a way we haven't see since the struggle for civil rights.''

Even Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in the well of the U.S. Senate said, ''There’s no shortage of plain old racism in this issue.''
Every brown face in America is suspect

If you think conservative Republican talk radio, cable television and other Americans focus only on migrants, you must be living in a cave for every brown face in America is suspect.

Hispanics cast 5.6 million votes in the 2006 midterms elections which represented only 13 percent of the total Hispanic population compared to the 27 percent of all blacks who cast votes and 39 percent of all whites who voted — a disappointing turnout attributed to a population too young to vote or ineligible because of citizenship status.

Working on getting out the vote will help but this is not enough. We need to go on the offense. We need to launch a local campaign to identify, name and shame those who systematically bash Hispanics. Then we need to launch a nationwide campaign.
The only consolation

The only consolation is a population projection from the Unites States Census Bureau: In the year 2097, 50% of the entire United States population will be Hispanic, 30% will be black, 13% will be Asian, 5% will be white, and 2% will be ''other.'' The browning of America is inevitable. No one can stop it.
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