US immigration debate moves north to Nebraska
A proposed anti-immigration law in Fremont, Nebraska would ban local businesses from hiring or renting to illegal immigrants, if passed by voters.
The state of Nebraska is in the center of the United States. It is not a border state. It’s not even near the US-Mexico border.
“Here we have a group of extreme right wing politicians supporting the Tea Party and groups to the right of the Tea Party who look for every opportunity to polarize the country even further. The strategy here is to delegitimize the president, to delegitimize the government, all government, and in the course of it create as much conflict, mayhem and disorder as possible,” said RT contributor Danny Schechter.
Schechter argued that the strategy is to further use the disorder to undermine the possibility of a country with a sense of unity or commonality.
The federal government has discussed immigration reform; however it has been preempted by states like Arizona that are passing anti-immigrant and anti-immigration initiatives.
“What they are trying to do is really create a beachhead against what they see as a changing America. An America in which people of color and people who are Latino will become, if trends continue, a majority. So, to try to stop this, to try to delegalize it, if you will, rather than to work for some fair solution to immigration reform, what they are trying to do is demonize people,” said Schechter.
He continued to argue that the underlying goal by anti-immigration movements is to demonize all immigrants, even those who are in the United States legally, as somehow non-America.
Schechter felt individuals are using the issue as a type of scapegoat, simply blaming immigrants for current economic and political issues in the country that may not be their fault.
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen argues that these radical groups are in fact used to the advantage of the established government.
Using the example of former Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo, an outspoken critic of illegal immigrants linked to the neo-Confederate movement, Madsen argued that modern day politicians use groups to their advantage, just as they have throughout history.
“Politicians use these groups as straw men to advance their goals, even though they don’t want their fingerprints on these groups themselves,” said Madsen.
The groups are used to advance their careers and goals. Madsen cited the Tea Party movement, explaining that a number of Politicians have backed the movement, while the Tea Party itself has backed political candidates by offering endorsements.
Discussing the broader picture of immigration in the US, Juan Jose Gutierrez of Vamos Unidos USA argued that fear is causing those who do not live near the border to target the immigration issue.
Many are afraid of losing their jobs, even through their unemployment may not be affected by immigrants. There is a fear of Latinos who speak Spanish as opposed to English, he argued. He continued, citing continued racisms in America as another cause.
Many argue the legislation in merely a practical solution, because it will protect jobs, money and the community.
“Fremont, Nebraska is doing rather well, I mean, in terms of employment levels as compared to the national trend. There is 50% less unemployment there than elsewhere. So, the question is, why are they doing this? One of the reasons that they mention is that the people who are immigrants, and presumably undocumented, earn money and rather than investing it into the local community and the local economy, they mail it out t their family relatives in their country of origin,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez argues that this is an unfair argument, because they have to send their money back home to their families because they are unable to move their families to the United States to become a part of the local community.