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Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How could they be so wrong?

How's this working for you?

On immigration, public hates Bush and GOP, trusts Dems
by John in DC - 4/11/2006 09:02:00 AM

This is what a sinking ship looks like.
But in the new Post-ABC News poll, completed Sunday, 50 percent of respondents said they trusted the Democrats to better handle the immigration issue, while 38 percent trusted Republicans. A third of Americans approved of the president's handling of the immigration issue, while 61 percent disapproved. Only his handling of gas prices showed lower approval ratings.

Three-quarters of those responding said the United States is not doing enough to secure its borders, but they appeared to have rejected the argument that immigrants are an economic threat. About 68 percent said illegal immigrants are filling jobs Americans do not want, compared with 29 percent who believe they are taking jobs from Americans.

This is amazing. It was as if the GOP did no polling. This is too big for a Bradley effect. No, the GOP bet wrong and wrong in a massive way. While this round up the brown people might have played well with their base, this is being rejected by most Americans.

Anti-immigrant sentiment can play well under some circumstances, like crime, but the GOP went on a racial offensive. And their friends at CNN were eager to help

BLITZER: Back now to our top story. Coast to coast demonstrations for immigrants rights. Hundreds of thousands of people on the march, from here on the East Coast, out to the West Coast, including all over the country. It's the biggest wave of immigration rallies yet. And some are even likening it to the civil rights movement. In all, about 70 protests with a big demonstration in Los Angeles about to begin. Two T.V. anchors who are outspoken on this issue are joining us now, live.

CNN's own Lou Dobbs and Maria Elena Salinas of the Spanish language network Univision. Thanks to both of you for joining us. Lou, these people say they're sick and tired of being treated like criminals. What do you say?

LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Well I don't know that they are being treated like criminals. That's the interesting part. They're demonstrating in our streets, taking the right of assembly and free expression. It looked to me like they're being treated pretty well. They're hardly in the shadows. And I don't see any INS agents, any ICE agents, rounding anybody up. So it looks to me like that's a bit of stretch.

BLITZER: Is it stretch, Maria Elena?

MARIA ELENA SALINAS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Well that's just one of the misconceptions of illegal immigration and of immigrants in general. If you think all the people that are out here today in Los Angeles are undocumented immigrants, you're wrong. Because now it has spilled over to where all Hispanics feel offended by what has been going on, by the rhetoric, the level of the negativity that you hear coming out of Capitol Hill. And also in some television stations and by some journalists.

These people -- a lot of them are not only legal residents but they're also U.S. citizens, American citizens. One of the misconceptions, they're not all Mexicans, they're not all Latin Americans. There's Asians, there are Haitians that have come out to protest.

There are Europeans have come out to protest. You see American flags everywhere. And once in awhile you'll see a flag from Mexico, you'll see a flag from Argentina, from different countries. Why wouldn't an American citizen, Lou, have the right to protest? This is what makes this country so great. This is a country where there's freedom of expression. People can come out and protest. And that's exactly what they're doing.

BLITZER: Go ahead, Lou.

DOBBS: Well I'm certainly not complaining about the protest or the demonstration in any way whatsoever. So I don't know what you're talking about. The fact is, I even complimented the organizers.

SALINAS: There's American citizens here.

DOBBS: I'm sorry? I didn't understand you, Maria Elena.

SALINAS: You were saying that the INS -- you said INS should be out here arresting people. Why would doing that when there are thousands of people out here who are legal residents of the United States and American citizens of Hispanic origin?

DOBBS: Right. I was responding to really Wolf's question about this, in terms of being in the shadows. The statements by many of the organizers that this is a demonstration for certain rights, that are only enjoyed by American citizens. And the organizers have told us that many of the demonstrators, if not most are illegal aliens.

SALINAS: Oh, yes, most of them are. But not all of them.

DOBBS: I didn't say they were.

SALINAS: You continue to call them criminals. And they are not criminals.

DOBBS: No, I don't. I call them illegal aliens.

SALINAS: Of course I know HR-4437.

DOBBS: I call them illegal aliens and that's what they're called by the Department of Homeland Security.

SALINAS: No, you just called them criminals a couple of minutes ago. You said that they are criminals.

DOBBS: No I didn't, Maria Elena.

BLITZER: Maria Elena, there's a lot of people who think on your side of this debate, that there's a racist element underway. There are a lot of people, Lou, you know that, that think that if these people were blond or blue-eyed from Europe, the demonstrations against the illegal immigrants wouldn't be as serious as they are. Maria Elena is shaking her hear yes. Is that a prevailing view in the Latino community?

SALINAS: Well there are certain things that indicate that there is a racist tones to this. Without a doubt, because there's constantly people saying go back to Mexico, protect the border of Mexico when the illegal immigration or undocumented immigration comes from all over, not only from the border.

I mean, people don't understand in this country, that there are millions of people who come here illegally, overstay their visas and turn into undocumented immigrants. And there's people from all over the world, there's people from South America that are very wealthy, that because of their personal circumstances they become undocumented.


SALINAS: So the racist undertones that are detected are sometimes because the debate is constantly attacking Mexicans and asking to block the Mexican border.

BLITZER: All right, Lou, go ahead.

DOBBS: Well if it is racism to call for control of our southern border with Mexico, then you would have to define me and millions of other Americans as racist. That's quite right, Maria Elena.

SALINAS: Well I'm not calling you racist. I'm saying -- Lou, what I am saying is that that is not the only -- there are, of course there are Mexicans that are here undocumented, of course there are. And of course we should enforce our security in the border, in the southern border, in the northern border, in all the borders from state to state, in all the ports,k in all of our airports.

Our country, unfortunately it's not safe. But it is not these people that are out here protesting that are threatening our country. They're not terrorists, they are not criminals. Most of them are hardworking people that are helping the economy of this country. If it wasn't for them, there are industries that would completely collapse.

BLITZER: Lou do you want to respond to that?

DOBBS: I really don't know where to begin, Wolf, because there's so many distortions in what is often articulated in this discussion. One is border security has nothing to do with these demonstrations. The people who have organized them really don't want border security. They don't want port security. But we cannot have reform of immigration that is...

SALINAS: That is not true, I'm sorry, but there is another misconception.

BLITZER: All right, Maria Elena, let Lou finish. Go ahead, Lou.

SALINAS: If you do not have all of the information, you can't really have a debate. Go ahead.

DOBBS: Well I apologize for my lack of understanding of the issues, then. But with my understanding of the issues, limited though it may be, Maria Elena, I feel very strongly that the borders have to be secured.

We have to be able to control immigration before we can ever meaningfully reform it. And unfortunately, there are too many people involved in this, who would not be involved were it not that most of the illegal immigrants in this country originated in Mexico and Central America.

Despite the fact that we have a million legal immigrants come to this country every year, and the vast number of those originated in Mexico, there is nothing in all of this, despite the hysterics or the hysteria, the hyperbole, that could not be resolved by simple enforcement of our immigration laws. And the absolute insistence, that I think most rational well-meaning Americans would have that we secure our borders and our ports.

BLITZER: All right.

DOBBS: I don't see the basis for any other view, frankly.

SALINAS: But I don't think that there's anyone saying let's not secure our -- I'm sorry, Lou, but I disagree with you because everyone here thinks -- agrees...

DOBBS: That's fine, that's what makes America great.

SALINAS: ... that they should secure the border. I have not heard anyone up to now say, "Let's have an open-border policy. We do not want security on the border."

On the contrary, we say, "Yes, should have securing the border." But we can also deal with the situation of the 11-to-12 million undocumented immigrants in this country. What these people want is an opportunity to become legalized. They want a path to citizenship. They want to contribute to this country like they have been doing for so many years. They want legislation that is humane, that is realistic, and that is enforceable. That's what they want, along with border security. That's what they want.

BLITZER: Unfortunately, we've got to leave it there. Lou, Maria Elena, both of you have got to get ready for your next broadcast, especially Maria Elena.

DOBBS: Not me, Wolf, I'm through for the day.

BLITZER: You're done for the day, Lou, we'll see you here tomorrow. Thanks to both of you, very much. Maria Elena, thank you to you as well.
See, we know Dobbs fears brown people, and he gets to say so every day. The problem is that his viewpoint is the minority viewpoint and most Americans reject it. We shouldn't forget that. The fact that Maria Elena Salinas waxed his ass should be kept in mind.

So why didn't the GOP win the day?

Fairness. Americans when faced with two choices, even if it goes against tradition and their own biases, will choose fairness over an unfair solution when it is presented that way. Americans believe in opportunity and feel it is unfair to deny it to people who come here.

Honestly, I was shocked by the polling. I had thought Tancredo had hit a deep vein, instead, people largely reject his argument by a wide margin. Because it was unfair, grossly unfair. Criminalizing children.

And Dobb's barely veiled contempt for brown people could not be hidden. But his comments weren't the only one on that hour of CNN which were as racist as the day is long.

posted by Steve @ 9:33:00 AM

9:33:00 AM

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