This is the first of three parts dealing with immigration reform, racism, and the manipulation of the GOP. Part II and Part III will be posted over the weekend.
The headline from Raw Story should say it all. Georgia Blames Immigration Law For Farm Loses.
“…Georgia Immigration Bill 87, passed in the spring, empowered law enforcement officials to start deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants. A controversial system called E-Verify was put in place to document “guest workers,” but farmers said it wasn’t working.
“Here is one provision of E-verify,” said Melinda James of Osage Farms in north Georgia. “If I sign up I have to guarantee a worker 40 hours of work a week. What if it rains for a week? Well, I still have to pay the worker. I also have to contribute to the transportation of workers from their homes.
“The program has to be simplified and made cheaper.”
Georgia attempted to fill the needs of farmers by sending probationers, or recently released prisoners, to pick crops but farmers said those workers could not handle the physical demands of long hours in the fields.
“Georgia is the poster child for what can happen when mandatory E-verify and enforcement legislation is passed without an adequate guest worker program,” said Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association….”
Because of the tampering with immigration reform, from the right and the left, farmers are getting squeezed.
The GOP has a very serious racism problem. The current form of anti-Hispanic immigration”reform” is bought and paid for by John Tanton and his little racist friends.
Want an example?
“…They left behind mobile homes, sold fully furnished for a thousand dollars or even less. Or they just closed up and, in a gesture of optimism, left the keys with a neighbor. Dogs were fed one last time; if no home could be found, they were simply unleashed.
Two, 5, 10 years of living here, and then gone in a matter of days, to Tennessee, Illinois, Oregon, Florida, Arkansas, Mexico — who knows? Anywhere but Alabama.
The exodus of Hispanic immigrants began just hours after a federal judge in Birmingham upheld most provisions of the state’s far-reaching immigration enforcement law.
The judge, Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, upheld the parts of the law allowing state and local police to ask for immigration papers during routine traffic stops, rendering most contracts with illegal immigrants unenforceable and requiring schools to ascertain the immigration status of children at registration time….”
The Tanton Network wants the world to think they have hundreds of thousands of members and supporters. It simply is not true.
“…The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Heidi Beirich describes the Colcom Foundation as “a $400-million-plus entity founded in 1996 by Cordelia Scaife May of the far-right Scaife family. May is a close friend and long-time funder of John Tanton…And Colcom’s vice president is John Rohe, who worked for years at Tanton’s U.S. Inc. foundation and once wrote a fawning biography of Tanton and his wife. In 2008, Colcom gave four groups started by Tanton — FAIR, U.S. Inc., the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA — a total of nearly $8.5 million, part of it earmarked for work on the “impact of immigration” on the environment. In 2009, according to Colcom’s website, it also supported the newly established Progressives for Immigration Reform, now the leading greenwashing organization in the country.”
This is important to know, especially when anti-immigrant groups claim that they are supported through small donations from individuals. Back in March of 2010, a NumbersUSA Action email solicited individuals for donations. NumbersUSA Action is one of the three interlocking organizations under the umbrella of NumbersUSA. In the email NumbersUSA Action suggested that, unlike its opponents, it receives no monies from government or foundation sources. The email said nothing about its research and education arm taking millions from the right-wing Sarah Scaife Foundation and the population control-oriented Colcom foundation.
Colcom not only funds the most prominent Tanton Network groups such as FAIR, U.S. Inc., CIS and NumbersUSA. It also funds the Immigration Reform Law Institute, FAIR’s legal arm. Other Tanton Network groups funded by Colcom include Progressives for Immigration Reform, Negative Population Growth, and Coalition for a Secure Drivers License….”
“...Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration.
Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home this week, afraid that sending the kids to school would draw attention from authorities.
There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments — from small towns to large urban districts — reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials they planned to leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students’ immigration status.
The anxiety has become so intense that the superintendent in one of the state’s largest cities, Huntsville, went on a Spanish-language television show Thursday to try to calm widespread worries.
“In the case of this law, our students do not have anything to fear,” Casey Wardynski said in halting Spanish. He urged families to send students to class and explained that the state is only trying to compile statistics.
Police, he insisted, were not getting involved in schools….”
Evidently Marco Rubio is no longer good enough to appeal to the kinder, gentler form of bigoted racism that is now threatening to destroy the GOP’s chances in 2012.
The Pink Flamingo has a friend who is not too happy about living in Alabama right now. Why?
“...Pineda-Rios’s brother, 52-year-old Clemente Pineda-Rios, who owns a La Michaoacana in Robertsdale, estimates his customer base has dropped by as much as 75 percent. Standing with his daughter, Jessica Pineda, 18, behind the counter of the store, which also holds a butcher shop and a restaurant, he rubbed his forehead under his baseball cap in frustration. In the past, he saw at least 100 customers a day. These days, he might get 20 to 25. Many of his daughter’s closest friends have left the state, and she now rarely leaves home, except to go to work. She stays in Alabama because it’s where her family stays. “I was born in the United States,” she said. “I know I have my American rights. But if I go outside people are going to think I’m illegal. I get scared because we have the color.”
Baldwin County has one of the fastest-growing Hispanic populations in the state, with 224 percent more recorded in 2010 — 7,992 — than the 2,466 in 2000, according to the latest Census figures. The Foley area’s population grew from about 3 percent Hispanic to nearly 8 percent during that same time. By comparison, Mobile County’s Hispanic population grew by about 125 percent during that decade. …”
“...We could also encourage illegal immigrants to leave the country voluntarily by depriving them of public services. Such a policy would require changing the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) signed into law by President Reagan as part of the COBRA in 1985. It requires hospital emergency rooms participating in the Medicare program (virtually all hospitals) to treat everyone who appears regardless of their ability to pay for care. There should be no duty to provide emergency care to people in the country illegally. Doing so is flatly inconsistent with the “compelling government interest to remove the incentive for illegal immigration provided by the availability of public benefits.”
As the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized, “the reason Congress enacted EMTALA in large part was because states generally had not made tort remedies available for the refusal to provide emergency care.” That is to say, American law does not require hospitals to provide care to people who can’t pay for it. Thus, people deprived of care have no cause of action in court against the hospitals or doctors who refuse to treat them for free. So Congress created such a legal right to sue in EMTALA. It was one of Reagan’s errors to sign it into law.
There are many who argue that refusing to treat anyone is immoral. That is a misplaced view. People present in the country should not gain an entitlement to care as a reward for their own prior law-breaking. Romney should phrase his position in these terms, protecting the taxpayers, and he can take the moral highground. And now he can point to Alabama’s new law, just upheld in relevant part by a federal judge over the vociferous objections of the Obama Justice Department, which invalidates any contracts entered into by illegal immigrants in the state, requires public schools to inquire as to the immigration status of students, and forbids the state from providing services to them.
This does not affect the obligations of Alabama hospitals under EMTALA, as that is a federal law. But it is the first state law to address this problem. Initial reports indicate illegal indicate aliens are fleeing Alabama, an a farmer who relies on them to pick his crops, wailed to CBS Thursday yesterday that the only alternative to illegal immigration is “to quit eating.” Apparently no workers showed up at his farm the day after the Alabama law was upheld, and rather accept the unpleasant fact that the jig is up, and basic economics will require him to pay more to attract legal workers, he took to the airwaves to propagate the lie that Americans won’t do unpleasant work. Readers should recall that sewer workers are overwhelmingly white and native born, albeit paid up to $70,000 per year….”
The only hope for the GOP is to separate from the neo-confederate libertarians and tea party freaks as quickly as possible. If not, we’re going down with them. One of the reasons the anti-Hispanic extremes from the far right and pro-abortion left are so successful in pushing their bigoted legislation is because of their alliance with a rather unsavory bunch of white supremacist leaning libertarian types.
There is a romantic movement out there that is propelling the tea parties and the libertarians. It is called Confederate-Libertarian. Ron Paul is the leading advocate.
PART II – TOMORROW