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Obama’s second term brings hope to undocumented immigrants

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To immigrant communities and human rights advocates, having Mitt Romney as President is like unleashing thousands of pit bulls on the estimated 12 to 20 million undocumented immigrants living in the US. To racially obsessed Americans who think in terms of “us whites against non-whites,” and also for those who believe that their security, their jobs, the economy and even American culture itself are threatened by immigrants – Romney was their man.

During the primaries, among the candidates seeking to gain the support of conservatives, Romney had the harshest position against undocumented immigrants. He announced then that his policy on immigration would be to make life so miserable for the undocumented, they would have no choice but to leave the US.

While Romney’s “Self Deportation Policy” as it became known won him widespread support from anti-immigrant groups, it also caused much concern among immigrant communities and human rights advocates. It did not escape their attention that one of Romney’s main immigration policy advisers is the principal architect of Arizona’s draconian immigration laws which allowed state law enforcement officials to randomly question and detain for deportation those whom they suspect to be in the US illegally.

Of course in real life, police and officials are not going to stop white people and question them about their immigration status. Racial profiling will be inevitable and target victims will be Hispanics, Asians and other dark skinned people. Fortunately, the US Supreme Court struck down the most horrible provisions of Arizona’s immigration laws.

Romney praised the Arizona model suggesting that the same would be his policy. He also vowed to reverse Obama’s humanitarian policy of giving immigration relief to young people legalizing those who are below 31 years old and were brought to the US when they were less than 16 years old and had been in the US at least 5 years as of June 15, 2012.

Had Romney won, it is likely that he would have pushed for federal legislation that would make the Arizona model the law of the land. Imagine being a non-white US citizen and policemen, sheriffs or any other law enforcement official can stop you anytime and ask for your immigration papers.

Even if this kind of law can obviously be subject to so much abuse, including plain harassment by abusive law enforcement officials against US citizens of any color, a great number of white people supported Romney’s intended immigration plan.

Not surprisingly, 88% of those who voted for Romney are white. The 2% black, 6% Latinos and 2% Asians who also voted for him generally belong to the wealthier classes and are die hard Republicans. These groups vote according to party lines.

The Republican Party is known as the party of the rich because of its support for lower taxes for the wealthy. The party generally attracts doctors, dentists and other high earners. Ironically, it also attracts many poor anti-immigrant white people who feel threatened by newcomers.

With Romney’s unfriendly tone against undocumented immigrants, the Republican Party is now also known as the anti-immigrant party. Romney and his handlers figured that by taking a harsh stand against illegal immigration, the votes he would gain from the white majority would be more than the votes he would lose from minority immigrant communities. However, in fomenting alienation and resentment against other human beings, Romney got a dose of his own medicine. His gamble cost him the elections.

Alarmed by the prospect of anti-human immigration laws under Romney which would have serious consequences on civil rights which would set back significant gains – immigrant communities, human rights advocates and so many idealistic young people vigorously committed themselves to the Obama campaign. They knocked on doors, called people, contributed what money they could, helped young supporters to register and even assisted handicapped voters to go to the polls.

Their efforts and changing national demographics and more liberal “live and let live” attitudes resulted in a resounding Obama victory.

In gratitude to immigrant communities and to human rights advocates for their support without which he might not have won, Obama has affirmed his continued commitment to immigration reforms which will surely include legalization for some 12 to 20 million undocumented immigrants.

Now that Obama is on his second and final term, the declared partisan motivated purpose of Republicans in Congress during his first term of keeping him from being reelected at any expense including continually jamming the gears on his economic, social, immigration and other programs – will hopefully now cease for the common good.

With Romney losing the elections mainly because of his anti-immigrant and anti-poor position, Republican Party movers will now perhaps realize that they have to be more inclusive and sensitive to the legitimate aspirations of poor people and immigrant communities – if they want to win national elections.

For the good of the nation (and the world as the US is a super powerful nation), with the elections over, Democrats and Republicans should now forget partisan politics, come together and focus on just doing what is right. There should be no issue on the fact that undocumented immigrants are human beings – even if there may be issues on the most practical and humane ways to handle immigration matters.

America can be a greater nation if it is able to transcend irrational race conflicts and prejudices and set an example to the world by implementing humanitarian policies in dealing with poor people and immigrants.

(For a limited 4 day period, from December 3 to December 6, 2012, Attorney Laguatan will be in the Philippines to take appointments, give advice on new laws and provide possible solutions to complex immigration problems. To ensure reservations, please call as early as possible: PHL numbers 519-1470, 519- 1471, 899-9624, 890-1586, 0917 880 6471; or email laguatanlaw@gmail.com)

Note: The California State Bar honors Attorney Ted Laguatan as among the top best rated lawyers in the US officially certifying him continuously for 23 years now as an Expert-Specialist in Immigration Law, an honor bestowed to only 29 US lawyers. He has the highest qualifications as a lawyer handling immigration cases for Filipinos. He also does human rights, complex litigation, accident caused injuries and wrongful death cases.

For communications: Tel. 650 991-1154 Fax 650 991-1186 Address: 455 Hickey Blvd. Ste. 516, Daly City, CA 94014 Email: laguatanlaw@gmail.com.


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Tags: Barack Obama , Features , Global Nation , US elections

  • Johnby

    To Will McCulloch,

    The campaign of Romney and Republicans like you was based on demonizing undocumented immigrants and poor people. Even your comments here reflect the disdain you and your party have for these unfortunate people who no matter what their situations are nevertheless human beings just like you, simply seeking better lives for themselves and their children.

    You are the one creating a fictitious image about undocumented immigrants. Any truthful person or at least those who know the truth can ascertain that the undocumented are not entitled to handouts, healthcare or other forms of welfare. Study after study shows that they give more to America than what they take. Without them, who would plant and harvests your food, build your houses, tend your garden, be waiters, housecleaners, babysitters, mechanics, janitors, etc. They have contributed as much to building America as anybody else. So you are either ignorant or lying.

    Your analogy about your property being taken from you is nonsense. They are taking nothing except jobs that Americans don’t want. The Republican Party is known as the anti-immigrant white man’s party. 88 percent of those who voted for Romney are white.

    Fortunately, America has at least more than 50 % of its voters who are not anti-human, think more intelligently and understand that undocumented immigrants came to the US because of their desire just like everybody else in this world – for a better life. They voted for a more humane
    candidate.

    Your comment that undocumented immigrants should have come legally is unrealistic. If there are no legal provisions that allow one to migrate legally and what is at stake is survival, then one does what David did when he was starving, ate the sacred bread at the temple which was forbidden. God did not condemn him.

    Some people would.

  • TruthHurts116

    It’s not being anti-immigrant nor anti-poor. Reality is that there are 12,000,000 LEGAL CITIZENS in the US that are looking for jobs. I think we should suspend all immigration until we find jobs for these American Citizens that are out of work. Children born to citizens of another country while in the US account for 5,000,000 children under the age of 18. To school one child for 12 years costs $120,000 x 5,000,000 – I don’t have enough windows in my calculator. That’s roughly the cost of another war. What will you do with another 12,000,000 people swarming over the border to take advantage of the NEW immigration law?

  • Johnby

    To TruthHurts,

    Those jobless legal Americans would not be jobless if they are willing to take the very difficult jobs that undocumented immigrants are willing to take.

    Children of immigrants born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens. Educating them benefits the U.S. so much. Many of the greatest Amercans are children of immigrants.

    If some Republicans and other short minded types look at the big and true picture, they wouldn’t be so agitated by undocumented immigrants. Truth doesn’t hurt, it liberates.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BJDHYTRF4O2EQF26RPUNC5NPUY Riza

      Do you know who invented immigration amnesty? Republican President Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s conditions are clear, though: no criminal record, payment of fees, learning English and going to the back of the line behind legal immigrants. Lawmakers are now challenging that basic assumption that if you’re born in the US, you’re an American citizen. Currently, if you have a child born to two alien parents, that person is believed to be a U.S. citizen. Nations of the EU do not practice birthright citizenship. As a matter of fact, MOST nations do not practice birthright citizenship. ”Undocumented immigrant”? Really? That’s politically correct, but it’s also absurd. The uncomfortable truth is that they are called “illegal immigrant,” they are lawbreakers. We’re not talking about criminal law, and so they’re not “criminals.” Immigration law is based in civil law, and that’s why those who break it get deported and not imprisoned. But these people are still lawbreakers, and – by definition- illegal immigrants.

    • TruthHurts116

      Jobless Americans are willing to tackle difficult jobs, but it’s easier to hire illegals because it’s easier to shortchange them on their pay knowing they won’t complain to the authorities for fear of being deported.

    • etnarolfawa

      anong ibig mong sabihin sa pagsabi mo nang legal americans……….sa unang talata  mo alam mo ba ang  ang  mga trabaho na nakukuha nang mga  illegal ,at alam mo rin ba kung  anong klasing mga trabaho ang pinanggalingan  nang mga jobless  ….nakakatawa ka…

  • Johnby

    To Riza,

    Please get your facts right. Reagan never invented immigration amnesty. It is Congress who makes the laws. Democrats in Congress led by Sen. Ted Kennedy and others initiated the Amnesty Law when Reagan was president. Reagan just had the ministerial duty of signing it as President.

    You want to refer to undocumented immigrants as illegal immigrants because you want to demonize them and want their children born in the US not to be US citizens as the US Constitution provides.

    There is not a single person in the US who is not an immigrant or who came from immigrants including American Indians and including you. Perhaps you should be kinder to all immigrants instead of scapegoating them as the cause of your own inadequacies.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BJDHYTRF4O2EQF26RPUNC5NPUY Riza

      You check your facts. Reagan initiated the Amnesty. Reagan addressed the issue on Oct. 28, debating the Democratic nominee, Walter Mondale. That’s one of Reagan’s legacy: Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act
      And you’re deluding yourself, being somewhere that you are not authorized to be IS a crime in this modern world. 
      So now they are supposed to be called undocumented workers? They do have documents. Fraudulent documents — which is itself a crime. 
      You must be an illegal yourself, or harboring an illegal and should be prosecuted.
      You want to be welcomed and accepted? Then come to the US legally and go through the process of becoming a citizen, like the rest of us did.

  • Johnby

    Riza,

    Your hatred for undocumented immigrants and loyalty to the Republican Party makes you blind and wrongfully credit Reagan for initiating the amnesty law in 1986 known as the Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA). Reagan never did any such thing. He merely signed the Bill which is his duty as president. IRCA is also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Bill – introduced by by Senators Alan Simpson and Romano Mazzoli. This became law on November 6, 1986.

    Your tone shows your anger and hatred towards your fellow human beings. This leads you to twist the truth or a willingness to believe anything that demonizes undocumented immigrants and praise anything that supports your position without checking the truth.

    You have become personal in your attack. This means you no longer have an open mind.
    If you go to church on Sundays but hate the least of your fellowmen, such as undocumented immigrants and poor people, of what good is your going to church?

    Fortunately, a significant number of Americans voted for Obama and believe that the undocumented should be legalized. Like you, Romney would have turned America into a police state to make life miserable for the undocumented. When we hurt other human beings, we hurt ourselves. But your eyes are closed and your ears are covered because you hate undocumented people so much, you can’t see or think of any good about them.

    Stop being miserable for your own sake. Your hatred will destroy you. Learn to love all human beings. We are all God’s creatures. You’ll be happier and more at peace with yourself if you do.
    It was scapegoating attitude like yours that led the Nazis to slaughter innocent Jews. Please listen to your humanity.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BJDHYTRF4O2EQF26RPUNC5NPUY Riza

      And you’re sounding petty. Getting personal like a child for my stand on what is right and lawful. I just roll with the punches. I don’t see you addressing my question about being an illegal yourself or harboring one. What part of the word ILLEGAL don’t you understand?

      Didn’t Obama promise comprehensive immigration reform in 2009? What makes you think he’s going to pass immigration reform in 2013?

      We’ll just have to wait and see.

      By the way, I voted for Obama last Nov 6. Can you say the same thing – that you voted? 

      Or am I correct –  you are an illegal!

  • Johnby

    Riza,

    Assuming I am an undocumented immigrant or an illegal, even if I am not, would that make me less of a human being? What makes you think you are better as a human being than the undocumented? You assume that those who fight for the human rights of undocumented immigrants are also likely to be also undocumented.

    You like to twist the truth. A person who hates undocumented immigrants as much as you and who mouths Romney campaign statements as if they were gospel truth could not have possibly voted for Obama. You misrepresenting facts about Reagan inventing amnesty clearly shows your propensity to be negligent about your facts or even downright engage in misrepresentation.

    The truth always wins. You lose.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BJDHYTRF4O2EQF26RPUNC5NPUY Riza

      Truth? That’s funny coming from a criminal either for being an illegal or harboring one.

      And you’re changing the meaning of illegal to suit you? Who’s lying now? You’re delusional. America is a land of immigrant – yes, LEGAL immigrants – you seemed to be missing this point, no matter how much this is stressed out. 

      My support, humanity and pity lies with the legal citizens not the illegal aliens. Fighting for the rights of the 2 million jobless American and their families who’s lives will be even worse if the coming fiscal cliff is not resolved.

      Everyone with an illegal status is subject to deportation. That’s the law. That’s the truth which seemed to be eluding you.

    • rogueone59

      Why is it that you prefer to refer to those who do not have a right to be in the country as “undocumented immigrant” rather than an ‘illegal alien’?   You ask “what makes you think you are better as a human being than an undocumented?”  Well, since the obvious is too difficult for you to grasp, let me explain it to you.

        I am a legal citizen where I reside.  I was born here.  My wife was born overseas, and yet she came here through the legal, and yes, time consuming, costly means.   That ALONE makes us better people.  We didn’t steal someone’s place in line because we didn’t want to wait our turn.  You see, following the rules, the LAWS in place makes for better citizens. 

      Let me ask you:  Why is waiting your turn, following the laws so difficult for you?  What happens if I am in YOUR country illegally?  Will I be able to DEMAND my RIGHTS?  What rights?   Rights of a citizen?  I’ll be deported, and in the case of Mexico, were I to return without authorization, I could be subjected to a felony charge, and 10 years in prison.  What is the law in The Philippines?  Will I be given a pity party because I really want to be there, but don’t want to follow the laws of The Philippines? 

      Those who don’t follow the laws pertaining to citizenship, green card or temporary residence don’t have any right to complain.  Here’s the solution:  Do it right, or stay out.

  • Johnby

    Rogueone59,

    Unfortunately, your viewpoint of life and humanity is as small and limited as other immigrant haters.

    No one wants to leave his (or her) homeland because so many things dear to him are there including his loved ones. But because of political and economic realities which condemns people to lives without a decent future, in order to escape terrible situations, people leave and brave all kinds of risks and dangers and go to another country like the United States, Canada or some other countries where they might have some chance to live with some amount of dignity and as human beings should.

    People who care about other human beings and understand that the only difference between them and these unfortunate ones is the grace of God.

    So they are kinder and more sympathetic to undocumented immigrants. Unlike you, they don’t see them as enemies or demons. Neither do they see them as threats. That’s why they voted for the more humane presidential candidate.

    In the next life, we will account for all our actions in this life. Your fate and those whose hate-filled attitudes are like yours, would most likely be of being an illegal alien in a country surrounded by equally hateful people like you in your present life. You still have a chance not to make that happen. Love all of your fellowmen, including undocumented immigrants. You’ll be happier and at peace with yourself.

    • TruthHurts116

      Nope. Not buying this either. You keep mentioning God in your replies, then from Romans 13:1-7: 

      “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

      I’m more concerned with adhering to Romans 13:1-7. It makes it abundantly clear that God expects us to obey the laws of the government. Illegal immigrants are certainly not doing so.
      Caring for the unfortunate does not mean laws should be violated in order to do so.
      Indeed, in the next life, illegals, too, will have to account for their actions in this life – their attitudes of living without honor, conscience and respect.

  • Johnby

    To Truth Hurts,

    The highest form of authority is the law of survival which is a natural God made law. When there is conflict between God made law and man made laws, God made laws must be given preference. When David was starving, he ate the sacred bread in the templle which was forbidden by the authorities. God did not punish him.

    Obedience to authorities is not absolute. In fact, conscience or survival sometimes demands that we go against man made laws. During the Marcos years or the time of the Nazis, it is the duty of good men to go against the authorities. Immigration laws are man made laws, not God made laws.

    • riza888

      Can the Bible be infallible if it is written by fallible humans? Who’s to say that one person’s interpretation is the correct one?  No one is an expert on God or His ways.  And one’s belief is not more important than another, nor is it right.

      What is the biblical solution to illegal immigration? Simple – don’t do it; obey the laws. If it is our conviction that an immigration law is unjust, we do everything that is legally within our power to get the law changed: pray, petition, vote, peacefully protest, etc. As Christians, we should be the first to seek to change any law that is unjust. At the same time, we are also to demonstrate our submission to God by obeying the government He has placed in authority over us.



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