Just in case you are one of those people, take a look at this article on McCain and Immigration from The Progressive.
McCain Not a Hero on Immigration
Wednesday 16 July 2008
by: Ramon Castellblanch, The Progressive
Sen. John McCain is no hero on immigration.
His 2006 immigration proposal, which he has disowned in front of anti-immigrant audiences, would have meant cheap labor on both sides of the border and would have made a joke of the idea of integrating immigrants into our way of life. And it would have allowed the heartless immigration raids on Latino workplaces to continue, breaking up families and disrupting communities.
McCain's proposal would have done nothing to address the root causes behind the immigration problem: low-wage businesses here and south of the border and a U.S. trade policy that is devastating the Mexican countryside.
Low-wage U.S. employers like those in agribusiness and the construction industry like access to the desperate Mexican and Central American economic refugees so that they can avoid paying fair wages. McCain's proposal would have turned a blind eye to such practices.
Mexicans are being forced north by pathetic wages and squalid living conditions. They are being driven to our country by U.S.-subsidized corn being dumped on the Mexican market due to trade agreements such as NAFTA, ruining many of their small farmers and leaving them with no choices but immigration or destitution. McCain would have ignored all of this.
For the immigrants who are here, we need an immigration policy that reflects American values of democracy and justice. Rather than more fences and raids on Latino communities, we need an orderly approach to bring immigrants into our system.
To the extent that Sen. Barack Obama has weighed in on this issue, there is reason for hope.
He supported efforts to fix the parts of the McCain immigration bill that would have made its path to citizenship practically useless. Obama voted to limit use of an untested point system for immigration, a guestworker program that would have made it easier for employers to deny immigrants rights, and an unworkable provision that immigrants had to leave our country before they could apply to re-enter it. While it remains to be seen how seriously Obama, if elected, will address the root causes of our immigration problems, at least he's suggested he's considering ideas like reopening NAFTA and calling off the immigration hounds who are terrorizing U.S. Latino communities.
What we need for an immigration policy is a plan that would improve the standard of living on both sides of the border, make immigrants strong supporters of our country's finest values, and stop the senseless demonizing of Latinos. McCain's proposal, even when he embraced it, did none of these things; Obama's positions open the conversation.
Ramon Castellblanch is associate professor of health education at San Francisco State University. He can be reached at email@example.com
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