Last week I ran on the blog the picture you see above and the text you see below–
Here are some folks who were using the forum provided by the Iraq veterans parade in Houston this past Sunday to promote two anti-immigrant ballot initiatives for the City of Houston 2012 ballot.
These folks are free to use public space to promote their cause.
I’m not concerned with linking to this group. If this is what people want, then they can decide this is what they want.
We can either move forward in an open and welcoming way that makes Houston a hopeful place, or we can choose another course.
It is many ways less a matter of public policy, than it is a decision as to what kind of people we are going to be, and how we are going to present ourselves and the world to young people.
It would be far more productive if our city was discussing progress, rather than going after immigrants and going after the sharing of food with the homeless.
In addition to making this post on my personal blog, I also copied the post at my space as a reader-blogger at the Houston Chronicle.
Here are some of the responses I got at The Chronicle—
TexasLiberal, why are you afraid to tell the truth. Hardly anyone is against immigrants coming into our country, Yes, there is a very small minority of people that don’t want any immigrants allowed in the US and to me those people are wrong. Most people are against those who are ILLEGALLY coming here and sucking up resources, whether it is schools, health care, food stamps, etc. But at least they do come here rob/kill others allowed to sit in prison for awhile. Do you know the difference between immigration and ILLEGAL immigration?? It really is so simple that even a Liberal should know
I’m proud to say that I signed the petition, got all my family and friends to do the same. Something has to be done about them. Time to put America first. They don’t like their country…change it
Like any liberal truth is a problem for you. No one is suggesting going after immigrants. This is about illegals who are criminals since they are breaking the law by being here. It is time to force our city leaders to do what they are suppose to be doing and that is rounding these criminals up, putting them in prison, and then deporting them.
It is in fact fully reasonable to make a distinction between people here “legally” as we term it, and someone who came here in a way that the law does not allow.
It is fair to say that making such a distinction does not by definition make a person anti-immigrant.
And yet–of course–this is a nuance that gets lost in these type of anti-immigrant efforts.
Here are some recent updates from the Stop The Magnet Facebook page. Stop The Magnet are the folks running this campaign. You can see the articles they linked to by clicking the link in each line.
* Follow the money. These officials are selling out our country for profit.Mocking the blood of our fallen heroes. These people are soooo crooked they will need to be screwed into their coffins.
* “SOVEREIGN CITIZENS” this term coined to describe how illegals are exempted from certain laws. This article also mentions Perry’s contributions toward this new treasonous trend
* Illegal Alien Impregnates a ten yr. old girl who gave birth. (Idaho):
* Too many foreigners” …says Sarkozy
It can be said that the issues that are being proposed for Houston voters are about so-called illegal immigration, and yet here we read about French President Sarkozy saying that France has “Too many foreigners.”
But this is all just about immigration reform.
“7- 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20“So then, you will know them by their fruits.”
No good fruit can come from this tree.
A diverse and multi-cultural Houston and America are here to stay. Anybody fighting this fact has already lost.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I saw people of different races signing the petition. It’s not a simple matter of white, black or Hispanic.
It’s about fear and resentment in contrast to optimism, and against a future that is already on the way and that will make our nation a better place to live.
Since I ran a few Chronicle comments taking issue with my view, allow me to excerpt one that took my side–
“… The underlying animus in the anti-immigrant crowd is hate, which is a result of fear. Time and again in this country, in times of economic hardship, immigrants have been targeted. “Roundin’ up all them illegals and deportin’ ‘em all back to Mexico” is unrealistic. It would also undermine law enforcement in that undocumented immigrants would fear reporting crimes, including serious ones…”
To this I would add that we have all in Houston taken advantage of the lower prices for goods and services that immigration has allowed. In many cases, the immigrants who do this work are not paid.
If these anti-immigration folks are so concerned with immigrants and the law, why don’t they take up the cause of wage theft as well?
I don’t know if these issues will reach the ballot. I don’t know if they will pass or fail if Houston voters are asked to decide.
I do know that people who see a hopeful and welcoming future for the Houston-area and for our nation have nothing to fear from these folks.
Let’s face these anti-immigration folks with the full confidence that our vision of an inclusive Houston and nation has already prevailed.
We have nothing to fear from these people if we stay the course of freedom, inclusion and care for others.