Friday, July 5, 2013

An act of protest; will anyone care?

Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, may have a legitimate point. I’m just not sure what will be accomplished by his tactic.

VELA: Quitting the caucus, but still Latino
The Hill, a newspaper about Congress, reported this week that Vela, a product of the south Texas region right along the U.S./Mexico border, has dropped out of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

HE’S STILL A Latino who serves in Congress. But he’s not going to gather with his ethnic counterparts in other parts of the country, because he’s upset that they’re being supportive of the attempts to put together an immigration reform proposal.

Such a measure already has passed the U.S. Senate – one that includes provisions that are irrelevant to immigration policy reform, but are being included to sway over some support from the Republican members who otherwise would rather not be bothered with the issue.

Those provisions include the border security measures such as more Border Patrol officers and the erection of more barricades along the southern border that Vela (a Brownsville, Texas native) despises.

He wishes the Latino members of Congress would be more aggressive in trying to reduce such measures. Instead, the caucus has been quiet on the issue. In fact, some members have talked of the need for compromise that they’re willing to support such goals – no matter what kind of harm they ultimately cause.


It strikes me as a meek gesture that no one will pay attention to – except for the fellow caucus members who will view it as some sort of snub.

Will they wind up taking it out on him and his district? Or will it be forgotten, and he eventually returns to the caucus’ good graces?

If anything, the talk of leaving the caucus detracts from the fact that Vela does bring up a legitimate point – there are people who are disgusted with the fact that immigration reform is being bogged down with all these side issues that ought to be dealt with on their own.

THE IDEOLOGUES SEEM so determined to believe that the world shares their perspective – even though there was that Pew Research Center poll from last month that showed more people wanted immigration reform and security measures to take place simultaneously; rather than security being some sort of priority over the other.

Perhaps our political people ought to remember the other side, and the anger and disgust that will be felt IF it turns out that this issue winds up tumbling down to failure because the “security first” crowd let their xenophobia get the best of changes in immigration policy that desperately are needed.


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