The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Eugenio Villasante 212-539-2940

The GOP's Anti-Immigrant Agenda is Divisive

Falls woefully short of America’s values of inclusiveness and fairness


Amid fierce debate among Republican Party leaders over immigration and Latino voters polling in favor of President Barack Obama, the Republican National Convention is poised to rubber stamp a party platform that embodies anti-immigrant language and continues to uphold the views of hardliners, such as Arizona's SB 1070 author Kris Kobach.

SEIU International Executive Board member Hector Figueroa, who also sits on the Democratic National Convention Platform Committee, responded to the RNC's platform on immigration:

"While the Republicans' action is disappointing, it is no different from what we already know: The Republican Party's anti-immigrant agenda is divisive, shortsighted, and falls woefully short of America's values of inclusiveness and fairness. Time and again, Mitt Romney and his hardliners have proven they are out of touch with values that respect everyone from all walks of life who have enriched and worked hard to strengthen our country.

"While Romney and his cohorts continue to envision extraordinary and expensive forts and fences and a dead-end road leading to 'self-deportation' for the millions of hardworking, aspiring citizens in our nation today, the Latino and immigrant communities stand in disbelief and fall further away from Republican grasp. Poll after polls demonstrates Latino voters' in favor of the DREAM Act and a common sense immigration solution. And most recently, they applauded President Obama's move to grant deferred action to the 1.7 million eligible DREAMers.

"Latino voters and many more who honor America as a nation of immigrants and who believe in the values of diversity and tolerance are neither ignorant nor ambivalent to Mitt Romney's rhetoric and the Republican Party's hardline approach to the immigrant community. The GOP is alienating Latinos and millions of voters who will not forgive or forget the candidates who support "self-deportation," harmful laws like Arizona SB 1070 and Alabama HB 56,, and who would deny young new Americans a roadmap to citizenship.

"The GOP's anti-immigrant platform is in keeping with the rest of the party's agenda that disrespects the rights of workers and women, and lacks understanding of everyday issues facing Americans.

"We will not sit idly by and allow such a platform to win. The choice is clear. President Obama has proven he will stand up not only for Latino voters, but also for our immigrant friends and family."

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.