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September 5, 2008

Rodriguez: Republicans need to accommodate immigrants

Immigration remains a central issue for millions of Americans this election, but the issue was barely touched at either convention.
Eva Rodriguez, the National Hispanic Evangelical Women’s president, said that many Hispanics are confused about this election. Rodriguez gave the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.

How did you get invited to pray at the convention?
I know they were Googling names. I guess my name came up. I run the women’s task of the National Hispanic Leadership Conference. They saw my videos and they also know my husband, Samuel Rodriguez. He’s been with McCain a few times and they know each other personally.

Did they ask you to change the prayer at all?
They did not. I sent it in a week prior so they knew what they were getting into.

Do you have any sense of how Hispanic evangelicals will vote this year?
I think we’re very confused this year. Out of all the elections, this has been a very difficult one to pick, because we have a brown person in the Democratic Party. You gotta be honest, it makes you proud. I think at the end of the day, you look at morals. It’s awesome to have a brown person running. We always go back to morals.

Barack Obama doesn’t have morals?
Well he does, but not to the extent that the Republican Party does – Marriage between a man and a woman and abortion. Those are the two main issues that have been brought up. Of course, immigration, John McCain has fought for.

What kind of immigration policy are you looking for?
We’re looking for something in between, but we’re not getting anything right now. I’m very disappointed because here, they haven’t touched it. About 60 percent of the people in my congregation are immigrants. Our hope is that John McCain will continue on with immigration reform.

What do people think of Sarah Palin’s candidacy?
We are very excited, not only because she’s a woman, but her religious beliefs are there. When it comes to morals and having a woman I think has been awesome – awesome pick.

What do you think about the election so far?
I think immigration is going to be a big one. The Republican Party has to try to accommodate us a little bit. We’re going to make the majority in a few years. They need to start thinking about us. We’re going to be important, but in about eight years, we’re going to be extremely important. We’re talking about down the road, the Republican Party is going to have to change, whether they like it or not. They need to listen to McCain a little bit more. Hispanics are growing, we’re moving up, we’re going to college, our kids are graduating. Our votes are going to count.


Republicans have to make a distinction between immigrants (those who enter legally) and illegal aliens; there is a difference. Immigrants want to come here to be Americans, illegal aliens want the benefits of this country without having to assimilate. Our health care system has been taxed due to their taking advantage of it and more Americans are killed by illegal aliens in one year than have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 6 years. Even day laborers (who are taken advantage of by companies) are the victims of illegal alien gang members as well. The most recent tragedies where illegal alien gang members killed are the Bologna family in San Francisco and Jamiel Shaw, Jr. in LA. Unlike most families who are too afraid, these two families are doing something to see that this doesn't happen to others. Check out http://www.jamielslaw.com and http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local&id=6345912 for more about these two causes.

What is the source for this statistic?
"...more Americans are killed by illegal aliens in one year than have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 6 years"

Being an evangelical Christian, or any Christian, one would think that race would not be the top issue, but morals. Eva Perez, in one of her responses seemed to equate race, "brown", and morals with the same priority. In a few years, more "brown" people may exist in the United States, but these "brown" people will be Americans, not immigrants. If there are more "brown" Americans than "white" Americans, we Americans will adjust and continue to be a world example. As Christians, we are not brown and white, but one in Christ. By the time 2042 comes around, we will have to deal with people who are not immigrants, but American citizens. At least, that is my hope. We lose track of our priorities and what is significant by keeping the labels at such a single tiered level. Illegal immigration is another issue, and should not be accommodated, but dealth with justice and compassion.

As usual, Sarah Pulliam is right on the money. She comes from a titan publisher, Gene Pulliam, who was her great-grandfather, and does her newspaper family proud. I'm not unbiased, having been hired for my first real newspaper job at The Arizona Republic by Gene Pulliam and privileged a few years ago to have Sarah in a World Journalism Institute class.As written in Proberbs at 17:17 (KJV), "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity," although this time I'm not adverse. Go Sarah.

The word "brown" is not racial in the USA because it is a term that is used by South Americans. Anybody who hangs around South Americans knows the skin colors in S.A. is much more diverse down there than in the USA. The prejudice down there is more me rich, you poor than racial. Their inborn attitude is that the station you are born into is where you stay. If you're poor or on the bottom, the rich or those on top attitude is too bad, thats the way life lays. The Christian organizations who try to help the poor literally have to argue or pay off officials, people in power, etc. just to help the poor people because helping people change their lot in life is not acceptable in the culture down there. Unlike in the USA it is assumed a person born poor can improve their lot just by trying and the top people don't stop the "trying" because the top people themselves believe the trying is not supposed to be stopped. So, what I'm saying is don't use the word brown used by the lady as racial. It's used in S.A. to actually describe a person among many different shades of color. Now illegal immigration should be stopped because they are law breakers just by being here and it's unfair to the legal immigrants who followed USA law to get into the USA, usually taking years to get here legally not via an overnight jumping the fence illegally. They break the law from the beginning and keep breaking the law unfortunately.

Hi Why the word illegal immigrants can not be mention, I came legal to this country and I respeact the men's law or the constitution of United States of America. I respect the law people who comes to this country illegal are breaking the law this illegal should go and protest to their own country and demand their rights, since when those who brake the law of United States of America have right, when those who brake laws should go back and come in this country legally. I am tired of tacos, tequila and marachi. I did not have all those benefits as the illegal have with medicare /welfare and just have children so United States take care their children.and because of this United States is going broke I hope it never will come as Mexico.

America needs an immigration policy based on the Biblical principles of--

--Freedom: From God's perspective, international boundaries are artificial, and his call to service does not necessarily respect them.

--Hospitality: We will welcome the alien.

--Personal responsibility: Come to work, not for a handout.

--Accountability: Keep in touch with ICE and don't violate our laws.

--Commitment: Learn English and become a citizen of the United States within a reasonable period of time.

While many details would have to be worked out, these principles provide a sound guide for revising our immigration laws.

Between Mr. Huckabee and Ms. Rodriguez, we continue to hear the same kind of one-dimensional, shallow thinking. Republicans are "value voters," and "more moral." The absurdity of both of those comments is compounded when we add the element of Christian faith. For Republican Christians to claim to be "pro-life," while at the same time supporting the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq is to say that Jesus matters not one bit in our ethics and behaviors. In order to support such thinking, one must abandon the gospels completely, ignoring the Sermon on the Mount in particular, and head to the Old Testament and stay there. My deep frustration and sadness over the rhetoric around McCain/Palin, and Obama/Biden, is not that U.S. politics can be so mind-numbingly shallow...but that Christians can so easily abandon our Lord in the middle of it.

GOP's racist stand on immigration last year will cost them the election in November. Latinos will decide who the next President is and they are going overwhelmingly for Obama!