Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why Nativists Can't Win Elections

In the last couple of years some of the anti-immigration activists have been stumped. They are louder and clearly have a larger presence in the media and internet than pro-migrant individuals. Yet, during election time they keep being beaten. Why is that? I’m going to start a series of posts trying to explain this for them.

I have pleasure of being related to a nativist. The irony is we have family members who are undocumented, he just doesn’t know it. His wife knows it and has been keeping it from him for years. He always votes for a nativist yet his wife always votes for someone who is pro-migrant. She usually finds an excuse. Mostly about the environment and how that’s her number one issue (which infuriates her husband who doesn’t believe in global warming). She hides the fact that some of her family members are undocumented from him. It’s easy to do, because like most nativists he doesn’t look beyond the Hispanic day laborer. His complaints aren’t necessarily about undocumented immigrants but directed towards Hispanics. I had to smile to myself last thanksgiving when he got into an argument with his sister on immigration and pointed to his wife’s family (my family) that all did it the “right way”.

If you asked his wife what her top issue was, she wouldn’t admit to it being immigration even though it clearly is. That’s the difference between the pros and the antis. The antis can’t wait to tell a pollster that their number one issue is immigration. Pros rarely admit to it.

Before you judge my relatives remember my relative cares about her family, enough to lie to her husband about it to protect them. You may ask yourself why did she marry such a man? He wasn’t always this way, and he’s a good husband to her and politics and bigotry aside he not a bad man. In fact he was a supporter of immigrants rights until his idol Rush (that’s right he’s one of them) started his half baked crusade against migrants. She made a decision to protect her family members and hide it from her husband. I know it wasn’t easy for her to make that decision but it has been easy to keep up. He has no idea and why would he when he thinks all undocumented immigrants are day laborers and fast food workers. I don’t think she will ever tell him, even after her last family member adjusts to a legal status. Somehow I doubt she’s alone in this situation.

See Also: Office Lunch

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