Reaction to Lou Dobbs Town Hall on Broken Borders

Wednesday night Lou Dobbs held a town hall style show on the "broken borders" issue live from San Antonio, Texas.  To his credit, his guests included folks from both sides of the debate.  Although hostile to their views and at time unbelievably patronizing, he did give airtime to proponents of comprehensive immigration reform as well as to the hardliners for border control.  The show hit on a number of issues, so let's look at them one at a time.

Undocumented Workers and Native Wages: Lou Dobbs has a knack for characterizing this issue as one that should make the public angry.  In fact, he said last night that employers, when they hire undocumented immigrants, are blatantly discriminating against U.S. citizens.  The segment addressed some legitimate concerns of U.S. workers including contractors who cannot compete with businesses that hire undocumented immigrants and outbid competitors who don't.  Mr. Dobbs took issue with the argument that immigrants fill jobs that Americans don't want.  The narrator of this particular segment said to the contrary, "Americans are not lazy, Americans are willing to work hard...for a fair wage." This is exactly the argument that DMI has outlined in our report "Principles of an Immigration Policy to Strengthen and Expand the American Middle Class" In the report, we argue that because undocumented immigrants live here under a constant threat of deportation, their ability to enforce their own workplace rights and demand fair wages and fair treatment is greatly diminished.  As a result, the situation threatens to push wages down across entire industries.  The only way to address this issue is to strengthen the workplace rights of these vital workers, who we need to keep our economy strong and growing, and thereby raise wages for all workers.  We agree that the middle class should be angry about the dismal state of wages and the ability to earn a living as a worker in this country, the question is whether an enforcement-only immigration policy will raise wages.

The Border Fence: The enforcement-only agenda of Congress will not address the issues discussed in the previous section.  History has taught us that building a wall will not keep out workers that our economy relies on to the degree that it currently does.  With the Secure Fence Act of 2006 set to be signed into law today, it seemed Mr. Dobbs was much more focused on conjuring up supportive votes for the Republican Congress than with realistically looking at both sides of this issue.  In fact, he mentioned the fact that elections are a mere two weeks away numerous times throughout the show.  When talking about the bill signing event he even said that Republicans wanted a high profile event before the elections.  So, even Lou Dobbs admits that the Fence bill is more of an election-year strategy to mobilize voters than to tackle the real issues that Americans are concerned about --how to reform our broken immigration system.

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Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

It's a grey Saturday here at Jack and Jill Politics. The perfect weather to spend listening to the soothing bluesy sounds of "The Incredible Jimmy Smith" album: Back at the Chicken Shack. Don't take my word for it. It says right on the cover art over the chicken coop and above the black-and-white dog in big red letters that he's incredible.

First a word: Jack and Jill Politics is looking for local minority-authored blogs to start building a blogroll. We want to find more progressive blogs covering politics in the states like CTBlogger (CT), Where Is the Outrage (NC), Vivian Paige (VA) and Black At Michigan (MI) with voices that can add new perspectives. If you are a local minority blogger or know a local minority blog that deserves a little more attention, please leave the link in the comments or email us at jjpolitics at gmail.com. Thanks in advance!

Mama's got a lot to do today and I bet you do too. So I'm gonna hit you with some quick links to check out in our weekly roundup of what's happening at the crossroads where minorities and politics meet.


* First, this Mark Foley Predatorgate coverup thing is not partisan despite Republican efforts to make it so. That's why they are going to lose and lose big in the elections. It's not Democrat vs. Republican; it's Right vs. Wrong. The cover-up caused even conservative Christian Black blogger La Shawn Barber to dig deep and question her loyalty to the current GOP leadership. Furthermore, Wanda Sykes would like you to know that Foley is giving alcohol a bad name. (Thanks to the Huffington Post for the link!) I would like to know why Mark Foley is in rehab and  not in jail. Isn't what he did somehow against some law somewhere?

* Republic of T breaks it down on attempts to connect homosexuality and pedophilia. This is wrong and ignorant, Margaret Cho agrees. Hopefully, pastors will keep that in mind in church this Sunday. Let's keep the hate where it belongs: directed at child molesters and not at the GLBT community, ok?

More after the jump...

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Racial Politics Last Week - A Roundup

Brought to you by Jack Tuner of Jack & Jill Politics whilst cooking one tasty meal.

I figured my first turn at the racial roundup post should be inspired by an extra black authenticity. Thus, it is one day late! CP Time, yall. CP Time. Here we go:

Is Tupac's home changin?
Booker Rising discusses the declining black population of Oakland, CA and the impact on black businesses. Berkeley's North Gate News provides the context:

Barnett, who lives in East Oakland, has considered moving to the suburbs. He said he understands why people go. "People are leaving because it's so hard in Oakland right now," he said. "There are few jobs, high crime, and the schools are horrible. People want to go somewhere where their kids have a chance."
Sounds like "Black Flight" to me, and it's hard to blame folks, but some see a solution in joining up. From the same article:

Other black businesses have even joined the Latino Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, further downstate...

Black folks try to give Heismann to brown folks
The Daily Breeze is reporting about attempts from some black residents in Gardena, CA to block a Latino market from coming to town.

About 75 neighbors packed the Gardena council chambers on Tuesday night to express opposition to the Numero Uno Market slated for the corner of Rosecrans and Normandie avenues.

"Everything coming into Gardena on our side is in Spanish," resident Dorothy Dawson said. "I thought we were in America."

That's funny, Sista Dorothy. I'm pretty sure white folks said the same thing about your people when yall decided to leave the plantations.

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Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

This week in minority politics, brought to you by Jack and Jill Politics typed to you to the sounds of The Joint, the reggae channel on XM Radio. Let's dive right into some playa-hating, shall we?

Losers This Week:

Al Wynn, whose greasy shell game involving possibly illegal corporate donations to his Maryland Congressional campaign was exposed on MyDD.  Fortunately, there's another candidate for this seat who also happens to be African-American: Donna Edwards. If you live in her district in Maryland, get out and make sure a progressive candidate who will care more for constituents than corporations wins this time. Wynn doesn't deserve to win.

John Bolton, who has brought a not very unique blend of racism, aggression and blunt ideological stupidity to his tenure as U.N. Ambassador got the bum rush from Sen. Lincoln Chafee. During Senate hearings, Chafee probed Bolton's thoughts that "shaping the Middle East" is "one" of the significant challenges of our time. Shouldn't the people living in the Middle East shape their own destiny? I thought Manifest Destiny went out of fashion in the 19th century? Looks like Bolton may be looking for a new job come Jan.

Condi Riceblows any remaining credibility with Black women between the ages of 25-55 or really any thinking American with her head-scratching statements in popular Essence magazine comparing critics of the Iraq war to those who tacitly supported slavery during the Civil War. Repugnant, reactionary, desperate and disgraceful.

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TX-28: Cuellar Funds Vigilantes

cross posted on Mydd and Kos

I'm sure you all are well aware now that Rep. Cueller is being challenged by Ciro Rodriguez in the primary for the TX-28 seat in '06 in which the Republicans are not even putting forth a candidate.


What is new is that, bluelatinos.org has created a petition to tell Cueller to withdraw his support of an absolutley scandalous right-wing bill that he sponsered.  This bill would give $100 Million to the Minutemen.  An extreme right-wing vigilante group 'patroling' the border with Mexico.

I encourage everyone to go to www.bluelatinos.org/cueller and sign the petition to show opposition to Rep. Cueller's draconian ideals.

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