The PJ Tatler

Democrats Want to Turn Illegal Immigration into the 'Next Civil Rights Movement'

This strategy that some Democrats are test-marketing to push back against state-level crackdowns on illegal immigration is about as cynical as it gets. There are two things about it that I find amusing, though. One, Democrats are so bereft of real new ideas they can honestly sell to the voters that they’re constantly looking for the “next civil rights movement,” even where it has absolutely no logical application. Turning illegal immigration into a civil rights issue isn’t about persuading Americans to agree, but about shaming Americans into going along with it. Non-citizens aren’t simply allowed to trespass into the US, and aren’t covered by the US Constitution. And two, on the one hand Democrats try conferring civil rights onto non-citizens, while at the same time they push to curb and do away with the rights of citizens that are actually spelled out in the Constitution and our laws. Hell0…Second Amendment…the right to work without being forced to join a union…clean elections free of fraud…Democrats don’t defend those fundamental rights.

In an attempt to invoke the memory and passion of the civil rights movement, a group of Democratic lawmakers will stand Monday in a historic church in Birmingham to help rally opposition to the state’s new law that seeks to get tough on illegal immigrants.

The 10 Democrats, including Rep. Terri Sewell of Birmingham, will participate in an ad hoc hearing on the immigration law and later help launch a petition to repeal it at the historic 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham. The church was the site of the 1963 bombing that killed four little girls during the civil rights movement.

“The history of fighting for justice and fighting for basic rights is still alive in Alabama,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who is heading the trip. “Indeed, a lot of what we know about social movements, about social change and fighting for justice, we learned from the people of Alabama less than a generation ago.”

Supporters of the law, considered one of the toughest in the country, welcome the federal lawmakers.

“We live in America. The First Amendment gives them the right to come and say what they want to say,” said State Republican Rep. Kerry Rich, a co-sponsor of the measure. “Some of these people are comparing this to 1961 or the civil rights days. Here’s the difference – in the 1960s . . . Alabama was wrong for what it was doing. “

That last is one of two key differences that have evidently escaped the Democrats’ notice. During the real civil rights movement, actual US citizens were not being allowed the full rights and benefits of citizenship. They were mistreated and given second-class status in the law. The civil rights movement rightly drew attention to that and pushed to end it.

But here and now, we have people who are not US citizens and who have broken the law to get here and stay here. It’s a completely different situation. I debated this issue on a Houston radio station this morning, and my Democrat opposite threw down the race card and mischaracterized my positions to try and tilt the game. But the fundamentals remain, the actual civil rights movement was about removing racist laws that barred full US citizens from full participation in our society. To render the same sort of victory on non-citizens would render the concept of American citizenship meaningless. Democrats either don’t understand that, or don’t care, their bottom line being putting party ahead of the nation and our ability to maintain our national integrity through our laws.