Ruben Navarrette is a frequent opinion columnist for CNN and the man has a lot to say on subjects involving race relations and immigration reform (among other topics). This week he turns his attention back to the subject of “undocumented” immigrants to our nation and finds that some of the most high profile members of this elite criminal class are pretty “fed up” with politicians and their handling of the subject. One case in point who attracts his attention is Erika Andiola.
Andiola is one of the most famous DREAMers in the country. In 2012, she appeared with nearly three dozen other undocumented immigrants — including journalist Jose Antonio Vargas — on the cover of Time magazine.
In September 2013, she began an eye-opening adventure when she went to Washington to work for Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. She lasted four months.
She left after concluding from conversations with other congressional aides that Democrats would prefer not to solve the immigration problem because they would rather use it a club to bludgeon Republicans.
She wrote about her experience and observed that Washington was driven by “political games — games that are causing too much pain in our community.” She also declared that the immigrant community and the American people have more power to affect change than “politicians inside the beltway.”
Truth-telling won’t make you popular. And for some in the immigrant advocacy movement, Andiola is now persona non grata.
She is attacked on social media, and — while she used to be a frequent guest at the White House for policy meetings on immigration — she has recently been yanked out of line several times while waiting to enter for one event or another.
Navarrette makes two points here which deserve attention, though for different reasons. The first is one which appears to have been obvious to conservatives and those concerned with national security for a long time: Democrats, by their actions rather than their words, really don’t care about immigration reform as a goal. To the extent they are willing to address the immigration question, it’s far more valuable as a talking point to bash the GOP in the hopes of glomming on to the coat tails of a perceived demographic shift taking place in the nation. Actually solving the perceived immigration problem would actually be self-defeating for the Donkey Party, as it would remove a powerful piece from the chess board. But is it really that powerful?
This Democrat inaction, of course, leaves people like Andiola disillusioned with Nancy Pelosi and all her ilk (as well as a president setting records for deportations), though it doesn’t necessarily drive them into the arms of the Republicans. But when you add those numbers to the many legal immigrants who resent the idea of others getting head of the line privileges at the stroke of a Washington pen when they had to work so hard to earn their citizenship, it may turn this issue into a wash rather than the electoral goldmine they’d hoped for. The Left loves to refer to the GOP as the Party of No (action) – unjustly in most regards – but in this case the facts above make a strong case for doing nothing beyond insisting on better border control and more stringent enforcement of existing laws.
The other point which Navarrette makes – without intending it – is found back in that opening paragraph. This woman is famous. She was on the cover of Time magazine. She got a job working for a member of congress. And yet she was actively engaged in criminal behavior until she received a two year waiver under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. I understand that she – and many others – would like to see the laws changed, but they haven’t been changed yet. And though we’ve discussed it before, it bears repeating: even understanding that it’s impossible for ICE to find every illegal in the country and get them on buses.. surely they could have found her.