The GOP’s 11m Latino human shields

Are Marco Rubio and the Republican party really going to use tens of millions of American Latinos and 11 million Latino immigrants as human shields in order to get the GOP way on immigration reform?

That’s the threat Rubio and other Republicans are now making, unless Democrats and immigration groups accede to GOP demands to bash gays in comprehensive immigration reform.

It’s such a conundrum, really. We’re told that immigration reform is a “gay” issue. (It’s really not.)

But we’re also told that if we include gay immigration issues in immigration reform – particularly the UAFA legislation (permitting same-sex foreign-national partners of gay Americans to immigration) – it may kill immigration reform by injecting “the gay” into the bill.

I smell hypocrisy.  And homophobia.

When immigration reform helps Latino immigrants, and it most certainly does, no one calls it pandering to Latinos.  But when we want immigration reform to address the immigration needs of America’s gays and lesbians as well as Latinos and everyone else, suddenly we’re all gay activists trying to torpedo an important piece of legislation that would have done just fine had those pesky gays not demanded their “special rights” be included in the bill.

Because when a Latino immigrant wants to come to America, that’s okay.  But if he’s gay, then that just makes God cringe, if you accept the latest BS from far-right anti-gay activist, and proven prevaricator, GOP Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).  Rubio, whose family did not heroically flee Castro’s Cuba, famously campaigned around the country in favor of anti-gay constitutional amendments before the fall elections in 2012, is now pulling out the stops to make sure that the needs of gay Americans not be addressed in “comprehensive” immigration reform.

“It will virtually guarantee that it won’t pass,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Gang of Eight negotiating group, told POLITICO in a brief interview. “This issue is a difficult enough issue as it is. I respect everyone’s views on it. But ultimately, if that issue is injected into this bill, the bill will fail and the coalition that helped put it together will fall apart.”

“This issue” is immigration reform, Senator Rubio.  Odd that Rubio doesn’t say “this issue” when referring the benefits the legislation gives to his own people, Latinos.  Only when someone tries to amend the legislation so that it will help all Americans – that’s when Marco Rubio draws a rather self-serving and selfish line in the send.

Of course, it’s more than Rubio.  Republicans are still terribly homophobic, and the very fact that they want immigration reform to address the needs of Latinos but not gay-Americans is sad proof as to just how gay-hating the Republican party remains in 2013.

Sen. Jeff Flake — a Republican member of the Gang of Eight who also is on the Judiciary Committee — put the issue front and center in a statement provided to BuzzFeed. “There’s a reason that this language wasn’t included in the Gang of Eight’s bill — it’s a deal breaker for most Republicans. Finding consensus on immigration legislation is tough enough without opening the bill up to social issues,” Flake said in the statement.

Catch that? It’s “social issues” when gays immigrate.  But it’s simply old “immigration reform” when it’s Latinos.  You’re witnessing prima facie evidence of just how anti-gay the Republican party remains.  “Socia issues” is the new Republican code for “special rights.”

The irony is that the only reason Rubio and the rest of the Republicans are even considering passing any immigration reform is because of how freaked out they are about Latino voters.  Latinos are a large, and growing, chunk of the American electorate, and one that routinely votes in large numbers for Democrats.  That’s a major part of the reason that Republicans, to date, have been so adamantly opposed to passing immigration reform.  That, in addition to the fact that their party is run by people, and controlled by a base, that doesn’t like people who are foreign, and in particularly people who might not pass as white.

So by insisting that immigration reform address the needs of Latino immigrants – which is what the bill at its core does – but not address the needs of gay-Americans and their immigrants, Marco Rubio and the GOP are admitting that they don’t want the votes, the money, and the support of gay-Americans, our families, friends, and allies.

The reason we’re in this predicament at all is because Senate Democrats, led by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), with the help of Senator Durbin (D-IL), acceded to Republican demands early on and dropped gay Americans from the immigration bill months ago.  And as anyone who understand the workings of Congress will tell you, it is greatly preferred to start with your provision in a bill, than to attempt to add it on later – something far more difficult to achieve.

As Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed reports, Senate Democrats are “likely” to attempt to offer UAFA as an amendment to immigration reform when the bill is considered in committee next week.  “Likely,” not certain.  Among others who just aren’t sure how much they love the gay is perennial pain in the backside Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who seems to revel in vacillating before as many Democratic priorities and values as feasibly possible.

Keep in mind, as I already mentioned, the Republicans are desperate to pass immigration reform, lest Latinos turn on them permanently, making the GOP a permanent minority in national politics.  So when we see moralizing threats from those who immorally aid and abet the rape of children and the enslavement of tens of thousands of women, aka the Catholic bishops, keep in mind that the target of the Catholic’s venom isn’t gays and it isn’t Democrats, it’s Republicans.

The Catholics are attempting to doom the GOP’s chances of winning back Latinos.  And if you think the Republicans are going to take a walk on immigration reform because the legislation doesn’t take a slap at gay Americans, or because the pedophile-enabling Catholic leadership, that wouldn’t support a Democrat if you promised them castrati as door prizes, has its knickers in a twist, yet again, because someone refused to bash a gay, then you haven’t been paying attention to how we got to this point in this first place.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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