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 | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003066023668 Stanley Steamer

    “Are Marco Rubio and the Republican party really going to use ” Ah, dude, it’s “IS” Marco Rubio. Gotta love journalist wannabes.

  • WarrenHart

    You tell em girl.

  • http://www.facebook.com/madbrainDotCom Julien Pierre

    As if immigration was not a social issue to begin with !

    We are all human beings, not “social issues”.

    Someone seriously needs to make flagpins, tshirts, bumper stickers, etc. that say this : “I am not a social issue”.

    Can someone decipher what’s going on the Republican’s twisted minds ?

    So far, I think it goes like this :
    gay = social = socialists = Obama

    but I think I’m missing something more profound.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Actually it’s quite different. If this were a question of addressing undocumented immigrants without affecting gay bi-national couples, that would be equivalent to passing the traditional, gay-specific version of ENDA. And if that we’re the case, I would not strongly oppose proceeding with immigration reform without UAFA if inclusion was going to make passage of the overall bill all but impossible.

    Here, however, the bill without UAFA does not leave bi-national gay couples unaffected. Rather, it includes draconian new enforcement that will make matters much worse and perhaps untenable for bi-national gay couples. That’s why leaving out UAFA is not just omitting bi-national gay couples but affirmatively harming them. In contrast, adding sexual orientation to the list of federally protected traits under employment discrimination laws does not involve forcing greater discharges of transgender workers, any more than adding age or disability forced greater discharges of gays.

    Sorry, but your hypocrisy charge fails because the situations aren’t analogous. But do enjoy having gay employees unprotected today, even though the EEOC has extended protection to transgender employees. Funny how the transgender community suddenly forgot about all that solidarity they were self-servingly screeching about when the EEOC dangled the possibility of a de-gayed protection of trans employees. I guess we aren’t all to proceed together as one after all, huh?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah, and I’d say this issue right here is ample evidence in support of your conclusions.

    A single civil right — the right to sponsor residency and citizenship. Not even the vast swath of 1100+ rights and privileges for which we’re fighting, but just the one, a civil right affecting not that many families, but one which could not cut more deeply when denied.

    The Republicans threaten to scuttle an entire bill if this one small but important privilege is extended to gay- and lesbian families. And the Democratic leadership through crypto-bigots like Chuck Schumer has made it clear we’re entirely disposable. That the appearance of doing something is more important than the actuality of doing the right thing.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    As long as I can remember Gays have always been the new Jews….a socially acceptable object of scapegoating and hate. There have been some advances, but I’ve lived long enough to be skeptical about any profound changes in the dark pit American culture. Democrats have returned to their conservative reactionary origins and Republicans have reputed their historic big tent and become avowed racists and fascists.

  • caphillprof

    What’s with these homophobes like Marco Rubio? Did he grow up under a rock?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It’s not even a ‘gay rights’ issue with immigration, but family rights. As well as freedom of association.

    Any American citizen can marry and then sponsor their new spouse for permanent residency and citizenship — as long as that spouse is of the opposite gender. Why is it the least bit controversial simply to remove that last clause? A family is a family, and forcing someone to choose between their family and their own country is beyond cruel.

    Isn’t choosing your own family, your own spouse, supposed to be one of the fundamental freedoms?

    We need to reframe this, when talking about this issue with others, because I read through the entire post above and there’s nothing in there that makes it clear what the bigots are insisting upon: They hate gay people and want us to suffer gratuitously. Why? Why do they hate us so much? Why are they trying to break up our families?

  • http://www.paskino.com brian

    I am tired of politics. Let’s do things for each other and stop trying to win points for the next election.

  • nicho

    It’s almost as bad as not including transgender people in a gay rights bill.

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