After Republicans failed with their anti-migrant rhetoric in Virginia, the powers that be have begun to sing a different tune. Duke at Migra Matters was the first to pick up on how the tone has changed. This is a Washington Post article before the results were in:
Candidates for the Virginia General Assembly
entered the final sprint yesterday toward a hard-fought election
Tuesday in which two major forces are likely to determine which party
controls the Senate: the resurgence of Democrats in vote-rich Northern Virginia, and the Republican advantage in the emotional debate over illegal immigration…
Republicans have benefited in recent weeks from the growing intensity
in the immigration debate. They have promised to block illegal
immigrants from obtaining more public services and to do more to start
deportation proceedings against them, particularly those who have
– Amy Gardner and Bill Turque
This is a Washington Post article after the results were in:
Voters across Virginia chose candidates in state and local elections
yesterday not out of anger over illegal immigration but based on party
affiliation, a preference for moderation and strong views on such key
issues as residential growth and traffic congestion.
With a few notable exceptions, the trend benefited Democrats and not
those who campaigned the loudest for tough sanctions against illegal
– Amy Gardner
The National Immigration Forum has a strong message for pollsters in their latest press release, and it looks like they might finally be listening:
As the saying goes, the only polls that matter are on Election
Day. Forgive us. We are biting our tongue. We want to scream “We
told you so!!!” But we are above that. We will refrain from such
childish triumphalism and seek to educate.
– National Immigration Forum
The most significant and marked shift, though, comes from the establishment democrat blogs. On Daily Kos Markos Moulitsas Zuniga broke years of silence on the immigration issue, and all of the other major blogs seem to have lined up right behind him. In quick succession Kos put up two pro-migrant posts. In “Demonizing Immigration Doesn’t Work” he states:
Demonizing New Englanders, gays, blacks, and women — and losing
their long-term support — isn’t enough for those guys. The GOP is
about to shoot themselves in the foot with the Latino community (and
other immigrant groups) in the long term for a strategy that doesn’t
even work in the short term.
Democrats shouldn’t follow them there. Here’s another issue in which
doing the right thing also happens to be good short- and long-term
The very next day he criticized Rahm Emanuel, an anti-migrant Democrat, in “Is Rahm racist, or merely scared?”, where he states:
Americans don’t want hate-based anti-immigration rhetoric and
action, they want comprehensive immigration reform that secures our
borders and provides a path to citizenship for the millions of
undocumented immigrants in this country.
Yet there’s Rahm, with a big chunk of the Democratic caucus, making common cause with racist Tom Tancredo.
The Latino vote is volatile. It swings. And Democrats can’t afford to lose 10 percent of their margin over stupidity like this.
If there was any question about Daily Kos’s new pro-migrant stance, our own Duke1676 from Migra Matters, who for years has been putting out pro-migrant posts at Daily Kos, had his agenda for progressive immigration reform rescued and then promoted to the front-page, for hundreds of thousands of readers to see.
This has left all of us in the pro-migrant online community scratching our heads. After years of struggling to get the establishment democrat blogs to speak out on this issue, in a matter of days it seems that it has all changed. We have gone from Matt Stoller at MyDD calling immigration a “pet issue”, to this.
The sudden shift towards the pro-migrant should have come with an explanation. The establishment democrat blogs should have at the very least, acknowledged their years of silence on this issue. It might seem a little petty for me to ask that, and it is bad etiquette to tell any blogger what to write. Still, it is only fair to the millions that have suffered in their silence that I ask for an explanation on behalf of the millions of migrants that will never receive it.
At the same time, for the millions that will continue to suffer, it is only right that I welcome these newcomers to the light of migrant justice, and put aside past differences. In the years of online establishment silence, anti-migrant advocates have developed one of the most sophisticated online machines that the establishment blogosphere has ever known. When the 2008 elections come around we’re going to get hit harder than we could ever expect, and it’s only together and unified that we will be able to keep an anti-migrant politician out of the presidency.
I’m going to return to my bread and butter. The root of the problems associated with migration lie in the lack of opportunity that migrants flee from. While everyone agrees on that point I’m one of the few that can actually analyze and advocate against concrete U.S. foreign policies that are contributing, rather than taking away, from the problems associated with migration.
Welcome to the light my friends, now we can move from tackling the silence to tackling the hate.