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Friday, August 31, 2012

Immigrant Nostalgia From Mitt Romney

Given the general antagonism toward immigrants that is expressed by Republicans in the US, especially Republican governors and state legislators, I was genuinely astonished last night that, in giving his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney mentioned immigration within the first few moments:
That very optimism is uniquely American. It's what brought us to America. We're a nation of immigrants, we're the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life. The driven ones. The ones who woke up at night, hearing that voice telling them that life in a place called America could be better.
Of course, he wasn't referring to recent immigrants, who come especially from Latin America and Asia (although he did toss off a passing reference to Cubans). Rather, it was clear that he was thinking back to past immigration from Europe. Indeed, MSNBC's Chuck Todd echoed my sentiments completely with his tweet that:
I feel like the theme of this speech is "optimistic nostalgia"
At the same time, even as I was contemplating this nostalgia on the part of the Republicans, I was drawn back to the fact that the Obama Administration has deported more immigrants than did the Bush Administration. We like to think about being a nation of immigrants, but we seem to be a little unsure about how the concept.

1 comment:

  1. It can be said, that Mitt Romney’s comments about immigration were assumed in part to appeal to Mexican and ethnic voters in the US. However, Romney was definitely referring to Europeans, or the “drive[n] ones” of American society. In the book, Chapter 2 talks about the United States’ loose policies on immigration, which led to the doubling of the Hispanic population between 1980 and 2000, but current policies show a stark contrast due to the fact of failed integration, job scarcity, and immigrant scapegoating of inadequate economic growth. Additionally, although it is said that Republicans are much harsher on immigration than Democrats, what’s astonishing is that Obama’s campaign has deported more illegal immigrants than the Bush Administration ever did. Even with increased deportation, Obama created the Dream Act, which helps young illegal immigrants stay in the US in order to attain an education and/or work, raising alarms by concerned anti-immigration voters.