They’re at it again…
Immigration Debate Prompts Growing Jewish-Latino Ties By Nathan Guttman The Forward January 27 2010
Hispanics and Jews are moving to the forefront in a burgeoning political alliance… Some advocates view the ethnic backgrounds of the two key lawmakers leading the drive for immigration reform as symbolic of the growing alliance on the issue. In the House, the main immigration reform bill was presented Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, and in the Senate it is expected that New York’s Senator Charles Schumer will soon present his version of immigration reform legislation.
While these two groups confer on how to camouflage the Gutierrez Bill enough to smuggle it through, the rest of us should consider what motivates the allying of these two minorities.
The Hispanics are frank:
“For us, as newcomers to the society, this experience is extraordinary,” said Gutavo Torres, president of Casa Maryland, a Hispanic group active in the metropolitan Washington area. “They know how to work through the system, how to lobby, how to advocate. The Jewish community has a lot of experience and a lot of power.”
Remind Gutavo Torres the American majority matters too.
The Jewish motivation is more subtle. Gideon Aronoff of the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (“he can’t write a sentence and he can’t speak a sentence. He’s hopeless. He’s an idiot.” – Stephen Steinlight) makes the obvious comment:
If we want to engage with the Latino community on issues that are of concern for us, including Israel, we need to engage on issues that bother their community,
But, while conceptually possible, it simply does not make sense that incremental support on Israel (which is hardly needed) would be worth getting into a controversy which is certain to infuriate a large section of the electorate.
So what is the motive? Because they are very serious. The Forward reports:
The organized Jewish community is more committed than ever to immigration reform. A letter supporting immigration reform, which will be sent out to all Senate offices in early February, was signed by dozens of national Jewish organizations.
As so often we find enlightenment at our friend The Kvetcher’s discussion of this story: Jewish Orgs Shrug Off Zogby Poll by DK January 29 2010 HIAS and Far-Left Remain in Driver’s Seat on Immigration Policy
Jewish bigs are once again deciding they know better than both their community and their countrymen. And they think they are so wonderful for it.
On the comment thread The Kvetcher is asked
What does HIAS have to engage with other ethnic groups about?
The mutual goal of making the majority population a minority population. We need to all be “The Stranger.”
(The Zogby poll to which The Kvetcher refers was the recent CIS study on the contrast between the immigration views of Religious Leaders and their congregations, which he discussed in his blog Jews Reject Jewish Communal Policy on Immigration.)