Conservatives Join Liberals Against GOP Presidential Candidates' Anti-Birthright Citizenship Movement
Democrats and liberals have verbally attacked several of the Republican presidential candidates for the growing anti-immigrant rhetoric on the campaign trail, but conservative groups also have had a say on the issue.
This follows an alleged hate crime in Boston, where two white men assaulted a homeless Latino man. One of the white attackers, 38-year-old Scott Leader, allegedly told police Donald Trump's immigration message inspired him.
In response to the attack, Trump told the Boston Globe, "It would be a shame...I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate."
Trump did not condemn the attack until Friday afternoon.
Boston incident is terrible. We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2015
In addition to anti-immigrant language such as "anchor babies," groups have called foul on the real estate mogul.
"The result of hateful speech by presidential candidates is hateful actions by their followers. And Trump's response is not acceptable," wrote Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, for an op-ed. "When it comes to immigration, the GOP fight for the nomination is officially a race to the bottom."
Daniel Garza, executive director for The Libre Initiative, an organization promoting conservative principles, also opposed the rhetoric. Garza went on Twitter to show his opposition to undoing the birthright citizenship provision. He wrote, "Enlist me in fight against efforts to undo birthright citizenship & seize hard-earned remittances by working folk. We're better than that."
Enlist me in fight against efforts to undo birthright citizenship & seize hard-earned remittances by working folk. We're better than that
— Daniel Garza (@danielggarza) August 17, 2015
Alfonso Aguilar of the American Principles Project's Latino Partnership, another organization that also promotes conservative values, told Politico that Latinos find the birthright citizenship debate insulting.
Aguilar said Republican presidential hopeful and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has aligned with individuals who allege legal immigration negatively affects wages, adding, "He's not going anywhere. He's gonna be destroyed with Latinos."
"When we address how to help immigrants contribute fully by making available the opportunities, skills and status for them to reach their fullest potential, America is thriving," said Noorani. "When presidential candidates are tacitly endorsing alleged hate crimes, America is failing."
As Latin Post reported, fellow Republican presidential candidates former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have joined Trump and Walker in suggesting changes, or clarification, to the 14th Amendment, which grants U.S. citizenship to U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. In addition to birthright citizenship changes, Bush, Cruz, Jindal and Trump have openly defended the use of the term "anchor baby," widely viewed as derogatory.
Ironically, Bush had served as a co-chair for the Hispanic Leadership Network when the organization released a "suggested" message outlining "dos and don'ts" of immigration reform. One of the "dont's" is using the term "anchor baby" when talking about immigrants.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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