A constellation of intellectual heavyweights showed up at the University of Southern California on Tuesday to discuss the issues surrounding immigration reform. That stars in that constellation included former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and former presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ). All three agreed that immediate immigration reform legislation should be passed, without substantial additions to border security.
McCain led the way, slandering members of his own party in the House as unsympathetic toward immigrants. He said they needed to get in touch with their “better angels” on illegal immigration, and then suggested that if they couldn’t get in touch with their humanity, they ought to get in touch with their “baser instincts,” which would tell them that they ought to embrace immigration reform in order to pander to Hispanic voters. “”This will not gain one single Hispanic vote by passing this bill, but what it will do is put us on a playing field where we can compete,” McCain explained. “If we can’t do this, you can’t begin the conversation with our Hispanic voters, and all you have to do is the math.”
Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, played up his immigrant background in a backwards attempt to paint his political opponents as anti-immigrant. “These are all very hardworking people. They have a dream. They want to make their dream a reality,” Schwarzenegger said. Villaraigosa, who headed up the Democratic National Convention in 2012, seconded Schwarzenegger’s motion: “it goes to the heart of the economic future of our city, the social cohesion of our city. That’s why now is the time for real immigration reform.”