How Democrats Understand Immigration Reform: 'A Gigantic Block [Sic] of Progressive Voters'

How Democrats Understand Immigration Reform: 'A Gigantic Block [Sic] of Progressive Voters'

As the national debate over immigration reform heats up, Republicans who believe that there are political benefits in passing new legislation might consider what Democrats believe about their own political advantages. 

For years, Democrat strategists such as convicted felon Robert Creamer–a key organizer in Chicago, closely connected to the circle around Barack Obama–have openly proclaimed the electoral advantages of immigration reform for their own party.

From a federal prison camp in 2006, Creamer–pictured above, at a 2009 state dinner with spouse Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)–began writing his plan for a future “progressive” administration. The book that emerged, Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight! How Progressives Can Win, was effusively praised by many of Barack Obama’s key staffers and supporters. Chief political strategist David Axelrod, for example, called it “a blueprint for future victories.”

In December 2009, Breitbart News exposed how Creamer’s political plan called for a future “progressive” administration to push for universal health care in its first year in office. The plan–which called for attacking the health insurance industry, among other steps–closely mirrored the actions that the Obama administration and its campaign arm actually took in the contentious battles throughout 2009 and the early months of 2010.

Universal health care was to be only the first in a series of steps in what Creamer called the “battle over the distribution of income, and control of wealth in the United States.” The first radical changes–such as health care reform–would make each subsequent transformation more politically feasible. One of the most critical steps was to be comprehensive immigration reform, which Creamer described in naked partisan terms: 

If Democrats continue to stand unequivocally with Hispanics and recent immigrants, it will benefit the party for years to come…

To neutralize [a] backlash, we need to reframe the battle for immigration reform as a campaign for an “Earned Path to Citizenship”

…[T]he immigration battle is also important because it will have an enormous impact on the battle for power between the progressive and conservative forces in American society. As of 2007, there are 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. If they are placed on an earned pathway to citizenship through immigration reform, they will be eligible for citizenship and voting rights by 2012 and 2016.

They will join the nearly 30 million immigrants who are legal residents and could apply today for citizenship, or are citizens yet not registered to vote, or immigrant voters who never go to the polls, or immigrants who will turn 18 years old this year and could register to vote.

If Democrats continue to stand firmly for immigrant rights, the issue will define immigrants’ voting loyalties for a generation. If we are successful, a gigantic bloc of progressive voters will enter the electorate over the next 15 years–a block that could be decisive in the battle for the future.

The “future,” as Creamer saw it, involved creating “a democratic society”–i.e. not the democracy we know today, but one in which “power is diffused to everyone,” a classic left-wing utopia. These ambitions were not just limited to the United States, but to the entire world, as Creamer urged a “battle for progressive control of governments around the world.” 

Immigration reform was just one piece of that “progressive” puzzle–but an essential one, and one that Obama’s “progressive” advisers have no intention of sharing credit for with the Republican opposition.


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