Immigration Reform 2014: Spanish-Language Press Knocks Republican ‘Citizenship Lie’

 @LauraMatt on January 07 2014 1:47 PM
Immigration Reform
A child looks up as she rides among Mexican and American flags during the International Workers Day and Immigration Reform March on May Day in Los Angeles, Calif. Reuters

One of the largest Spanish-language newspapers in America is calling out conservative Republicans opposed to immigration reform, specifically those in the House of Representatives, saying they are hiding behind “fallacies and malicious interpretations” to avoid advancing the issue through Congress.

In a Jan. 7 editorial, La Opinión, based in Los Angeles, wrote that the controversy over citizenship for undocumented immigrants is “based on lies and misinterpretation intended to hinder the law.” The article came two days after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told ABC’s “This Week” that the 2013 immigration reform bill continues to be stalled in Congress because Democrats won’t abandon their quest for citizenship so that 11 million undocumented immigrants will immediately have voting rights. (Their vast majority is expected to vote Democratic.) 

“The problem is, the sticking point is going to be we have to have immediate voting privileges for those who came here illegally,” Paul said. “If the Democrats are willing to come halfway, I think we can pass something, some meaningful reform that would help the 11 million who are here.”

Should Democrats be willing to meet in the middle since the House isn’t ready for citizenship, Paul said, a bill that provides a better existence for immigrants “could happen tomorrow.” The Tea Party senator said he supports expanding work visas.

But Paul’s analysis of the Senate’s 2013 immigration bill isn’t accurate. Under the measure passed by the upper chamber last June, undocumented immigrants won’t immediately have citizenship or voting rights. Those qualified will be legalized to work in America and will be put on  a path to citizneship that will take 13 years. And this won’t come without fees and penalties.

“The argument that this is a Democratic trick to create voters is unacceptable,” La Opinión wrote. “In 13 years, the political environment will be very different from today’s, so this claim cannot be made in a responsible way.”

The newspaper added that “citizenship should not be used as a negotiation tool either.” In the end, it concluded that “The fallacies and malicious interpretations are multiplying and contradicting each other, as people try not to be held responsible for the lack of progress of the reform, which today is exclusively due to the extremism of the lower chamber.”

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