• Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Advocates Oppose Senate Immigration Bill Over Escalation of Border Militarization

    As Senate passes its version of comprehensive immigration reform, immigrant rights advocates withdraws support over provisions that increase border militarization and demand president Obama halt all deportations -   June 29, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

    I support The Real News Network because I am tired of lies and biased journalism. Long live TRNN! - Roberto
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


    Advocates Oppose Senate Immigration Bill Over Escalation of Border MilitarizationJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

    On Thursday, the Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill with a final vote. The bill was drafted by a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight, and this week they tacked on an amendment that doubles the number of border patrol troops to 40,000 and totals the price tag of this border search to $35 billion. Now this plan, which was meant to attract conservatives, is losing liberal supporters.

    One of these groups that came out today and opposed the bill is We're joined by its executive director, Arturo Carmona [snip] director of, a dynamic national organization that exists to amplify the political voice of Latino communities. His organization was in support of the Senate immigration reform bill before the Corker-Hoeven amendment was added. Now they've come out to strongly oppose it.

    Thank you for joining us.


    NOOR: Arturo, you originally supported the bill, and now you've come out to oppose it. Can you tell us exactly why you have come to this position?

    CARMONA: Well, you know, the bill over the last few weeks has significantly transformed. Just last week we saw that the Congressional Budget Office did an analysis that said that as a result of all the amendments and the rightward turn that the bill had experienced as a result of the wheeling and dealing in Washington, 3.5 million undocumented immigrants--that's one out of every three undocumented immigrants--would have virtually been left out of the solution. It wouldn't have had any opportunity to legalize. And even more millions would have been left out of the pathway to citizenship. Now this is a conservative estimate coming out of the Congressional Budget Office. Many other experts predicted that the bill could exclude up to half of the population. So when you look at that, the bill was already a compromise bill that was on the red line in our opinion. And this Corker amendment makes a very conservative bill, a right bill, a right-wing bill, an extreme bill that cannot be accepted.

    And, you know, we have to draw the line, the Latino community, at some point. You know, we just polled the Latino community about three weeks ago with a major Latino polling firm, Latino Decisions. They're one of the most respected across the nation. And they told us that across the board on different issues they had deep concerns about the bill before the Corker-Hoeven amendment. Now, with this amendment, this really crosses a line on what Latinos clearly voted for in the November election. And they voted for legalization. They voted for an end to the deportations and the separation of families. And this really goes against that.

    NOOR: And, Arturo, when the bill was first released, many critics were against this registered provisional immigration status, calling it an avenue to secure a temporary and exploitable labor force. Why did your organization first support this bill and this provision?

    CARMONA: Well, you know, I think that as an organization, we saw that there needed to be some kind of a compromise and that it was--you know, the Latino community, as I stated, voted for pathway to citizenship [incompr.] looked at all the polls. Immigration is a galvanizing issue in the Latino community. It is very important.

    You know, when you see all the suffering that's happened over the last three, four years, when you've seen historic deportations of nearly 1.7 million people being separated from their families, from their loved ones, there's a great sense of desperation. And so you need a solution. And so we along with many organizations across the movement were willing to look at different aspects of the bill and really find a balanced approach.

    But I've got to tell you that that balanced approach began to look very different when the Gang of Eight began to really take the bill from already a pretty right-leaning bill to an extreme bill at this point. And the bill, even before these amendments, contained not only the pieces that you're citing, but it also contained already pretty exorbitant levels of enforcement, you know, continued detention centers that would jail immigrants in private detention centers. It included in enforcement within the country, not only on the border. It included a lot of stuff that we weren't necessarily supportive.

    But, again, the desperation of these families required for a balanced approach. This by far goes against that balanced approach and makes it really an extreme bill that we need to figure out how to bring back to the original goal. Right? Everybody after the election was saying this is about the Latino electorate, this is about, you know, addressing an issue so that we don't have to deal with it in future elections. But, you know, the reality is much different. The bill is in a much different place. And somebody's got to speak out about it.

    NOOR: And can you talk about why this proposed increase in border militarization is causing so much concern?

    CARMONA: Well, you're talking about, you know, increasing the number of border patrols by 20,000. That's almost doubling the size of the border patrol. When you consider that $40 billion for border security will be allocated over the next ten years, you know, and when there has been no justice involving border patrol agents that have abused their authority time after time over the last few years, when in fact you already are seeing that illegal border crossings are down to a trickle--the president just said that a few days ago. The investment in security and border enforcement, immigration enforcement is at $18 billion now. That surpasses all of the other federal enforcement agencies combined. That's the DEA, the FBI. So the enforcement infrastructure, it's already at--you know, it's bursting. This is really what--you know, even Senator McCain called it overkill. The Republican leaders on this bill call it, like, an exaggeration.

    As immigrant rights advocates, as an organization that represents Latino communities all across the border--and we see the suffering and the abuse that's happening--you know, there's no question why, you know, families and communities and leaders are really enraged by this, you know, really illogical form of addressing an issue that's really not there.

    NOOR: And what's your message to immigrant rights organizations and advocates that have said they're not happy with this provision but they're going to maintain their support because this still does create a path for legalization for the 11 or 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country?

    CARMONA: I would say that they need to read the bill. The bill does not legalize the 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants. We need to do as a movement a much better analysis of what's actually in the bill over a thousand pages. All of these effects are going to start to come out. And we predict that more and more groups--we're already hearing it from many of our allies preparing to come out against this bill. Once the dust settles--you know, all this rolled out really fast. We just heard about this agreement on Friday, and already we're voting on this bill. This is the way things happen in D.C. But when the dust settles, we're going to see that a lot more of these details are going to emerge. The CBO assessment and many others are starting to force many organizations to run away from this bill.

    I think that at the end of the day, we're all going to come together and say, you know what, the original goal was to legalize the 11 million, to find a clear pathway to citizenship, have a balanced approach on the border and security are not being met by this bill, and you're going to have a lot of minds changing on this policy.

    NOOR: Now, this bill is expected or surely will have an uphill battle in the House. What is your organization's plans moving forward? What are going to be your next steps regarding this bill and regarding your continued work around immigration reform? And what is your message to President Obama? It's, like, very well known now that he has escalated deportations and devastated a lot of communities around the country.

    CARMONA: Yeah, great question. I think that it's very clear for us that, you know, the fight continues. The House already said that they're not going to take on the Senate bill. Speaker Boehner just yesterday said that they will actually initiate a new bill. So the process starts over in the House. We will--similar to what we did in the Senate, we will follow that process and we will try to elevate our voices.

    Let's not fool ourselves. Our battles in the House are going to be much more difficult, and the prospect for getting an inclusive pro-migrant bill are very slim to none. So, you know, we have our work cut out for us.

    And so I think the idea here is to really galvanize the community around some key priorities that were stated, you know, throughout the election and throughout this process, and really ensure that the media also is covering the facts. We are not talking about a bill here that will legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants anymore. We're talking about a bill that will exclude one out of every three. And so we need to make sure that the goalposts come back to the original place where they were, and then we work around that framework.

    And in terms of President Obama, we have a very clear message to him: stop the deportations. You're dividing families, you're separating families, that we're trying to find a solution at this very moment. It's an illogical policy. The president has the authority and wherewithal to, through administrative action, stop these nonsensical deportations that are happening every day of families that are contributing to this country and to the economy in many ways that are well documented. And that's why the American population now at unprecedented levels now supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. So follow the will of the people, stop these senseless deportations, and stop separating the families. That would be our clear message to him.

    NOOR: And, finally, do you think it's important for this country to address why undocumented immigrants come to this country in the first place?

    CARMONA: Absolutely. I have met many immigrants. You know, my dad's an immigrant. He came several decades ago. My mom, too. And I meet immigrants every day throughout the country. And most immigrants that I meet don't want to come to the United States in the first place. They want to stay in their hometowns, in their places of origin. And the reasons that they come here are economic.

    And so as a result of globalization, as a result of changes in the economies in Mexico and Central America, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. So addressing the root causes of immigration reform is another thing that is really not being discussed at this moment. It's not integrated in this bill. Until we address that, we're going to continue to see these pressures.

    So I think it's fundamentally important that we also have that discussion and we address the root economic issues of immigration in the first place. And I think that that needs a very different sort of conversation. That needs to have a conversation that's collaborative, that's regional, and that looks at the problem as a regional issue. You know, Europe, other models around the world have looked at this issue, and they have developed innovative models. We should think of it in isolation. So it's a very important question you raise.

    NOOR: Thank you so much for joining us.

    CARMONA: Thank you.

    NOOR: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.


    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at


    Latest Stories

    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7), Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting