Our VoiceImmigrationNews & Politics

Vote or Your Neighbor May Disappear

Glenn Hutchinson • Nov 02, 2010

If we don’t vote, some of us may disappear.

That may sound extreme but consider the words of Jim Pendergraph, running for County Commissioner in my town:  “If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.”

He spoke these words at a conference for law enforcement in August 2008.  As sheriff, he started the 287(g) program in my county and then worked for ICE in D.C.

Remember 287(g)?  If you get stopped for any reason–even for running a stop sign–the police will check your immigration status.  In the last 3 years, approximately 120,000 people in our country have been arrested and deported under this law according to John Morton, Assistant Secretary for Immigration. 287(g) is originally part of the 1996 Immigration and Nationality Act.

Now Pendergraph wants to be County Commissioner, and his views haven’t gotten any better.  In his campaign, Pendergraph cites statistics from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) to scare citizens into supporting an Arizona-like law in North Carolina.  However, FAIR is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and discredited by other groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for New Community.

Do you have a Pendergraph on your ballot?

If we don’t vote, if we don’t find out the views of the people running for local and national office, we’ll continue to have elected leaders with anti-immigrant views.

If we don’t vote, then we won’t have a chance at immigration reform.

If we don’t vote, then the millions of tax-paying people who are undocumented will not have a chance at citizenship.

If we don’t vote, then our country could turn into a giant Arizona as extremists across the country propose anti-immigrant laws.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not super excited about all the names on the ballot this Tuesday.  In another race, I don’t have much of a choice between the two candidates running for Congress.  The Democrat challenging Rep. Sue Myrick (R) wants to end the 14th amendment and birthright citizenship.

However, I still plan to vote against politicians with anti-immigrant views.

I still plan to vote against candidates that forget the millions of people who live here, make America their home, pay taxes, and want to be citizens.

So, from California to Maine, from Nevada to Delaware, for the extreme Tea Party candidates to the do-nothing politicians . . . let our voices be heard!


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