'Movimiento' aims to take back America

By James P. Pinkerton, Newsday.com, June 15, 2006


Advocates of an open border between the U.S. and Mexico do their best to present a mellow American flag-waving image to the public. But when they gather in semiprivate, they communicate much differently to each other. Perhaps they need to be even more careful.

In the big pro-immigration marches this spring, Hispanic activists sought to present themselves as "civil rights" advocates in the gentle and inclusive tradition of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.....

But offstage, as it were, a different and harsher truth comes out. It's not a "movement," they tell each other when cameras aren't watching, it's a "movimiento" - and that Spanish-language phrasing speaks volumes about the true tilt of pro-immigration activists.

How do I know this? On Tuesday, I attended a panel discussion entitled "The New Immigrants Movement," part of a "Take Back America" conference convened in Washington, D.C., by the left-wing Campaign for America's Future. The event was open to anyone, although fewer than 100 people showed up. But to give you a flavor of the meeting, here are the surnames of the people on the panel: Lovato, Salas, Contreras, Lopez, Ramirez and another Lopez. All Hispanic - and some quite angry.

Consider the words of Roberto Lovato, identified as a writer for New American Media, describing itself as "the country's first and largest national collaboration of ethnic news organizations." Speaking first, Lovato declared that he had problems with the words "civil rights." ...But mostly, he continued, the term is inapt because today "a lot of the members of the movement were political revolutionaries in countries such as Nicaragua and El Salvador." And that's why, he concluded, "this is not just a civil rights movement - this is the northernmost expression of a continental rights movement."

Got that? This is "the northernmost expression of a continental rights movement" led by "political revolutionaries" from Nicaragua and El Salvador. Could Lovato have gotten carried away? Could perhaps I have misquoted him? Fortunately for the sake of a verifiable record, Lovato made the same argument in an article, "Voices of a New Movimiento," in the June 19 issue of The Nation magazine....

And on Page 11 of the Nation article, Lovato writes the following, reinforcing his argument that immigration is a "quintessentially global issue." About this global issue, he declares, "Reframing it as a 'new civil rights movement' risks erasing its roots in the Latin American struggles and history." Is that clear enough? Then, for good measure, Lovato's article cites the "radical" efforts of one Miguel Ramirez, who left El Salvador in 1979 and now heads up Centro Hispano Cuzcatlán in Queens. The transnational experience of Ramirez and others, "shows that the U.S. movimiento is ... the northernmost expression of a resurgent Latin American left."

Is that what we want to let into the United States?...

This is a free country. Advocates for unlimited Hispanic immigration are free to advocate a radical, even revolutionary, worldview - indeed, they do the rest of us a favor when they do. Because then we are free to oppose them.

Read the complete article.

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