Newly minted Virginia Republican executive director Shaun Kenney said that immigration reform is the right thing to do, and criticized people opposed to amnesty as being uncomfortable with “the Other.”
Kennedy made the remarks in a meeting this month with amnesty advocates, video footage of which was obtained by The Daily Caller. The meeting is believed to have included Eliseo Medina,former secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), who previously argued that immigration reform will help Democratic electoral chances.
“And I think that we understand too that there’s a lot of people that are afraid, of you. Not for any reason that they ought to be but because you’re just not somebody, you’re just not people that they’ve ever had an opportunity to sit down and encounter, to talk to… A lot of people concern themselves with the Other, and it’s not a comfortable thing to have dialogue, and it’s not a comfortable thing to have that encounter with the Other,” Kenney said on the issue of immigration reform.
“This is not an issue of Right or Left, it’s an issue of right and wrong, agreed? [murmurs of agreement from audience] … But to have the courage to come down here and do that, and make whats on your hearts and on your minds known, that’s exactly what this world needs now. And that’s exactly, if we’re going to have any sort of solution on immigration policy that is moral, that is just, that honors the sacrifices not just of our family and friends and our forefathers but what America ought to be, you’ve done a small part here today. I can’t thank you enough for coming here today, I really can’t, and I mean that sincerely. I’m not just saying that like some slick politician….”
“And understand this- I would like to think at the end of the day when there’s a solution for immigration that the Republican motive for that is not vote-harvesting. It shouldn’t be because ‘oh, we see a growing demographic here and a shrinking demographic there, and if we choose the right side then this demographic will magically come over to our side and we’ll win elections for the next 20 years.’ That shouldn’t motivate us, and I don’t think that’s our mental calculus at the end of the day.”
“If we do this simply because we’re gathering votes, that’s the wrong motive, wrong motive. Let’s do it because it’s the right thing to do. Let’s do it because it’s moral and just and builds a better America. Not because we’re doing short-term gain for a demographic and patting them on the head and sending them on their way. Those are the worst sorts of politics, and hopefully everyone in this room is tired of it, and we’ll carry that forward as well,” Kenney said.
“The nativists have no home in the modern Republican Party,” he wrote in a February blog post on his website BearingDrift.com. ”They have no place in the history of a Free America… They deserve nothing more than a footnote to the ignorance that liberty rightly stamps out… Conservatives are smarter than this, and America deserve better than nativist hate. Drive ‘em out, ladies and gentlemen. Generations are watching.”
SEIU’s Medina, whom Kenney thanked for joining him, previously said that immigration will help Democrats in a video also obtained by The Daily Caller.
If “we reform the immigration laws, it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters… if we get 8 million new voters… we will create a governing coalition for the long-term,” Medina said at a 2010 conference.