Mike Pence in 2006 spearheaded a mean-spirited plan to deport all undocumented immigrants
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jul 20, 2016 at 05:39:23 PM EST
Many of us know Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a nasty homophobe with a carefully-crafted respectable demeanor. But did you know that In 2006, then Indiana Congressman Mike Pence tried to rally the Christian Right behind a punitive and nasty immigration "reform" program that would have forced all undocumented persons in the United States to leave the country. They would then would have to apply for a return "guest worker" visa from a for-profit private-sector system dubbed (with no apparent sense of irony) "Ellis Island Centers." They could return to the United States after a health screening--and a promise to learn English.

At the 2006 Washington Briefing of the Values Voters Summit, Pence was introduced by Tony Perkins of the Christian Right Family Research Council (FRC) as a "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican--in that order. "  The Values Voters Summit is the primary national political action training and mobilization convention of Christian Right Republic Party election activists on the state level.

Pence referenced the poem by Emma Lazarus about welcoming immigrants, which is is engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty near the old Ellis Island immigration center. Pence then linked Christian compassion for immigrants to respect for law and order and justice.  

He then articulated four key principles for conservatives on immigration.  

Pence said the first principle was that "in our commitment to justice we must recognize, as President Ronald Reagan said, that a nation without borders is not a nation. We must do border security first.


"In the interest of the integrity of our economy, in the interest of the protection of our families and communities, men and women, we must achieve operational control of our border.  And truthfully, given the failure of our government to do this over the past generation we must insist that it be done first--before any new program is begun.


"A second principle in defense of justice and our system of laws--I believe we must reject amnesty in any form; and re-assert the principle that the only way into the United States is by applying outside the United States for the legal right to be here. We must say `no' to amnesty."  

"But thirdly and in this order, once we have secured our borders, and they are verifiably secured; and once we have rejected amnesty, then I will say--not without controversy--that I believe we should create a new guest worker program without amnesty...and without creating a new massive federal bureaucracy. And we must require participants in this program to   learn   our   native   tongue. (pauses in the original)


"And finally I know there are many prosperous men and women in this room; many entrepreneurs and business owners, and so I say this from the heart, but I know it cuts close to home."  

"We must end these four principles with those kinds of measures that will ensure a full partnership between American business and the American government in defense of our borders and our immigration laws. We must have fines and penalties and an employee enrollment system that brings with it the integrity that our employers require and our people expect in the American marketplace."


"Of these principles... I [have] sat down in the past months with many of my colleagues in the House and the Senate--but none more often that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. And she and I managed to build what has come to be known as the `Hutchison-Pence Compromise.' It builds on the four elements that I just described; and I extol it to your attention."  

"It is a program that puts border security first and exclusively for two years--at the end of which, when the President of the United States verifies that the border security measures are done, it initiates outside the United States; a private-sector-based new system of what we call `Ellis Island Centers.'"  

"For people in this country or outside this country--who have a desire to work in America under the color of the law can go and be processed in an orderly way--a background check, a health screening, confirming their employment--and they [are then] issued a two-year guest worker visa, with their commitment that they will learn our language and obey our laws"  

"It is a proposal that has had some critics, but it [has] also had its supporters, and I have been very humbled to receive the support of the likes of Chuck Colson, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, David Keene of the American Conservative Union...and I extol it to your attention."

Mike Pence can repackage Donald Trump's racist and xenophobic anti-immigrant bile with a cheerful smile.

It tracks.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jul 20, 2016 at 08:57:23 PM EST

There were cars with Pence Must Go magnets on bumpers and yard signs with the same slogan all over the north side of Indianapolis. Evidently there is a political action committee that is selling them. They also should say "And Not to Washington Either!"

by khughes1963 on Wed Jul 20, 2016 at 11:39:32 PM EST

This is not only such a violation of Dr. Kings dream and such a violation of the concept of "one nation - indivisible with liberty and justice for all", but it contains the seeds of bigotry which only expands it reach until even the bigots find themselves on the outside reaping the pain and insecurity their own bigotry has released on society. This is a critical time in history.

by chaplain on Fri Jul 22, 2016 at 10:05:01 AM EST
We're seeing it in all areas of life - in the treatment of people who are poor, in racist ideologies, and in religious ideologies to name three main areas where forces are working to divide people (and succeeding).  The question then needs to be asked "who benefits from this?".  The elites of American society do - which includes many of the big-name preachers and those who preach hate (it gives them more power).

How do we counter it?  Exposure to the general public is the only thing that works - once people see the hypocrisy they'll stop listening and the fires will die down.  Also people need to see the history of the ideologies we fight against - they separate people so that they don't recognize the common enemy of the 99% (or that they're being manipulated into paying more attention to the ideologies being forced on them than on the commonality with the Other).

When Christians recognize that they have no more rights than atheists and other non-Christians, when whites recognize their privilege and work to bring equality to this country and to those that have been marginalized, when being LGBT isn't stigmatizing and people are all accepted for who they are and not because they fit stereotypes, and when people start realizing that poverty is caused by elite greed and other outside forces and rarely by "personal failings", then this country could start living up to its potential, and not down to its reality.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Jul 23, 2016 at 02:12:15 PM EST

They have mixtures of white supremacy, their version of Christianity and other means to have the country that never was that they want to create. Made mostly or old ideas that they feel happy with. The Inquisition, Crusader mentality and most of the worse aspects of "Western" values rolled into one. That last time we had something like that was the proudly barbaric German Nazi Empire that died a quick death and washed the Earth in a small ocean of blood. The US has been trying to match that death toll and more as the USA is the Western Christian spear point into the vitals of other countries. At present count averaging 135 countries or so each year. Right now the US is making huge inroads into the continent of Africa called "AFRICOM".

by Nightgaunt on Mon Jul 25, 2016 at 02:14:45 PM EST

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