Tools for Discussions

Geraldo Rivera is brilliant. His book “Hispanic” is a well balanced recounting of the immigration debate with good supporting documentation. And it ends with an incredibly good idea.

HisPanic is written in the reporting style. He presents factual data from reputable sources and then illustrates it with personal examples. His chapters (Will America be like Quebec?, Do Hispanics Steal Jobs?, etc) dispel most of the common myths about the current wave of immigration. His chapter on “The Other Side of History” tells the story of the USA’s domination of Mexico from the Mexican’s viewpoint. It gave me a new and useful perspective on that history.

But his creative masterstroke occurs three pages from the end of the book. He proposes a solution to the current immigration impasse that would in one stroke restore rule of law, end a terror threat and make America again the land of the free. He proposes that President Bush could give Congress 90 days to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform if Congress fails to act he can use his executive power to pardon all of the “illegal immigrants” in the country. This is similar to what President Clinton did in the last days of his presidency. He used the National Monument law, which previously had only been used to preserve small tract of land, to convert millions of acres of western land into “Monuments.” At Radical Immigration we believe that responsible people have the right to live wherever they choose. Geraldo’s plan would be a big step in the right direction. It might also save the Republican Party and make Bush’s legacy.

Even if you don’t like Geraldo’s idea the book is an excellent read on a topic that has too much shouting and not enough considering. He writes about Puerto Rican independence; “Any movement not big enough to include a moderate voice was too radical ever to garner widespread public support.” The same can be said about today’s anti-immigrant hate groups.