Sunday, October 9

Jim Gilchrist and Immigration: A Conversation with Tom Hoefling

I recently read about Jim Gilchrist's campaign for congress. I checked out his web site, and read all about his position on immigration and pork spending. Frankly, I liked what it said, but I was concerned about the possibility of racism being part of the mix. So, I wrote an email to the address indicated in his web site, and got a response from Republican activist, strategist and consultant, Tom Hoefling. I must say: I am no longer concerned as far as racism and Gilchrist is concerned.

I have said this before about other ethnic groups, and I will say it now about latinos: Latinos need to stand up and speak up in regards to the problem of immigration. Silence and fear of public opinion will only make us weaker. Worst, the greater the problem of illegal immigration, the more racism we will see. Not because of the leaders like Tancredo or Gilchrist, but because of liberals and because of extremist and racists that will take the frustration, and use it as a catalyst to foster more racism. I'm glad that Gilchrist is running, and that he is speaking out. But, more of us need to speak out against illegal immigration.

More Latinos need to face the truth, and be a voice against the lawlessness that is endangering our privileges and our welcome in this nation.

Following is the exchange.
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 7:41 PM
Subject: Question for Mr. Gilchrist about immigration

Dear Mr. Gilchrist;

My name is Josue Sierra, I am a US born citizen of Cuban heritage. My mother immigrated to the United States legally, as a resident, and my father escaped Cuba hidden in a ship, as my grandfather--a college professor and pastor--feared repressions from Castro.

I just discovered your web site today, and your campaign for Congress. Reading your position plan on controlling illegal immigration, and your position on pork spending, I can't help by pray you do win. I write today, because as someone of Hispanic descent, I am concerned that anti-immigrant sentiments are growing in this country.

I am against illegal immigration 100%. You articulated very well the many dangers and the inhumanities this problem brings about. I specially liked this statement: "More than any other country, we extend a hand of compassion to the tired, poor, and needy. But we do it under a system of law, order, equality, and protection of human rights."

Would you please tell me your views about legal immigrants--people who waited for years, and did things the right way, in order to gain permission to enter this country and have a better life. I am talking about immigrants, such as myself, who have taken this nation as my own, adopted it's culture, language and values, and who have no loyalties to any other nation. Is there a place for people like me in your vision of United States of America? Can political exiles still find refuge here?

I guess I am seeking reassurance that while illegal immigration is being stopped, racism is not being propagated. Mr. Gilchrist, I want leadership like yours, firm and committed to truth and to the law in regards to immigration, yet compassionate and welcoming to immigrants who would come through due-process. I want to know that racism, and hatred towards other ethnic groups will not be tolerated--please understand I am not speaking of PC ideals, but the good old fashioned meaning of the word. I also want to know that illegal immigrants, when detained, will be duly processed and held in humane conditions while awaiting deportation.

Finally, I would like to know what sort of options would desperate, law-abiding, hard-working individuals from Central or South America have once our borders are properly secured. Not that this is an excuse--it should not be--but when quotas and lengthy (years long) processes prevent a wife and child from being reunited with her husband, I can understand a person's choice of entering this country illegally. I don't say this is the norm--it is not. Nor, do I say this to express any sentiment against securing our borders. I say it, because we are a nation of compassion and of family values. What will we do as a nation to welcome those who desire a better life? Will we welcome them?

What assurances can you give me that you are this sort of leader?

I welcome your response. Please know that as a blogger, I would like to publish your response on my web site:

Should you wish to remain of the record, I will honor such request. Thank you for your time, and that of your staff, in responding to this email. I wish you the best in all your work.

Best Regards,

Josue Sierra
Here was Tom Hoefling response:
Mr. Sierra,

A very large number of Jim Gilchrist's supporters are people like yourself: legal immigrants, or the children of legal immigrants.

People like Geoffrey Huang, Vince Estrada, Lupe Moreno, Frank Jorge (Cuban), Luca Zanna, Angie Ibbotson, Steve Holder, Rosanna Pulido, and many more.

Our fight to secure our borders has absolutely NOTHING to do with race. It has to do with our nation's security and the rule of law.

Jim Gilchrist doesn't allow anyone to stay in the Minuteman Project who shows the least bit of racism. And he certainly believes in the humane treatment of all.

I very much enjoyed your letter. My experience is that legal immigrants are usually the most passionate American patriots of all. Those of us who were born in this country tend to be complacent and take our freedom and security for granted.

The highest regards,

Tom Hoefling
Tags: Politics, Current Affairs, California, Homeland Security, Mexico, Immigration, ,