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Defining immigration

"Defining immigration" Continued...

Issue: "No way out," May 13, 2006

That was the argument Mr. Land brought to a Family Research Council forum on immigration on April 27 also attended by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Jr., president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Joan Maruskin, an immigration expert from the Church World Service, and Hudson Institute fellow John O'Sullivan.

Mr. Land warned against transforming immigration from a real issue that affects real people into a political football that would be used by both parties to bolster their 2006 electoral hopes. "When [Colorado Rep. Tom] Tancredo says we've got to stop this illegal invasion and send them all back, in my opinion, he's just playing politics," he said. "For people to advocate simply for open borders and full amnesty, that's just shameful demagoguery. There are Democrats and Republicans engaging in this and we deserve better."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that many media outlets are fostering an environment that incubates extreme positions. He says the Mexican flags he saw on television don't match the sentiments of Hispanic workers and business owners he met with in the Southwest earlier this year.

"In many ways, the media has brought out polarization on this. I think the media goes for the extremes," Mr. Perkins said. "This is a problem that we need to get right. The best way to decide it is not by what you see on television or hear on talk radio. We have to drill down deeper on this."

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