Letter: Stance on Immigration?

Letter: Stance on Immigration?

Letter to the Editor

To The Editor:

Decades ago, the Republican Party welcomed immigrants to our shores. In 1988, the Republican platform stated clearly “We welcome those from other lands who bring to America their ideals and industry.” Indeed, I’ve been welcomed with open arms, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2010.

However, the Republican Party of today has promoted nativist tendencies, which have filtered down to the local level in places like Arizona, where a law was passed that required law enforcement to demand proof of a person’s immigration status if there was reasonable suspicion the person was an undocumented immigrant. The U.S. Supreme Court has since found the law unconstitutional. As such, Alexandrians should justifiably be worried that radical anti-immigrant tendencies may find a home here in our city.

Republican Council candidate Monique Miles spent years as a lawyer for the radical anti-immigration group the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a “hate group.” Notably, IRLI is responsible for drafting the racist Arizona law mentioned above. During Ms. Miles’s tenure with IRLI, she fought to shut down groups such as CASA de Maryland, which helps to empower low-income immigrant communities.

When confronted with this background by the Alexandria Democratic Committee and offered a chance to clarify her stance on immigration, Ms. Miles deflected. This week, however, Ms. Miles is giving us her answer: her campaign is holding a high-priced fundraiser hosted by a Hollywood director Ronald Maxwell, who compared, in the Washington Times, Mexican immigration to an “invasion” and a “future annexation of the Southwest by Mexico.” By associating herself with Mr. Maxwell and given her background at IRLI, one must ask whether Ms. Miles also agrees with his offensive and intolerant views.

Samantha A. Pitts-Kiefer