In Arizona, Republican politicians have been working overtime this year to provoke people into voting with their fears. They’ve been whipping up anti-immigrant mobs with wild accusations that foreign children are bringing Ebola across the border with Mexico. They’ve even chased down school buses, shouting at the children within, to find an example of an infected little miscreant.
One congressional candidate in Arizona isn’t willing to go along with this vile campaign of scapegoating. While the Republican Party of Arizona follows a policy of fury, James Woods, the Democratic candidate in Arizona’s 5th congressional district, unapologetically speaks out for a progressive vision in which the desire to live in the United States isn’t treated as a reprehensible thing.
“Immigration policy must reflect the reality that we live in a culture dependent on the work and worth of immigrants and their families. I support an immediate end to the criminalization of immigration. Deportations for minor crimes must be brought to a full stop,” Woods writes. “We need a restorative approach that reflects the tremendous value immigrants and their families bring to our communities. We need to stop tearing families apart with punitive deportations. If we wish to live in a free and open society, we must have immigration policies that are equally free and open. Without this, we cannot claim to be a beacon of liberty and we lose moral credibility with the world community.”
James Woods wants the government to help people – something the Republican Party regards as a shameful idea. “I have a vision for an America in which government is a Progressive instrument of the people used to empower all of us to live in safety and happiness, Woods says. “To succeed, we must ensure equality of opportunity for everyone. When anyone is denied full inclusion in social and civic life, it degrades our economy and takes a terrible toll on our communities. I support policies that safeguard equal treatment, protection and opportunity for everyone.”
If only more Democratic politicians would speak with this kind of clarity, progressives might actually come to trust the Democratic Party again.