Where is Medford's Republican State Representative going? He's headed to Arizona to speak and paricipate in a two day rally with the group Stand With Arizona on July 30th and 31st. He's joining author and blogger Michelle Malkin, P.L.E.A. president Mark Spenser and others expressing disappointment in the judge's decision to block key components of Arizona's 1070 law yesterday. Many of the speakers have strong links to front groups associated with the extreme Tea Party movement, white supremacy groups, the Minute Men and other hard corp nativists who exploit xenophobia. Sal Esquivel HD6 is headed to Arizonal He'll be in familiar company since he is a regular speaker and supporter at Tea Party events in Jackson County.
He goes at a time of economic recession in Oregon and at a time when Oregon's unemployment numbers are stubbornly high. Oregon can ill-afford to alienate the critical economic power of Latinos in Oregon. In the July 2010 report from the American Immigration Council policy report " Oregon has 6,360 Latino-owned businesses that had sales of $1.5 billion in sales and receipts and employed 8,272 people in 2002." According to the report one-in-seven-Oregonians are Latino or Asian. The 2009 purchasing power of Latino's in Oregon totaled $7.billion - an increase of 660,9% since 1990."
Immigration law is a complicated jigsaw puzzle. Arizona's law attempted to slide slot A into Slot B and discovered forcing sharp angles into corner flats isn't easy. Arizona' attempt to become a fortress is a clumsy attempt at best .
Oregon is home to 366,405 immigrants in 2008 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly the size of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jackson County, specifically House District 6, can ill afford to alienate such a critical component of its labor force, tax base and business community.
Sal Esquivel has chosen to to become tangled in the national ongoing strife over immigration reform. Too bad he's chosen to ignore the ordinary people in Medford worry most about: paying their bills, having enough money for the morgage payment or rent, saving for retirement, paying the doctor and dentist bills and hoping their kids will have a full instructional school year. And by the way, nearly 25% of the 12,000 students attending Medford Public Schools are Latino.
Note to Rep. Esquivel :the economy is the top concern for Oregonians, not immigration.