The Moving Stake

Posted on July 13, 2010


By Elvira Arellano

Someone once said that politics is war without bloodshed. Sometimes I think the Latino community is in a war – but doesn’t recognize it and therefore doesn’t fight. We have never won a battle we didn’t fight!

My son Saulito is in Chicago and I am very proud to see his face on the news even here in Mexico, as he helps to bring other U.S. citizen children with undocumented parents to the White House on July 28th to meet with the President. Saulito is also going to my church’s summer camp in Chicago. He tells me that a favorite game of the children is a tug of war with a big dog. The dog grabs one end of the rope with his teeth and the children pull on the other end. There is a stake in the middle so you can see who is winning.

We are all watching to see what the courts will do with the Arizona law now that Obama has joined in the law suit to stop it. But meanwhile, deportations and separations of families are continuing to increase and are occurring at a much greater pace than under the Bush administration.

In this tug of war, Obama is the stake, we are the children and the republicans are the big dog. Our problem is that the stake is moving closer to the dog.

While Obama says he is for comprehensive immigration reform, he is deporting more people than ever before. While he is against the Arizona law which would allow local police to check papers and treat our people as criminals, he is also making agreements with local law enforcement in Arizona and across the country to get them to “cooperate” in searching out and turning over people without papers to immigration – people with no criminal records.

In his first year and a half in office, the stake has moved towards the dog and Obama is planning to move even further in that direction. He and the democrats are campaigning saying that they have increased enforcement and become more efficient in separating the families that God has put together.

Of course, that is not what we were promised when the Latino community voted for Obama. Obama did not just promise to support the compromise of immigration reform, he promised to end the separation of families and to stop terrorizing our children.

We are in a tug of war and we are coming to a very important time in November. The democrats want to win the congressional elections to stay in power. They want our votes. So they are blaming the republicans for their failure to fix the broken law – and they are at the same time telling the racists that they are enforcing the broken law more effectively than the republicans did.

The stake is moving and the dog of racism is winning. Saulito says we need more children on the other end and that is why he is organizing the march of the children on July 28th. Our message must be clear. If democrats in the congress want our vote, than the congress must pass, in September, the immigration reform bill that has been introduced in Congress by the Latino Caucus and over 100 other congressmen. And the President must put a moratorium on deportations that separate families. If the House of Representatives passes a bill, and the President stops separating U.S. citizen mixed status families, than we will know that it is the Republicans in the Senate who are holding us back and we will vote in all of our numbers for the democrats. That is the only chance the democrats have of getting our votes

We reject moving the stake. Passing the dream act, or even the dream act and ag jobs without a moratorium on deportations means the deportations and the local police cooperation programs like 287g will continue to increase. Those who support this idea are moving the stake towards the dog. The democrats are pushing this idea because they think we will be quiet if a few people are legalized and they will still be able to tell the racists that they are deporting more people than the republicans did. Obama is already moving the stake. He doesn’t need our help!

We are just asking the President and the Democrats to stop moving the stake towards the dog and to keep the stake in the same place it was when they asked for our votes. They need to show us and the country that they are serious about keeping their promise if they want our votes. Join Saulito in Washington D.C. in front of the white house on July 28th – we need more children on our end of the rope! To join Saulito go to