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“Whether you are legalized or not”


I’m sure that the labor secretary nominee Hilda Solis is a bright and savvy politican. But a labor secretary is supposed to reflect some balance between labor and management, one that seeks to hammer out compromises in the best interests of the nation. Her record, however, is exclusively pro-union without exception or doubt. And her supposed declaration over a decade ago at a 1996 meeting of the Southwest Voter Registration Project — “We are all Americans, whether you are legalized or not” — while technically correct in the narrow sense that all those living in North, Central, and South America are continental Americans, was a revelation that she either did not believe that U.S. nationality was something exceptional and predicated on legality, or welcomed a sort of de facto noncompliance with the law itself. As it was delivered, “… whether you are legalized or not” was a revolutionary throw-down-the-gauntlet sort of statement.

Her personal story is inspirational, and her brief bilingual acceptance speech no doubt emphasized her fides as a Hispanic appointment, but let us hope that she is about to at least believe, as an executive officer of the U.S. government and its laws, that you are not an American citizen unless you are recognized as such in accordance with U.S. law.


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