Republicans are in full scapegoat mode right now, and they are taking this country into uglier and uglier territory.

Their scapegoat is the immigrant who is here illegally.

They want to make life absolutely as miserable as possible for these immigrants. Witness Arizona.

But not only that. They want the sins of the parents to be visited on the children.

They want to amend the very Constitution itself to deny citizenship to children born here in the United States to parents who were here illegally.

That’s right. They want to repeal the 14th amendment.

This isn’t just a fringe effort. 94 Republicans in the House are behind it, as are Senators Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Jon Kyl.

This is outrageous. The 14th Amendment has been on the books since the end of the Civil War, and seven generations of Americans have benefited from the guaranteed right of citizenship by birth here—regardless of who their parents were.

Now, we’re going to take that away?

Republicans are stabbing at the myth of America as a land of freedom and opportunity.

And instead of solving the economic crisis, they want white Americans to single out brown-skinned immigrants and their children for an extra helping of scorn.

It’s hard to conceive of a more reprehensible strategy.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his article “The FBI’s File on Howard Zinn.”

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter


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A Syrian refugee describes the challenges he faces stuck in Finnish immigration.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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