Stumbled across a blog post in the online part of Publico, a Spanish paper, that very concisely reminded us that if we’re sincere about solidarity with places like Haiti in times of crisis, and we really want to help, we can’t also whine about immigration and insist on closing borders.

Says “El Gran Wyoming” (and no, I have no idea why that’s his name):

With the earthquake in Haiti, the wave of solidarity and understanding that the Spanish have towards the underprivilaged has been unleashed. We unite before great tragedies. All citizens, no matter their ideology or religious beliefs, demonstrate their indignation at the poverty in which these people live. It has not occurred to any politician to step to the podium to say “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it.” No, that would give itself away as cruelty, and the electorate won’t go there. Nevertheless, here, because of the proximity of the regional and municipal elections, a witch hunt for immigrants is brewing. The president of the PIMEC [an association of small business owners in Catalunya] links immigration to citizen’s security; the People’s Party [conservatives] via Alberto Fernandez Diaz, is asking for a immigrant commerce inspection plan; Trillo wants to reform the law to avoid repeat offenders who are immigrants; Esperanza Aguirre is supporting the town couselour of Torrejon in limiting municipal registration of immigrants; Alicia Sanchez Camacho – candidate for the PP in Catalunya – is basing her campaign on unemployment, security and immigration and claims that this can make the PPC the governing party. Her slogan “We can’t all fit”. It’s open season: being xenophoic isn’t a sin, it’s self defense. The subtext is: they take our jobs and our bread. The damage they’re doing with these xenophobic propositions is terrible who knows if it’s irreversible.

Dear sirs/mesdames of the center, constitutionalists, and Catholics: those whom you are pointing your fingers at as though they were usurping delinquents are the same people trying to get out from under the rocks in Haiti. They are the same. Don’t build your power on top of mountains of the starved-to-death. [emphasis mine]

Amen.

Original:

Con el terremoto de Haití se ha desatado la ola de solidaridad y comprensión con los desfavorecidos que caracteriza a los españoles. Nos unimos ante las grandes tragedias. Todos los ciudadanos, sea cual sea su ideología o creencia religiosa, manifiestan su indignación por la pobreza en la que vive aquella gente. A ningún político se le ha ocurrido salir a la palestra para decir que cada palo aguante su vela. No, por ahí se delata la crueldad y la masa electoral no entra. Sin embargo aquí, por la proximidad de las elecciones autonómicas y municipales, se convoca una caza contra los inmigrantes. El presidente de la PIMEC vincula la inmigración con la seguridad ciudadana; el PP, por boca de Alberto Fernández Díaz, pide un plan de inspección de comercios de inmigrantes; Trillo pide reformar la ley para evitar reincidentes; Esperanza Aguirre apoya al edil de Torrejón que limita el empadronamiento; Alicia Sánchez Camacho –candidata por el PP en Catalunya– basará su campaña en el paro, la seguridad y la inmigración y asegura que este eje puede convertir al PPC en partido de Gobierno. Su eslogan: “No cabemos todos”. Se ha levantado la veda: ser xenófobo no es pecado, es defensa propia. El subtexto es: nos quitan el trabajo y el pan. El daño que están haciendo con estos planteamientos xenófobos es terrible y quién sabe si irreversible.

Señores demócratas de centro, constitucionalistas y católicos: esos a los que señalan con el dedo como delincuentes usurpadores son los mismos que intentan salir de debajo de las piedras en Haití. Son los mismos. No edifiquen su poder sobre montañas de muertos de hambre.

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