Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced he would be seeking the Republican nomination for president today, but what he has neglected to say now that he — like any other presidential contender — is seeking Latino votes is that does not have the best record when it comes to serving this particular slice of the American population.
Perhaps his whole equating terrorism with immigration thing back in 2002 was a good hint that he either didn’t understand the complexity of an issue like immigration, which is hard to imagine. Much more likely is that Pawlenty purposely equated immigrants with terrorists because he wanted to win conservative votes. Now he’s gunning for Latino votes. Here are a few more anti-Latino policies Pawlenty has supported:
- He wanted to repeal the 14th Amendment, which bestows birthright citizenship, and proposed that Congress pass a law to that effect.
- He supports Arizona’s SB 1070 law, which is tied up in the courts currently, for questions about racially profiling Latinos.
- He equated immigrants with criminals.
- As governor he spearheaded a crackdown on immigrants in Minnesota, even though it wasn’t a top issue for his constituents.
- He also wanted to crack down on all immigrants — regardless of legal status.
- Voter ID and discretionary “citizenship verification” were also some of Pawlenty’s good ideas.
Earlier this year at a Latino conservatives conference in Miami this January, when he had a chance to share what the best way would be to address this issue, he didn’t. He had absolutely no clear plan with how to fix the immigration system, just empty words characterizing Latinos as criminals, “We need to start the discussion with the notion that the rule of law is a cornerstone tenet for our nation.”
On his campaign website, there’s no plan there either, and he doesn’t address any of this. There is not currently neither a plan for either substantive national security nor immigration reform (here’s a screenshot). Which is to say, either Tim Pawlenty doesn’t know what he’s doing, or he knows exactly what he’s doing — depending on which voters are in the audience.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD[Video Courtesy News Taco; Photo Courtesy Office of Governor Tim Pawlenty]