At the RNC, Hatred And Bigotry Made All Too Real

As I listened to the hatred spoken from the podium at the Republican National Convention, I couldn't help but feel that those words -- and the crowd's response -- were a personal message to me and people like me. Immigrants.

"You aren't one of us."

"We're afraid of you."

"You are a threat, a potential criminal or terrorist. We don't see your dreams. We don't see your aspirations. We don't see the contributions you make to our community, our economy and our nation."

This is what Republicans were saying to millions of immigrant voters and their families.

By giving in to the most extreme and xenophobic elements of their party, Republicans have shown they have no interest in fixing our broken immigration system. Instead, they choose to perpetuate stereotypes and outright lies about immigrants, especially those who are undocumented.

It's important to point out that this is a conscious choice - use anti-immigrant rhetoric to generate support in the base of the party rather than look for solutions to the real problems facing immigrant families.

Politics over our country's best interest. That was their choice and they have made it. Now they have to live with it.

The cynical and hateful nature of the Republicans' platform on immigration stands in stark contrast to the inclusive, solution- oriented vision expressed in the Democratic platform and what I expect to hear as the Democrats meet in Philadelphia this week.

The two party platforms describe completely different futures.

One of fear and division, the other of practicality and solutions. Democrats want to fix our broken immigration system and bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows to eventually attain citizenship. Republicans prefer that they are all deported and don't really care about how it's done.

The Republican position on immigration is extreme that it seeks to reverse the President Obama's 2012 decision to stop deporting Dreamers - young people brought here by their parents as children who have grown up in this country and lived here most of their lives.

Instead of demonizing immigrants, the Democrats had Astrid Silva, a young Dreamer, as one of their headliners so that she can tell her story in prime time.

The Republican platform opposes legalization regardless of how long families have been here, how much they have contributed and what roots they have put down. It fails to address what to do with the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants, a population the size of Ohio, who are already living and working in our country and are contributing to our communities.

These are our neighbors, our co-workers, and our friends who aspire to live freely and contribute fully. It goes further to express support for state laws, such as the one in Arizona, that have been overturned by the courts and that encourage racial profiling.

Once, again, the GOP is headed for another post-November Groundhog Day where, dazed by election losses, they will rise from their beds, scratch their heads and once again try to collectively figure out what went wrong.

When that happens, I'll be happy to explain.

It's not complicated. Immigrants like me are here to stay, and we will be a part of our nation's future whether they like it or now. We can already vote, and more of us are turning 18 every day, month, and year.

It's time for Republicans to grow up and accept that fact or face a long period of time in the political wilderness.