Massachusetts Fails to Uphold Kennedy's Legacy for Immigrant Rights

Ted Kennedy must be rolling in his grave. After all, someone forgot to tell the state of Massachusetts to not do the whole “Change” shabang every year. Right-wing Republican candidate Scott Brown comfortably won the special election to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy in the US Senate last night, beating Democrat candidate Martha Coakley.

As Immigrant Rights editor and blogger Alex DiBranco noted last week, a victory for Brown is a setback for health care, queer rights, reproductive health, women’s rights, and even immigration reform. Brown tarnishes Ted Kennedy’s historically strong support for immigrant rights and stands staunchly opposed to an immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Senator Brown even received an endorsement from the rabid anti-immigrants at ALIPAC for his hard-line stance. As Neo-Indian snarkily tells us, now would not be a good time to start a “brown is cool” campaign in the United States.

It gets worse before it gets better. We can now expect to hear excuses from Democrats that just because they do not have a filibuster-proof majority, they do not have the votes for a just and humane immigration reform. But an immigration reform that reunites our families, reinforces our security and reignites our economy is a matter of will more than a matter of votes. Brown might just serve as a wake-up call for Democrats, liberals and progressives to get themselves in gear. We have to remind our Democrat Senators and President Obama — You STILL hold the majority. It’s time to actually put it to use.

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