Maybe you've been seeing Sarah Palin in the
news "news" recently? She's touring American landmarks with her family in a big ugly bus (left) to "promote the Fundamental Restoration of America." Should you be scared that those words are capitalized? I am.
One of Palin's recent stops was New York City, where in addition to dining with Donald Trump, she visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. What better place to appreciate the work and impact of immigrants in the United States! Oh wait, she decided this would be a good place to trash the DREAM Act. According to Politico, Palin said,
The immigrants of the past, they had to literally and figuratively stand in line to become U.S. citizens. I'd like to see that continue. And unfortunately, the DREAM Act kind of usurps that-the system that is a legal system to make sure that immigrants who want to be here legally, working hard, producing and supplying revenue and resources for their families, that they're able to do that right and legally. Unfortunately, the DREAM Act doesn't accomplish that.
STOOD IN LINE. LITERALLY. Sarah, do you have any idea HOW DIFFICULT AND EXPENSIVE it is to immigrate to the United States today? Not only are there incredible fees, immense bureaucratic hoops to jump through, and a test--with incorrect answers--you have to answer, many immigrants face additional hurdles, discrimination, and violence depending on their ethnicity, skin color, and language.
"No need to pay attention to what's going on out there, this is the only narrative of American immigration that is relevant to your campaign, err--vacay." Photo via SarahPAC
Annoyingly, Palin continues to insist that this tour is NOT an early, mavericky presidential campaign. (Those stops in Iowa and South Carolina are just coincidental! Historic, even!). Instead, the reason for her carefully curated family outing is that "It's so important for Americans to learn about our past so we can clearly see our way forward in challenging times; so, we're bringing attention to our great nation's foundation." Hm, I'm guessing Palin's tour bus doesn't have any stops to speak with First Nations people about their view on "our great nation's foundation" i.e., genocide and stolen land, nor will she be looking at how human slavery built the American economy. (I'm not making this up, according to the Washington Post, Palin "skipped the slave quarters" while visiting Mount Vernon, the estate of her "favorite founding father" George Washington. It's like the real-life equivalent of a Sharpie over a textbook!) Like her DREAM Act comment, Palin is clearly interested in painting a very limited, and dangerous version of both what America today and tenuously connecting it to an imagined past. (As we've already seen from her inability to name another Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade, she has a pretty spotty idea of American history to begin with.)
While a (big) part of me would like to ignore the "One Nation" tour for the 12-wheeled monstrosity that it is, Palin's erasure of America's history and her dismissal of people's lived experiences today is a dangerous thing, considering the the DREAM act is just back in Congress while anti-immigrant laws are being passed throughout the country, systems of criminal justice and deportation become more insidiously connected, and voices from those affected by immigration laws continue to go unheard. God only knows what she'll say when she gets to Boston.