The Huffington Post's Latino Voices section is thrilled with the latest controversy-stoking cover of The New Yorker: pilgrims and their bonneted wives in the moonlight crawling through a hole chain-link fence in the American desert. Who knew Miles Standish was a Mexican?
The cover artist claims this is somehow not oversimplified. "Too often in politics, very complex subjects are being turned into sound bites, so it's easy to take them apart," Christoph Niemann told The New Yorker. I draw a parallel between current immigrants and early settlers -- the hope is that it will provide context, to help keep things in perspective."
The name of the piece is "Promised Land." The artist thinks racism plays a telling role in the immigration debate.
"American politics tend to be very practical and open-minded, so why would you consider throwing them out?" Niemann told Huffington Post LatinoVoices, referring to the popular view on undocumented immigrants. "The debate should be about how can a country benefit from immigration. America depends on immigration. The discussion will be more valuable if it is focused on benefits."
Niemann is a German native and legal U.S. resident. "I'm an immigrant myself and what I always found staggering is that there are tons of Europeans who get green cards and I know some of them are not legal from the get-go and that never comes up," he said. "Having a racial undertone in this debate is extremely hurtful. It shouldn't have anything to do with where the immigrant comes from."
"Now, Newt Gingrich might have a huge problem because he said we must take into consideration families that have been here for over 25 years," Niemann said. "I'm not a Gingrich fan but to think that among all his flaws and insanities, what will keep him down is having a more humane view on immigration, I find this insane."
He added, "I wish this whole debate would be a lot more sober and careful. These are people and it's about their aspirations."
[HT: Dan Gainor]