An­gry His­pan­ics scold Democrats over ad mix­ing il­le­gals, ter­ror

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Charles Hurt

The Demo­cratic Sen­a­to­rial Cam­paign Com­mit­tee (DSCC) on Aug. 16 pulled an ad from its Web site af­ter His­panic groups ac­cused Democrats of un­fairly equat­ing il­le­gal aliens to ter­ror­ists.

“To liken Latino im­mi­grants to bazooka-tot­ing ter­ror­ists not only un­der­mines the pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship our party has with this com­mu­nity, but it also low­ers us to a de­spi­ca­ble level as breed­ers of un­founded fear and ha­tred,” Hous­ton City Coun­cil mem­ber Carol Al­varado, a Demo­crat, said in a let­ter to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the New York Demo­crat who heads the DSCC.

The 35-sec­ond ad, re­leased on its Web site ear­lier in the week, crit­i­cizes the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion as leav­ing Amer­ica un­se­cured by show­ing il­le­gal aliens scal­ing a border fence. That scene is mixed with images of Osama bin Laden and North Korean Pres­i­dent Kim Jong-il.

While the DSCC did not pub­licly apol­o­gize for the ad, it had been re­moved from the site by the evening of Aug. 16 and re­placed with an­other. All links to the ad that had worked through­out the day also went dead.

The ad is part of a Demo­cratic ef­fort to bol­ster sup­port on se­cu­rity is­sues, on which they have long been per­ceived as weak and Repub­li­cans have been per­ceived as strong.

“Se­cu­rity Un­der Bush and GOP?” flashes on the screen at the start, fol­lowed by scenes of ter­ror­ists, bin Laden, Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad and footage from re­cent ter­ror­ist at­tacks. With dis­con­cert­ing mu­sic in the back­ground, the words “4 times as many ter­ror­ist at­tacks in 2005” ap­pears on screen.

As the mu­sic con­tin­ues, the ad goes di­rectly into footage of a per­son climb­ing over a border fence as the words “mil­lions more il­le­gal im­mi­grants” ap­pear on the screen. In the next scene, Mr. Kim ap­pears with a pass­ing tank. “North Korea has quadru­pled its nu­clear arse­nal” flashes across the screen.

Pe­dro Celis, chair­man of the Repub­li­can Na­tional His­panic As­sem­bly, said: “Equat­ing th­ese un­doc­u­mented mi­grants to the very real threats of ter­ror­ism is inex­cus­able and only serves to fan the flames of anti-im­mi­grant sen­ti­ment in our coun­try.”

The last frames of the ad con­tain the words, “Feel safer? Vote for change.”

“This is the same kind of fear mon­ger­ing we con­demn in the ex­treme me­dia, and now we are see­ing it at the DSCC,” said Lisa Navar­rete, spokes­woman for the Na­tional Coun­cil of La Raza. “It’s ap­palling.”

Gerry Birn­berg, chair­man of the Har­ris County, Texas, Demo­cratic Party, also wrote Mr. Schumer to de­nounce the ad, ac­cord­ing to the Hous­ton Chron­i­cle. He called for an end to do­na­tions to the DSCC.

“Give money to the can­di­dates, but not the [com­mit­tee] be­cause they’re just wast­ing it,” he said.

DSCC spokesman Phil Singer told the As­so­ci­ated Press in an emailed state­ment that the Repub­li­can Na­tional His­panic As­sem­bly was “try­ing to gloss over the White House’s abysmal record on se­cu­rity.”

“This group’s time would be bet­ter spent pres­sur­ing re­luc­tant Repub­li­cans to sup­port com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form,” he said.

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