26 April 2012
President Rev. John Jenkins
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Subject: Pro-Catholic and Pro-Latino Youth Senators in the Indiana 2012 Race
Dear President Rev. John Jenkins of Notre Dame:
I recently visited the University of Notre Dame on March 20, 2012, in light of our Tequila Party rally we held to “Rock the Latino Vote in support of the DREAM Act” at Indiana University of South Bend. (The Tequila Party is a Latina counter-movement to Tea Party extremism). Students from Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana University, Goshen and St. Mary’s attended our successful event, and it brought revitalization to our DREAM Act youth. We registered and motivated eligible voters to be a voice for the voiceless undocumented and to keep the memory of Joaquin Luna alive. Our Indiana Tequila Party leader, Jose Alvarez, is a student of Holy Cross and has aspirations of attending Notre Dame University.
As I toured your University, one photograph in particular touched me the most – and it was the photo of the former President of Notre Dame via Father Ted
Hesburgh. To my amazement I later discovered this was the picture that was presented to Pres. Obama from Notre Dame during his commencement speech.
I am certain you are aware of the ill treatment of immigrants in our nation, and I appreciate the pro immigrant stances the Catholic Church has taken to this regard. The anti-immigrant sentiment reached a fevered pitch when the Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the harsh anti-immigrant SB1070 into law, and the muscle of this unneighborly legislative act came from the ousted and former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church or, colloquially, the Mormon Church).
I am a mere Mexican-American immigration activist living in the State of Arizona where there is a stronghold of Mormonism. I knew I could do only one thing as I felt utterly powerless and helpless when I saw Republican leaders support this restrictionist law, so I wrote an open letter to Mormon Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I paralleled the Mormon Missouri extinction order to Arizona’s SB 1070 anti-immigrant and self-deportation law. Just as Mormon families were driven out of the state of Missouri in early American history via mass exodus, I witnessed Arizona mass exodus and families being driven out, too.
While I do not see the beautiful crucifixes that typically adorn Catholic Churches at Mormon Churches or Temples, I did see what some might call the “power of the cross” come into play when Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City, Utah, brought forth the principles of the Mayflower Compact via the Utah Compact (with help from Catholic leaders). The Mormon Church and members of the LDS church boldly stepped up to the plate and their leaders took a compassionate stance on immigrants in the State of Arizona – and now we are hoping members of the Catholic Church will step up to the plate in the State of Indiana, too. It is an emergency to have your help.
We have a common enemy via the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR is an anti-immigration ‘movement,’ that began by one man, John Tanton. Tanton was the organizer and President of the Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood Association between 1965-1971, and in 1975 he wrote The Case for Passive Eugenics where his letters and memos are a public collection at the Bentley Historical Library. Tanton has clear connections to Pioneer Fund and Numbers USA where Pioneer Fund’s eugenic ideas (selective breeding of humans) supported a variety of institutions that legitimize race “science”. According to the Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley states that by Dr. Tanton’s own reckoning, FAIR has received more than $1.5 million from the Pioneer Fund, a white-supremacist outfit devoted to racial purity through eugenics. And if anything disturbs the good doctor more than those Latin American hordes crossing the Rio Grande, it’s the likelihood that most of them are Catholic, or so he once told a Reuters reporter.
We believe the John Tanton network has done a damaging job in national, state and local politics. Our Latino Catholic members cannot support politicians who have ties to John Tanton and his racist organizations — which is why Latino pro immigrant activists cannot support Mitt Romney for President when he chose to receive advise from Kris Kobach (legal arm of FAIR) for his own political expediency.
We pray for your help in the Indiana Senate open primary election race. We are aware that Hispanics account for more than 70 percent of the growth in the US Catholic population since 1960, and all our eyes will be in Indiana come May.
Senator Richard (Dick) Lugar supported our Latino youth via the DREAM Act when we were desperate, down and out. Lugar embraced the epitome of Christian Compassionate views toward our children, but he is facing an opponent via Candidate Richard Mourdock who has clear ties to a racist organization via ALIPAC. We are familiar with ALIPAC since they endorsed nativist J.D. Hayworth over Senator John McCain because John McCain “once” believed in immigration reform here in Arizona. Members of ALIPAC were allowed to use disparaging remarks such as beaner, wetback and pepper belly that appeared on their site directed at Hispanics.
Is there any way you can communicate to your circle of influence the need to support politicians who have compassionate views towards our youth like Senator Lugar? I understand the University of Notre Dame cannot take a position on political races, but we are hoping you will communicate to your friends that Senator Lugar is a compassionate man who has had mercy on my people and our youth. This is an emergency. Lugar must be rewarded not punished for his compassionate views.
I pray the Catholic and compassionate voters in your state of Indiana will remember the stance of Catholic leadership and the Pope’s views with regard to the treatment of immigrants and our neighbors. We hope you know about the aches and suffering we feel in our hearts due to these extreme hate laws. Time is of the essence, and I hope a miracle takes place in the State of Indiana in much the same way we witnessed them in Arizona and in Utah. We are hoping for a miracle, because that is all we have to hold on to, and I hope you take measures that will cause another one to happen.
Thank you for your time – particularly when our deadline is May 8, 2012, with regard to the Indiana Open Primaries.
DeeDee Garcia Blase
Co-President, National Tequila Party Movement
Shirl Mora James,
Lead Co-President, National Tequila Party Movement
Civil Rights and Immigration Lawyer