Arizona Democratic Party, Russell Pearce, and "Operation Wetback"
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The sleazy Arizona Democratic Party is up to its old tricks again, this time trying to smear Rep. Russell Pearce (R-AZ) over his reference to Eisenhower's "Operation Wetback" on a radio program. From their press release titled Pearce Resurrects "Operation Wetback" and subtitled Russell Pearce Longs for Pre-Civil Rights Era Immigration Program:
In an interview on KJZZ Wednesday, Republican legislator Russell Pearce called for the reinstatement of Eisenhower's 1953 immigration plan, "Operation Wetback." The program, which was abolished a year later, sought to round up and deport all undocumented workers.
That paragraph probably contains a lie. Establishing a new program that's similar to an old program is not the same as "reinstating" the old program: things can be similar without being the same in every respect. And, only a fool would believe that Pearce would want to name the new program "Operation Wetback." So, it's almost certain that Pearce does not want to "reinstate" OW, and it's almost certain that - once again - the AZ Dems are trying to mislead.
Here's the only quote of his that they provide:
"We know what we need to do. In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower, put together a task force called 'Operation Wetback.' He removed, in less than a year, 1.3 million illegal aliens. They must be deported."
Further, we're informed that "Hispanic leaders in Phoenix are outraged", which is only followed by one example from "former legislator and activist Alfredo Gutierrez". He's a member of the "Somos America" group that organized at least one Phoenix illegal immigration march.
Needless to say, the press has taken the Dem smear and run with it.
Sarah N. Lynch of the East Valley Tribune offers "Pearce calls on 'Operation Wetback' for illegals", informing us that he's "angered the Hispanic community this week when he called for the reinstatement of a pre-civil rights era program that called for the mass deportation of illegal immigrants", language that's highly similar to that used by the AZDems.
The Arizona Daily Star offers a rewrite of an AP report in the falsely-titled story "Phoenix legislator supports deportations through 'Operation Wetback'".
The apparently original AP report is in "Rep. Pearce calls for mass deportations":
A state lawmaker has drawn a firestorm of criticism from the Hispanic community this week by calling for the renewal of a 1950s-era federal deportation program known as "Operation Wetback." Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, a fiery proponent of new border security laws and a crackdown on illegal immigration, talked about the possibility of mass deportations in a radio interview.
The word "renewal" may be somewhat more accurate than the word "reinstatement" used in the AZDem press release. The only evidence of a "firestorm" the AP presents is the press release and quotes from Roberto Reveles, the president of Somos America.