I am honestly not getting what is so offensive about this story:
Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, whose re-election campaign is pressing for tighter immigration controls, referred to his house painter as “a nice little Guatemalan man” and suggested that worker as well employees of a roofing company he hired might be in the country illegally.
“The other day, the little fella who does our maintenance work around the house, he’s from Guatemala, and I said, ‘Could I see your green card?'” Burns said at a June meeting recorded by Democrats. “And Hugo says, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Oh gosh.'”
Burns spokesman Jason Klindt said the worker, Hugo Reyes, is legally in the United States, owns a painting company and the senator “never had any doubt” that Reyes is a legal resident.
“He was telling an anecdotal story about a time he took the extra step to make sure a worker was legal,” Klindt said.
Burns, who voted against a Senate bill this year that would have offered millions of illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship, also joked about the issue at a debate against his Democratic opponent, Jon Tester, earlier this year.
Burns said he was on the phone with his contractor when he saw an interview with an illegal immigrant on television. The immigrant said he was a roofer and was headed north.
“So I told my roofer, you better go out and get your help,” Burns said. “Or you won’t get my house roofed.”
Burns’ comments come on the heels of controversial remarks by Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia, who called a Democratic staffer of Indian descent “Macaca.” Indian-American groups and others criticized Allen for his racially insensitive comments after a video was posted on the Internet.
I don’t think this is in any way comparable to the George Allen story, and from what I can tell, not only is Hugo in the country legally, have a good relationship with Conrad Burns, but he probably is, in fact, a “nice little Guatemalen man.” I honestly don’t see what the big deal about this is, and I see that Pat Buchanan is upset about it, so that leads me to believe there really is nothing to this.
About the only problem I can see is that any politician should know that their opposition is going to use whatever they say against them, so maybe we all should be on pins and needles about anything and everything having to do with race and immigration, simply because of the times. But I don’t see how what Burns (who I really have no love for) did that is so terrible here. Fill me in with what I am missing.