LatinaLista — It's no secret that the Republican Party wants the Latino vote. According to the McCain campaign's spokeswoman for Hispanic media, Hessy Fernandez, the campaign's goal is to secure 45% of the Latino vote.
The campaign feels that they can bridge the wide gap that currently exists between McCain and Obama as McCain gets out more in the Latino community. As Fernandez says, "He (McCain) is a true friend of the Latino community."
Well, when it comes to politics, and especially the recently adopted Republican Party platform, a "true friend" seems to depend on who is defining it.
While all issues are of importance to Latinos â€” education, health care, national security, the economy, etc., there are certain other issues that also impact Latino communities almost exclusively.
The Republican Party addressed these issues specifically in their platform: immigration, the Dream Act, undocumented immigrants and the English language.
Overall, it was a disappointing read â€” only because when it came to the issues that dealt with Hispanic immigrants, the same exaggerations were regurgitated and adopted by the party as fact.
Among the issues that the McCain campaign thinks will win Latino communities over are:
"â€¦Guaranteeing to law enforcement the tools and coordination to deport criminal aliens without delay â€” and correcting court decisions that have made deportations so difficult â€¦ It does not mean driver's licenses for illegal aliens, nor does it mean that states should be allowed to flout the federal law barring them from giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, nor does it mean that illegal aliens should receive social security benefits, or other public benefits, except as provided by federal law."
What the committee members failed to honestly say was that because of this Administration's policies, a.k.a. Republican Party's, it's become common practice to criminalize undocumented immigrants by charging them with identity fraud.
Law enforcement officials who work with these kinds of fraud cases have gone on record in the past to say that the majority who perpetuate the damaging fraud against citizens, are their own fellow citizens.
From this simple passage of the platform that is pasted in this post, teens who want to go to college will be forever denied that possibility.
In this regard, the McCain campaign will have their work cut out for them. Don't they know that while these "Dream Act" kids may not be able to vote, they GREW up alongside their friends who can and who have registered in record numbers for this election season? If they don't think these kids will cast a vote for the opposition in honor of the friends they see being left behind, the Republican Party is far more short-sighted than it ever has been.
Also, in state after state that has passed punitive measures to make sure undocumented immigrants don't take advantage of social security or welfare benefits, it has been found that such measures proved to be more of a headache and obstacle to citizens who took advantage of those benefits with state directors (again) going on record that undocumented immigrants don't take advantage of social security and welfare benefits.
An interesting piece that was a part of the platform and makes you wonder just how some are envisioning the future of the country is:
"Our strong ties with Canada and Mexico should not lead to a North American union or a unified currency."
For the sake of argument, why would that be a bad thing? We've seen in Europe that countries can maintain their sovereignty but work in unison and be a part of something bigger by joining forces.
Maybe this passage explains the party's reasoning better:
The integrity of the 2010 census, proportioning congressional representation among the states, must be preserved. The census should count every person legally abiding in the United States in an actual enumeration.
Regardless of the intent, it's not wise to shut your eyes and pretend 12 million people don't exist.
But pretending seems to be the name of the game among the committee member who drew up this platform.
In one last example drawn from the Republican Party Platform:
Gang violence is a growing problem, not only in urban areas but in many suburbs and rural communities. It has escalated with the rise of gangs composed largely of illegal aliens, most of whose victims are law-abiding members of immigrant communitiesâ€¦Illegal alien gang members must be removed from the United States immediately upon arrest or after the completion of any sentence imposed.
While it's true that gang violence has increased and many victims are immigrants, it is not true to plant the assumption that these gangs are largely comprised of undocumented immigrants.
In an article about undocumented gang members:
Although law enforcement officials struggle to quantify the number of illegal immigrants who are gang members, some say nearly half of some gangs - including Mara Salvatrucha, one of the city's most violent - could be in the U.S. illegally.
Gang experts say there are no studies to corroborate the figures, although they estimate that the number is closer to 10 percent.
Hardly a majority as seen by experts, who are usually in law enforcement themselves.
The Republican Party Platform serves its purpose â€” it clarifies the party's positions for its members and it spells out for the Latino electorate just what true friendship means in a Republican context.