LatinaLista– The DREAM Act may be history for this year but reaction to its defeat in the Senate on Saturday is far from over. While some politicians were outwardly smug in their defeat of it, the level of anger that it triggered within the Latino community has been enough to accomplish a couple of things:
1. United Latinos from both sides of the aisle to the opinion that change has to happen within both parties.
2. United Latinos in the realization that too many political leaders don’t respect the Latino constituency.
Suggestions as to what the Latino response should be to this defeat, that many see as vindictive or racist, are as varied as there are Latinos in the United States. However, most of those responses are from Latinos outside the Republican party, whose majority obstructed the vote on Saturday.
One Latina Republican who was enraged over the outcome of Saturday’s vote was DeeDee Garcia Blase, founder of Arizona-based Somos Republicans.
In the following piece, she shares her views on what she believes the next political steps should be for the Latino community.
Now that DREAM failedBy DeeDee Garcia Blase
People often ask me what will happen when the DREAM Act fails. The first thing we will do is send a letter to Congressman Luis Gutuierrez — reminding him to divorce the Democrat Party.
In doing this, Luis’s move will send shock waves throughout the Hispanic community all over the nation and draw attention to the need for uniting ourselves.
Secondly, we will work with Independent and Democrat Hispanic leaders for the purpose of unifying ourselves because we know there is strength in numbers.
We have to combine forces in an effort to target and vote out isolationist politicians on both sides of the political spectrum. We are tired of immigration related issues being utilized as a political football, and it is time to do a thorough cleansing on both sides of the two major party system.
We do that by divvying up our voting power.
Why do we need to divvy up the Republican and Democrat Latino voting power? Because we have witnessed Arizona Republican Party-sponsored lawyers looking for ways to close off the Republican primary elections to registered Independents.
We want to avoid possible future snags as unified Latinos work on a common goal of reducing politicians who are viewed as being unfriendly toward Hispanics.
We will hone in on our 2012 Election list and we will support Hispanic-friendly politicians in an attempt to weed out the old south Dixie thinking individuals and the “Tom Tancredo Club”.
After the united Latinos have weeded out the isolationists on both sides of the aisle during the primary election phase, we can then vote our values and our convictions during the general election phase.
Under the Bill Clinton administration, we saw the Oklahoma City bombing send our nation towards restrictionism regarding immigration policies – even though Latinos were not responsible for the disaster.
Under the George W. Bush administration, we saw Republicans such as JD Hayworth and Tom Tancredo use the 9-11 tragedy by correlating that with the southern border – even though Latinos did not bomb the New York towers.
Former President George W. Bush garnered 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, and he tried several times to push a reasonable immigration system.
When the Democrats gained power in the House and in the Senate in 2007, Bush told the Democrats to put an immigration reform bill on his desk so that he could sign it. The Democrats failed to do this, and in fact, then Senator Obama injected unreasonable suggestions that ultimately killed that effort under Bush.
In 2008, Obama spent millions of dollars in Hispanic radio and media where he promised to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill within his first year if elected. We saw the Obama administration and Speaker Pelosi focus their efforts on Obamacare and everything else except immigration reform.
Latino liberals are noticing.
In fact, we have heard from them that there were too many concessions made on the DREAM Act version that passed Congress recently. They want to see Democrats fight with the same fervor they witnessed when they were trying to prevent the extension of the Bush tax cuts.
Hispanics on both sides of the political aisle have had enough.
Latino liberals are tired of being fed the “crumbs from the table”, and Hispanic Republicans are tired of listening to the offensive terms and lies used by FOX News, Congressman Steve King and Lamar Smith.
The failure of DREAM Act tells us one thing: Latinos have 2 years to continue with the Hispanic-get-out-the-vote initiative before the 2012 elections.
Democrats were effective in the state of Colorado when they registered over 200,000 Hispanic Democrats in 2008. Non-profit organizations combined their efforts in Arizona to register almost 43,000 new Hispanic registered voters within a 6 month time period after Jan Brewer signed the harsh anti-immigrant law.
There are 800,000 eligible Hispanic voters in the state of Arizona and about 400,000 are registered voters, and we must target the other half who are not.
It’s vital to motivate Hispanics to register and get put on the early ballot voting system in all states that have a high Hispanic population.
It’s our fault for not being more politically active, but make no mistake — we know now that we must unify, act and get out the vote in order to prevent the tsunami of the anti-Hispanic sentiment we feel in the atmosphere.