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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Changes in Latino electorate mean politicians shouldn’t roll their eyes at Latino voters

Changes in Latino electorate mean politicians shouldn’t roll their eyes at Latino voters

LatinaLista — Though the 2008 presidential election is four months gone, it’s surprising that all the talk of Latinos as the proverbial “sleeping giant” has vanished as well.
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While the Latino community did rise to expectations during the election, the community is still continuing to make strides that either are not registering with people or some are failing to see what it actually means to the bigger picture of this nation.
The most impressive news is that nearly half of the one million new citizens sworn in last year were Latinos.

Nationally, Latino naturalizations jumped 95 percent from about 237,000 in 2007 to 461,000 in 2008, according to the analysis released Tuesday by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

This increase in the Latino electorate means that the political potential for the Latino community is enormous. So, it’s a little strange that Sen. John McCain would fail to see this potential and instead risk insulting the Latino electorate by referring to Latinos who chose Obama over him as “you people.”


The National Journal reported last weekend that on March 11, 2009 three Republican leaders — McCain, John Thune of South Dakota, and Mel Martinez of Florida — wanted to reach out to Hispanic business leaders and met with them in Washington.
However, it seems McCain still carried a grudge for losing the Latino vote to Obama. The article quoted several sources, who spoke anonymously because they feared someone would try to retaliate against them, that McCain became very angry during the meet-and-greet and was rolling his eyes and visibly and audibly angry telling participants, who were complaining that the Obama administration was taking their time to address immigration reform, “You people — you people made your choice.”
There was a choice made and with the increasing push by Republican politicians to oppose the DREAM Act, support immigration worksite and home raids and introduce and pass English Only bills, it’s not hard to see that McCain would have been prevented to effect any kind of meaningful change regarding policies directed at undocumented immigrants and/or the Latino community.
McCain’s anger is misplaced. Instead of faulting Latino voters for him losing the presidential election, he needs to look at his own party and their agenda.
He may like to think he’s a maverick, and bucking his party on immigration was a good start, but right now, he looks like a sore loser who doesn’t understand times have changed and with it a Latino electorate that is growing, educating itself and strengthening its political power to the point that politicians who roll their eyes may find themselves just rolling out of office.

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Comment(21)

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    April 8, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I often debated who was best for CIR during the election. If Mccain would have won would the dems. still have picked up huge numbers in the senate and house like we did. Mccain was alway good at being bi-partisan. It was the Mccain/Kennedy bill…but then who jumped early on to endorse Barrack Obama/Teddy Kennedy(and who stuck his neck out and marched with the immigrants even when it was unpopular)…Obama did. Who else would Teddy endorse since JFKs legacy was about Civil Rights. I always wonder where our country would stand today if Mccain had beat George W. Bush in the Repulican primary years ago. My guess is the GEO private prison’s wouldn’t have gotten away with a business of detaining immigrant’s…but that is just a guess. In this election I did believe that Obama was the right man for the presidency. He increased the number’s in the senate and house and with his grass roots movement his talent as a community organizer and how he mobilized our youths is really amazeing. He is great when it comes to bi-partisan efforts and it look’s like he was the best candidate to pass CIR giving us his message of CHANGE and reform that our country so deperately needs. The difference between Obama and any other candidate I have ever seen is that his movement continues to mobilize just as strong as ever and it is 4 months after the election..I have never seen organization like this before. So if John Mccain is rolling his eyes I am sure it is out of his own personal fustration’s…(he is a good man but wrong for the time’s)but I don’t count him out because I am sure he will want to back the Latino’s and return to the need of CIR when the time is right. I think Latino’s knew the senate number’s…and they knew the best shot at CIR was to pick up democratic number’s in the house and senate. I’m curious to see what is predicted to happen with the numbers in the house and senate compared to the prior administration. I would like to see a professional analysis. Some have suggested the gang of 3. The liberal Republicans may hold the key to CIR.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    April 9, 2009 at 9:12 am

    First off, I don’t think referring to any group as “you people” should be deemed offensive.
    Minorities including Latinos have always been majority Democrat so there shouldn’t be any surprise there that Obama gained their votes. Add to that, that Obama was viewed as a minority himself and it doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out why he got the nod over McCain, especially after the previous failed administration under the Republicans.
    All Americans regardless of their party affiliating should support the enforcement of our immigration laws. There is absolutely no reason not to. There is no English Only bill either. Another lie by the ethnocentrics. It is English as our official language and the conotations that come with that is entirely different than any so-called, non-existant English Only bill.
    Why does any politician have to reach the Hispanic community by putting them and their illegal relatives above the laws of this country or rewarding them for breaking them? No group should be given preferential treatment like that or catered to in that manner. I thought we were all supposed to be equal, beholding to the same laws and be just plain Americans?

  • Avatar
    Dick
    April 9, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    What’s wrong with “you people”, as Latinos actively divide themselves from the rest of us by using the expression “we Latinos”? Like all advocates for illegal immigration, you’re all too willing to have a hissy fit over nothing. And don’t tell us that you don’t support illegal immigration, because if you are against using the teeth of our laws, enforcement, then you’re essentially endorsing illegal entry. No enforcement = continued illegal entry, so don’t pretending that you’re against open borders.
    McCain was your best friend until he felt it politically prudent to back off your outrageous demands to rewared millions of people for breaking our immigration laws. No other minority in the country has made such arrogant demands of the majority of the American people who do not find our laws to be onerous.

  • Avatar
    Mike C.
    April 9, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    And why the change in the number of those south of the border who now vote?
    Could it be that out of the millions of illegals in the 80’s, the majority were from south of the border, and as such they are the ones who increased their population the most.
    Once gaining legal status, they were then allowed to sponsor the extended family of fathers/mothers, brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles, etc, and those in turn could do the same.
    So we come to today where all those years, millions upon millions have had their applications with INS for approval.
    Doesn’t take long for those millions from south of the border to start increasing their numbers.
    And now, with a new amnesty approaching through the Obama administration, we will get the next wave of illegals gaining citizenship, and since 3/4ths of 12-20 million illegals are from south of the border, you once again have once specific ethnic group increasing their numbers.
    Not rocket science…

  • Avatar
    Karen
    April 10, 2009 at 3:22 am

    It’s the Republican Party that made a choice to be a regressive, regional party that uses wedge issues to distract uneducated voters from its robber baron agenda. I agree that McCain likes to think of himself as a maverick, and that in many cases he has bucked his party’s leadership, but if he had won, I do not think the would have been able to pass CIR.
    The “you people” is not surprising. It’s the same attitude the media–which was an extension of the Obama campaign–used when they falsely accused Latinos of racism for supporting Hillary, and it’s the same tone Carville used when he called Bill Richardson “Judas” for endorsing Obama.
    They think we’re supposed to put their own interests ahead of ours.

  • Avatar
    Donald
    April 10, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Lets look at a few items here if we Americans went to mexico and tried to do a few of the things there that illegals do in the U.S. we would be jailed Americans can not own property we can not fly our flag yet they come here and get away with it. the illegals take away so many jobs from us.
    They steal identities from the Americans and hurt those people who are honest and babies before they even have a chance in the world.
    There are more latinos in our prison system them you can count. They bog down our health care and find ways to get monies from the states for welfare ect.
    Latinos refuse to learn and speak our language and clog our school systems then complain because our teachers cant understand THEM. I know of jobs where Americans can not get promoted unless we speak spanish.this is plan B.S its time they went home and stay there it is time we stop making babies born here American and it is time we sent them packing or in jail

  • Avatar
    Karen
    April 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Re: “What’s wrong with “you people”, as Latinos actively divide themselves from the rest of us by using the expression “we Latinos”?
    We don’t actively divide ourselves. White people are the ones who came up with racial categories and until very recently tried to con everybody into thinking that they were scientific. The government came up with the labels Latino/Hispanic. They want to send the message that they don’t think of us as Americans, even though we were in America before they were.
    I will believe that white people hate racial labels the day they stop calling themselves “white.”

  • Avatar
    Panchito
    April 12, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Donald,
    Maybe you should do a little more research before you “speak” – this way you will not embarrass yourself amigo.
    Americans can in fact own property in Mexico. Many Americans cross the border daily into Mexico to work and I have seen many Patriots wearing the Stars and Stripes on their shirts, their license plates, etc, etc while vacationing or shopping in Mexico.
    As far as illegals taking your job – you can only blame yourself for that my friend.
    Let Panchito give you some friendly advice:
    1. Do not admit it – it does not look favorably upon you.
    2. Educate yourself

  • Avatar
    Karen
    April 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Donald, why don’ you try grounding your statements in fact? To xenophobes facts are like garlic to a vampire, or kryptonite to Superman, but you have to deal with facts, nonetheless. Let’s take apart your inaccurate post:
    1) You say that Americans cannot own property in Mexico, implying that illegal immigrants can own property in America.
    Fact: American corporations own miles of beachfront property in Mexico, in some cases legally restricting the locals from their own beaches unless they are there to work. Fact: Illegal immigrants from Mexico are not allowed to own property in the United States.
    2)Americans cannot fly our flag in Mexico. Fact: To my knowledge there is no law preventing Americans from flying their flag in a non-offcicial capacity in Mexico. I agree, though, that it is tacky and disrespectful to fly foreign flags. I do not like that Latin Americans fly their flags here.
    3) The illegals take away so many jobs from us.
    Fact: Yes, there is competition for jobs at the bottom. The corporations that support NAFTA and the politicians who signed it are the ones taking away jobs. Mexicans are coming here because NAFTA is taking away their jobs. If you complained about NAFTA things might change, as that is the root of the problem.
    Fact: Illegal immigrants from Mexico have been doing all of the farmwork in California for the last 100 years. CA is the most profitable farm state in the US. I don’t see any American citizens lining up to do that work.
    3)They steal identities from Americans
    Yes, there is some falsifying of documents to get work. I don’t know if they invent names or if they actually take the identity of a real person.
    3) There are more Latinos in our prison system than you can count.
    FACT: Latinos make up 40% of the feral prison system. 72% are non-citizens, in prison for the non-violent crime of being in the county without documentation. Their crime is being poor and having a job in America.
    Instead of just deporting them, the feds put them in jail because privatized jails get federal money for each inmate. In this bad economy, prison stocks are rising. Somebody always makes money off of illegal immigration.
    4) They bog down our healthcare
    FACT: Anybody without insurance bogs down the healthcare system. If people are sick, they’re going to get help. They aren’t just going to curl up and die.
    5) They get welfare money
    Illegal immigrants are not allowed to receive welfare. I don’t have proof that any of them do.
    6) latinos refuse to learn and spek our language
    FACT: There are millions of Latinos who speak English. Exccept for me. I only speak and write in Spanish.
    7) I know of jobs where American cannot get promoted unless they speak Spanish.
    FACT: And I know of jobs where Americans cannot get promoted unless they speak Chinese or Arabic. If the job requires a foreign language and you want the job, you have to learn the foreign language. That’s life. If you don’t like it, start your own business.
    8) It’s time we stop making babies bornn here American.
    Fact: Does that include your babies too? You can’t strip the citizenship away from one group of Americans. Once you open that door, it will be stripped from everybody. Read a history book.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    April 13, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Donald :
    Lets look at a few items here if we Americans went to mexico and tried to do a few of the things there that illegals do in the U.S. we would be jailed Americans can not own property we can not fly our flag yet they come here and get away with it. the illegals take away so many jobs from us.
    They steal identities from the Americans and hurt those people who are honest and babies before they even have a chance in the world.
    There are more latinos in our prison system them you can count. They bog down our health care and find ways to get monies from the states for welfare ect.
    Latinos refuse to learn and speak our language and clog our school systems then complain because our teachers cant understand THEM. I know of jobs where Americans can not get promoted unless we speak spanish.this is plan B.S its time they went home and stay there it is time we stop making babies born here American and it is time we sent them packing or in jail
    The above is a good example of pure BS!
    As for Americans not being allowed to own property in Mexico, another lie! I am as American as anyone can be and I just spent 5 months in Mexico on the property I OWN!!

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    April 13, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Let’s clarify a couple of your remarks above.
    1) In Mexico, Foreigners can not own property within the restricted zone, 100 miles of any border or within 50 miles from any coastline. Corporations and foreigners can enter into a trust agreement called a “fideicomiso”; a trust agreement created for the benefit of a foreign buyer, executed between a Mexican bank and the seller of property in the restricted zone. Foreign buyers cannot own real estate in the restricted zone due to Constitutional restrictions. The bank acts on behalf of the foreign buyer, taking title to real property. The bank, as trustee, buys the property for the foreigner, then has a fiduciary obligation to follow instructions given by the foreigner who is the trust beneficiary. The trust beneficiary retains and enjoys all the rights of ownership while the bank holds title to the property. The foreigner is entitled to use, enjoy, and even sell the property that is held in trust at its market value to any eligible buyer.
    In order to allow foreigners to enter into the agreement contained in the Calvo Clause, Mexico requires all foreigners to apply for and obtain a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prior to contracting to acquire real estate in Mexico. This is currently done by the trustee/bank at the time a real estate trust is set-up.
    And, Yes, Illegal Immigrants can purchase and own property within the USA, B of A and Wells Fargo granted many home loans to them. In fact, anybody can purchase property within the USA, there are no limitations as long as the property is for sale or entered into an agreement for sale.
    3) NAFTA is not the problem, our farm subsidies are what are contributing to an unfair trade policy, stop our subsidies and there will be less Illegal Immigration.
    Only 25% of farm workers are Illegal Immigrants. The rest are either Citizens/LPR’s/Non-immigrant H-2A’s.
    5) Federally Illegal Immigrants can not receive Federal Funds, However states are not accountable to Federal Government for State ran programs. So, yes, in some States there is an allowance for Illegal Immigrants to garner State funds through programs to include the receiving of funds for their American Born children.
    8) I suggest looking to what California is putting onto the ballot come next June. CA wants to only issue a Certificate of Live Birth which is not equivalent to an Birth Certificate.
    “The initiative, which proponents tout as the California Taxpayer Protection Act, is aimed for the June 2010 statewide ballot.
    For undocumented parents to obtain the new “Certificate of Live Birth with Foreign Parent,” they would have to be photographed, fingerprinted and pay an additional $75 fee.
    Beyond the birth certificates, the measure also would limit welfare payments for the children of undocumented immigrants, as well as require that any application for public benefits submitted by illegal immigrants be handed over to federal authorities.”
    CA would be coming into compliance with Federal Law by the above, in which Federal Law triumphs State Law.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    April 14, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Karen,
    1)Wrong! Illegal aliens have been buying property in the U.S. for years.
    3) Both Mexico and the U.S. signed NAFTA. Regardless good or bad that doesn’t give foreign nationals the right to violate our immigration laws and no I am not for profit earned illegally as in your farmwork example. The farmers are not using the visa available to them to hire legal foreigners because it is cheaper to do it the illegal way.
    It is a felony to use fake or stolen I.D. to work. Are you putting them above that law? Many times a citizen suffers serious consequences when it is their I.D. that is stolen. It IS against the law to reside and work in this country illegally. It is no crime to be poor. You are spouting BS on that one. They shouldn’t be detained for more than a couple of weeks when arrested and deported ASAP.
    4)When you add “additional” millions to our population without health insurance it not only creates a taypayer burden to cover them but the additional people in our clinics and hospitals places a burden on available space and medical personnel to care for them. Uncontrolled illegal immigration does just that!
    Yes, these illegals do collect welfare through fraudulent documents and their born on our soil children.
    6) Although many if not most Latinos who reside in our country do eventually learn English many do refuse to speak it unless they have to.
    7) See above on this one. Many Latinos have made it known that they want to be catered to in their primary language of Spanish and there are many (illegals mostly) who do not speak English at all, therefore they have created an invironment for English speaking Americans to be denied jobs and promotion if they don’t speak Spanish. That is a fact, Jack! There are very few jobs that demand a person be able to speak Chinese,etc. for the same reasons in this country. Latinos make up the biggest miniority in this country, not the Chinese.
    8) What we need is to re-interpret the 14th Amendment on birthright citizenship. At least one parent should have to be citizen in order for a newborn to qualify. And yes, we do need to curb population growth in our country no matter who is doing the procreating.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    April 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Panchito, I wouldn’t consider you to be a loyal American, but a loyal Hispanic. It’s surprising because most ex-servicemen have more sympathy for their fellow citizens than foreigners. You must’ve been a real malcontent in your unit.
    Panchito said: “As far as illegals taking your job – you can only blame yourself for that my friend.”
    Sure Panchito, all I have to do to compete with illegal aliens for the same job is to be willing to live in a flea bitten single family resident home or apartment with 16 other people I don’t know, share a care with four others, pay no auto insurance, live on a diet of tacos, avoid paying taxes to the government, hang out on the street corner as my off-time source of amusement and depend upon the local emergency room as my primary health care provider.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    April 16, 2009 at 12:06 am

    The same racists spewing the same lies and BS!

  • Avatar
    Karen
    April 16, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Re: “3) NAFTA is not the problem, our farm subsidies are what are contributing to an unfair trade policy, stop our subsidies and there will be less Illegal Immigration.”
    NAFTA is a huge problem in addition to farm subsidies. Under NAFTA corporations that move to Mexico have no restrictions. They can pollute the ground water,not pay taxes…it’s a free for all that’s detroying the ability of workers in the US and Mexico to earn a living.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    April 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Panchito said: “As far as illegals taking your job – you can only blame yourself for that my friend.”
    Sure Panchito, all I have to do to compete with illegal aliens for the same job is to be willing to live in a flea bitten single family resident home or apartment with 16 other people I don’t know, share a care with four others, pay no auto insurance, live on a diet of tacos, avoid paying taxes to the government, hang out on the street corner as my off-time source of amusement and depend upon the local emergency room as my primary health care provider.
    Panchito is right. You are not able to compete because you didnt want CIR to pass.
    That job would have the same wages as other jobs it’s equal. It would have been given to the best worker.
    Unless you feel you cant work as hard as an immigrant?

  • Avatar
    Horace
    April 17, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Karen said: “They can pollute the ground water,not pay taxes…it’s a free for all that’s detroying the ability of workers in the US and Mexico to earn a living.”
    Mexico is a democracy that is perfectly capable of enacting laws to prevent this. As such, it is not NAFTA that is the problem but the Mexicans themselves. We are signatories to NAFTA, yet we are able to regulate industry through the EPA. Your comment is just plain silly, Karen, as it doesn’t address the true nature of the problem.

  • Avatar
    Karen
    April 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Re: “Mexico is a democracy that is perfectly capable of enacting laws to prevent this.”
    LOL Mexico is not a Democracy. Give me a break. The current President wasn’t even elected. And they have as much power over changing NAFTA as we do.
    And don’t forget, when they try to change their government, our own government intervenes on the side of the ruling class. There were rebellions against NAFTA in Mexico recently, the Chiapas uprisings. Our government responded with Plan Mexico/The Merida Plan. In other words, we are funding a police state down there, so that the corporations can do whatever they want.
    Horace: Do some research instead of just talking out of your blowhole. There is so much ignorance when it comes to our own foreign policy in Mexico, and it’s just next door. Instead our media focuses on countries on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean that in some cases have little or no impact on our own country.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    April 17, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Karen said: “We don’t actively divide ourselves. White people are the ones who came up with racial categories and until very recently tried to con everybody into thinking that they were scientific.”
    That’s a very funny and idiotic statement, as Marisa assures every day by the very nature of her blog that there is a distinction between Latinos and all others.

  • Avatar
    Panchito
    April 17, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Horace,
    “malcontents” don’t serve 27+ years in the military – especially one with a BS in electrical engineering and an MBA.
    I don’t support illegal immigrants but I do not see them as the devil- like you do.
    On the other hand, people like you, Donald and some of the conservative media personalities are a danger to my family and me. Your stereotypes and ignorant vicious lies turn all brown skin people into targets for violent extremists.
    For me, this fight is not about politics or less taxes – it is about the personal safety of my family.
    I don not support them but they are not a threat to me – you are.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    April 20, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Panchito apparently you are not the only person who thinks people like Horace are a threat to you and others. The Bush Administration also thought so.
    Federal agency warns of radicals on right
    9-page report sent to police
    By Audrey Hudson (Contact) and Eli Lake (Contact) | Tuesday, April 14, 2009
    The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in “rightwing extremist activity,” saying the economic recession, the election of America’s first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.
    A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.
    “It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the warning says.
    The White House has distanced itself from the analysis. When asked for comment on its contents, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said, “The President is focused not on politics but rather taking the steps necessary to protect all Americans from the threat of violence and terrorism regardless of its origins. He also believes those who serve represent the best of this country, and he will continue to ensure that our veterans receive the respect and benefits they have earned.”
    The nine-page document was sent to police and sheriff’s departments across the United States on April 7 under the headline, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”
    It says the federal government “will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months” to gather information on “rightwing extremist activity in the United States.”
    The joint federal-state activities will have “a particular emphasis” on the causes of “rightwing extremist radicalization.”
    Homeland Security spokeswoman Sara Kuban said the report is one in an ongoing series of assessments by the department to “facilitate a greater understanding of the phenomenon of violent radicalization in the U.S.”
    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/14/federal-agency-warns-of-radicals-on-right/

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