LatinaLista — At this stage of the election game, there’s no disputing that Obama, a.k.a. the Democratic Party, is enjoying unrivaled support from the Latino community.
A Pew Hispanic study back in July (2008) showed that Obama enjoyed the support of 66 percent of Hispanic voters versus 23 percent for McCain. It’s natural to assume that today there is an even wider gap in the percentages since more Latinos have made up their minds in favor of Obama.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
From everything that has been reported, Latinos sided with Obama and the Democratic party for three main reasons:
1. The pledge to help middle-class American families with taxes, funding college education for their children and the economy.
2. The pledge to get more families healthcare coverage.
3. The pledge to bring about immigration reform
While immigration may not be on the top of every Latino voter’s list, it is still among the top 3 issues that are important to Latinos and did initially serve as the impetus for many immigrant advocates/bloggers/voters to throw their support behind Obama.
Yet, recent remarks from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, one of the key factors in any true immigration reform measure, is giving Latino supporters reason to pause and ask ourselves: Were we duped into supporting Obama?
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Speaker Pelosi was commenting on a variety of issues that face the next Administration and Congress.
Pelosi also said Congress would have to tackle the politically sticky job of overhauling immigration laws in the new Congress, after a bipartisan measure collapsed last year.
The estimated 12 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally “are part of the U.S. economy. We cannot send them all home, and we cannot send them all to jail, so we have to address it,” Pelosi said.
Any solution would have to be bipartisan, she said, so it may require sacrificing some of Democrats’ past priorities, such as giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
“Maybe there never is a path to citizenship if you came here illegally,” Pelosi said. “I would hope that there could be, but maybe there isn’t.”
As even critics of comprehensive immigration reform point out, if 12 million people are not deported and allowed to stay, they are on their way to becoming citizens. Yes, in some circles the word for this is “amnesty.”
Though extreme conservatives have been successful in creating fear and making politicians believe they are committing political suicide if they use the term “amnesty,” the fact remains that 12 million people cannot be allowed nor expected to create a sub-class just to appease some small group who have intimidated this country and its leaders by hijacking the issue.
When immigrant advocates first approached Pelosi about her comments, it was said that she misspoke and she would clarify her remarks. To this day, her clarification has not come.
With only a few days left before the election, it’s natural to assume that she won’t be clarifying her remarks before the election so as not to alienate anyone further.
Yet, before she or anyone else in Congress begins the old spiel about making undocumented immigrants pay for jumping the nonexistent line or not giving them a path to citizenship, she, and her colleagues, should note that the time is ripe for true immigration reform.
It’s time that both Democrats and Republicans recognize the immigrants who have established roots and are contributing members of our society, their children who comprise the fabric of this country’s future and the fact that this population deserves to live out of the shadows and not be branded the scapegoats of bad government immigration or economic policies.
Speaker Pelosi’s comments were unfortunate and if she didn’t misspeak, but let slip the route Democrats intend to take on immigration reform next year, it will be a sobering wake-up call to millions of Latinos who put their faith, trust and votes into a party that promised change but will only be delivering more of the same.
A clarification does need to be made and sooner rather than later. Latina Lista is not alone in asking Speaker Pelosi to clarify her comments. The major Latino bloggers are also doing the same:
The Sanctuary â€” WTF
Migra Matters â€” Pelosi Backs Away from Cornerstone of Comprehensive Reform
Citizen Orange â€” Pelosi Backtracks on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Change.org â€” Pelosi Puts a Wall Up on Path to Citizenship
DreamActivist.org â€” Pelosi Sells Out to the Immigration Reform Foes
Latino Politico â€” Listen Up, Democrats
VivirLatino â€”Â Nancy Pelosi Proves that Dems Aren’t Immigrant Friendly Either
The Unapologetic Mexican â€” Pelosi Suggests Permanent U.S. Slave Class
Of AmÃ©rica â€” The Immigrant Vote & the Need to Denounce Nancy Pelosi
Political Salsa â€” Pelosi shows Dems unsympathetic to immigrants
Immigration Chronicles (Houston Chronicle) â€” Pelosi: No path to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Docudharma â€” What Is Nancy Pelosi For, Anyway?
EYES OF TEXAS
Anyone who votes for a media created, inexperienced, shady pasted, nobody like Barack Obama has been duped of all dupes. Stop drinking the “O” kool-aide.
Immigration is very important to me.
Obama, the Dems have wavered on it.
The Republicans are clear – NO.
Maybe Hispanics should say NO
to Dems too- no path to citizenship for illegal aliens? Thats crap.
I suppose you also believe Obama is really going to give you everything he promises.
I don’t think Latina/os would ever forget, nor forgive, if Democrats betray them right after Latina/os are the decisive voter group that elects a Democratic president.
The presidential race is still close – 7%. Latina/os can and probably will help Obama over the hump. I hope so.
But Latina/os are not stupid. If Democrats turn around and stick a knife in immigration reform – the knife that was wielded by Republicans – I don’t think Latina/os will forget that in this generation.
EYES OF TEXAS
There is a path to citizenship for anyone who follows the process set down by U.S. immigration laws. The process requires being in the U.S. legally to begin with and filing the proper paperwork as has been done by millions of immigrants for many years.
During WWII, nobody asked men enlisting
prove that they were US citizens. I know , my father who was an illegal alien at the time told me. I guess the US doesnt mind taking illegal aliens as soldiers since they dont have to give them anything including
I do think Latinos should use their power
of the vote if the Dems turn their back on
I think that only U.S. citizens should be allowed to serve in our military and as far as I know that it the way it is today. So immigration reform has nothing to do with illegal aliens serving in our military. Most of them are doing jobs that Americans supposedly won’t do.
Why does a presidential candidate have to make special promises to Latinos to give illegal foreigners an amnesty and/or a path to citizenship to gain their vote? Why is this a Latino citizen issue?
Plus we always knew: as soon as McCain/Palin are defeated, we have to roll up our sleeves to push for good things to happen – a stop to ICE raids, and immigration reform, for starters.
But yes – for Pelosi to come out with this now – maybe there won’t be a path to citizenship – now is abominable.
EYES OF TEXAS
Once again I tell you there is a path to citizenship for anyone who chooses to do it as instructed by U.S. immigration laws. If a person wants to become a citizen, get in line behind the other applicants and wait your turn. In the mean time return to your native country because step number one to citizenship begins there. Do it legally.
Shall we also stop seeking out citizens who have broken our laws? Afterall, what is fair is fair, right?
As all of us – except Sandra – know, the immigration laws today are essentially like laws forbidding a specific group of people to eat. Then we create a police force to raid the homes of those people and check their refrigerators. Then we imprison them for unlimited time for breaking the law.
There is historical precedent for this: the Nuremberg laws of Nazi Germany.
It seems like Nancy Pelosi is fine with letting these laws stand. Unless she and her friends (Rahm Emmanuel? Heath Shuler?) hear from us, people will continue to be taken away from their children and spouses, and imprisoned, for needing to eat.
Are you kidding me? This country takes in as many legal immigrants that it feels it can absorb without harming this country. What a dumb analogy you made. Immigration policies are always made by any country for the benefit of that country and not the benefit of immigrants.
Those breaking our laws (any laws) including citizens and non-citizens alike should be tracked down, prosecuted and imprisoned. What do you want, a lawless country where anyone can do what they damn well please in violation of this nation’s laws? For any country to enforce ANY of its laws doesn’t equate them to Nazi Germany! You pro-illegals are so transparant with your tribal mentality and anti-Americanism. I am sick at heart that there are those of your mindset who call themselves citizens of this country.
Sandra, my friend, I don’t just call myself a citizen, I am one, and I vote.
And Sandra, I forgot to mention: I don’t only vote, I work for change. I gave my third precious Sunday today to go house to house for Obama in a neighboring swing state. Based on what I saw with my own eyes, I think he is going to win. I am getting ready to party on Tuesday. And if he and other elected Democrats then turn around and stab Latina/os in the back, that will not be forgotten – ever.
Why the evasion of my question?
You may be a citizen of this country on paper and are able to vote but I question what is in your heart for this country and its citizens with your views.
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