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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Young Voters Dominated Iowa. Women Voters Surprised New Hampshire. Will Nevada Be Where Latinos Finally Show Their Stuff?

Young Voters Dominated Iowa. Women Voters Surprised New Hampshire. Will Nevada Be Where Latinos Finally Show Their Stuff?

LatinaLista — Last week, Nevada’s largest Spanish-language newspaper El Mundo announced they were endorsing Hillary Clinton for President.

Frontpage of Nevada’s El Mundo newspaper.
Mainstream media reporting on the endorsement were sure to include:

El Mundo is the oldest and most politically engaged Spanish paper in Nevada, where Hispanics make up nearly 25 percent of the population but a far smaller portion of the electorate. The group will be closely watched in Nevada Democrats’ Jan. 19 presidential caucus.

Just as Iowa and New Hampshire have been the testing grounds for electorate turnouts among young people and women, Nevada is the testing ground to see if the country’s Latinos can finally start fulfilling our own turnout prophecy.
There’s good reason to think that our time has arrived.


First, more and more Latinas involved in their local communities are telling Latina Lista that they are meeting women who never exercised their right to vote because they never had a candidate that excited them.
Now, they do.
Whether it’s Obama or Clinton or McCain, many first-time Latina voters feel compelled to vote like never before.
Secondly, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports they have received 1,029,951 citizenship applications from January to October, 2007—nearly double the number of citizenship applications received in 2006.
The Ya es Hora: ¡Ciudadania! (Citizenship, It’s Time!) Campaign that is taking credit for this phenomenal turnout vows to keep the heat on the USCIS to keep up with this backlog and move these applications along in time to qualify most of these new citizens to vote in November.

Following the campaign’s tremendous success, the Ya es Hora: !Ciudadania! partners are working with USCIS and members of Congress to reduce the citizenship application backlog. Currently, processing delays at USCIS could prevent 2007 applicants from naturalizing in time to vote in 2008 elections.
“Our campaign is committed to building the support we need to clear this backlog,” said National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Senior Vice President Cecilia Munoz. “These applicants have played by all the rules—waited patiently in line, paid their taxes, and contributed to their communities. We can all agree that they should not face yet another lengthy barrier to becoming full, active citizens. They deserve the opportunity to have their voices heard on Election Day.”

Unfortunately, the USCIS isn’t too optimistic they will have all the applications processed in time even with some new measures they’re implementing.

USCIS has received a significant increase in the number of applications filed. In July and August, nearly 2.5 million applications and petitions of all types were received. This compares to 1.2 million applications and petitions received in the same time period last year. This fiscal year, we received 1.4 million applications for naturalization; nearly double the volume we received the year before. The agency is working to improve processes and focus increased resources, including hiring approximately 1,500 new employees, to address this workload.
As a result, average processing times for certain application types may become longer. In particular, naturalization applications filed after June 1, 2007 may take approximately 16 – 18 months to process.

Hopefully, it doesn’t take that long.
If the USCIS really feels they won’t get it done, even with the 1500 extra hands, what about taking some of that money from constructing the border fence and applying it to hiring more temporary workers to process these applications?
It would only be fair.
For the first time, there is a real possibility that the Latino electorate can reach its full potential and play a significant role in these elections — but only if the government acts in good faith in doing their job.
No convenient excuses of lost paperwork, not enough processors, ineligible applications, etc. — common excuses heard in the past to disenfranchise certain groups from voting.
This election is different. It truly has the earmarks of a 21st Century election.
The last thing it needs is 20th Century stall tactics.

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Comment(11)

  • Avatar
    Frank
    January 10, 2008 at 7:55 am

    When are we going to stop dividing ourselves up in this country by ethnicity? Those who do only keep racism and division alive in this country. The sooner we start referring to ourselves just as American citizens when speaking about politics the more we will come together as a nation.
    Take money allocated to help secure our country’s borders for political workers? I am simply amazed at such a notion and that’s putting in mildly.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    January 10, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Frank said:Take money allocated to help secure our country’s borders for political workers? I am simply amazed at such a notion and that’s putting in mildly.
    How about we give our soldiers in the war created in Iraq a week off and take part of the $2.5 billion dollars saved and use that money. How about that notion?

  • Avatar
    Frank
    January 10, 2008 at 9:46 am

    How about we do both? Let’s compensate our soldiers in Iraq and secure the borders. At least they won’t be laughing at us while they are over there getting killed for this country while the very country they are protecting is wide open for a terrorist attack from it’s unprotected borders.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    January 10, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Frank said:How about we do both? Let’s compensate our soldiers in Iraq and secure the borders. At least they won’t be laughing at us while they are over there getting killed for this country while the very country they are protecting is wide open for a terrorist attack from it’s unprotected borders.
    As long as the politicos see both these issues as a means to stay in power and make money for their cronies, there is no one willing to sit down and discuss the problems with the average American.
    Our fighting men and women are getting the short end of this stick because the media has been very successful in the refocus of having the public incensed about the border and not the war.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    January 10, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    You’re wrong, miguel. Most Americans are incessed about both and rightly so!

  • Avatar
    Linda
    January 14, 2008 at 9:52 am

    http://tucc.org/about.htm
    The website is the site of Trinity United Church of Christ, the one that our Presidential candidate Barack Obama belongs to, attends and states is the very core of his beliefs and spirituality.
    Having said that, and realizing that this is an important campaign for many reasons, I decided to research what makes up the core of Obama.
    After you have read the site, please watch the you-tube video that the church provides. If you have any question whether this is truly his church, look for him in the video. He is one of the men sitting at the table shaking hands.
    I also suggest you “google” Barack Obama’s church and see what comes up to see for yourself.
    It’s kind of scary.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    January 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    It’s only scary for white people who have been doing the same thing in their churches forever!
    What scares you is the thought that things wont be the way they have always been, especially the fact that other races might have equal power as whites do!

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    January 14, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    The church has a very strong Black agenda which promotes programs and services for advancement of Black youth into politics. Not that it is wrong to support ones own ethnic group, but these services and programs are not offered to Whites.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    January 16, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Yes Eyes, that is why we have sooo many more Black politicians and congressmen as opposed to white! LOL!

  • Avatar
    Frank
    January 17, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Duh, the majority of Americans are White, therefore the majority of politicians would most likely be White. How many Whites are in the African government, how many Whites are in Hispanic government offices, how many Whites would be in the Chinese government? How stupid can one get? Hispanics are already the majority in 22 countries and in control of their government offices. Maybe the “minority” Whites living in their countries should demand to be in public office? Duh!

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    January 17, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I was not counting the ratio of Black and White politicians, only the fact that Obamas church has a very ethnic agenda and that agenda will be brought front and formost in his Presidency, if such a fantacy should occur. We have to have a President that represents all citizens of the U.S., not one that will lean toward any particular group of people. I’ve stated before, my vote would be for Colin Powell, if he were to ever run for President. A strong military leader, a nationalist and someone that would be the peoples President.
    Government positions are open to all ethnic groups, but the majority rules at election time. I know very few male voters that are backing Hillary and a lot of women see her as a woman being pulled along by her husbands coat tail, not worthy of the position. Obamas lack of experience will start showing through as the primaries begin winding down. More people will start to question his Muslim background. Why is it you always hear mention of Hillary Rodham Clinton, but Obamas middle name is seldom used? It’s no secret that most Americans have strong feelings of uneasiness towards those with Islamic names, go figure.

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