Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Latino voters expect Democrats to champion comprehensive immigration reform

Latino voters expect Democrats to champion comprehensive immigration reform

LatinaLista — The assertions over the weekend by Nevada’s Sen. Reid and Illinois’ Sen. Durbin that Congress would start working on an immigration reform bill sooner rather than later was welcome news to everyone who has doubted the Democratic Party’s commitment to immigration reform.

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Yet, while the words of each senator are encouraging, they remain nothing more than palabras unless enough Republican senators can be convinced into supporting the Schumer/Graham bill.


Sen. Reid speaks to an enthusiastic immigration reform rally in Las Vegas. (Photo: Isaac Brekken for The New York Times)

The realization that the Senate’s goal in introducing immigration reform is to get bipartisan support is lost on advocates who saw the Democrats and the President champion healthcare without one GOP vote.

Why can’t the same be done for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR)?

As more time passes and more GOP congressmen tow the party line of non-cooperation with the administration, it becomes clear that no GOP senator has the courage to sign their name onto a bill that their party vehemently opposes.

So what is left to be done but for the Democrats to champion a politically unpopular bill?

Does it spell the end of some political careers, or worse does it spell the end of the Democratic Party?



If Democrats championed immigration reform without GOP support, it might be true that some Democrats lose their seats in those regions where anti-Hispanic sentiment borders on extremism lunacy.

And those Democrats could be proud that they stood up to such extremists who would try and vilify a whole population just because of their racist attitudes. Those Democrats may lose their seats, if those extremists wield that much power, but to end a political career with a vote that helped make this country stronger economically, reinforced the nation’s security and reestablished the nation’s commitment to families would be a noble vote on which to end any political career.

In those districts where the Latino population outnumbers these critics, mobilization of Latino support of those politicians who support CIR has already begun. As marches are still being planned, so are the lists of who and who does not support CIR.

For those Latinos for whom CIR is not a personal issue, it has been made personal by the blanket insults and innuendos lobbed by racist members of the Tea Party movement and those politicians who have found the GOP platform a handy vehicle to spread their own archaic and racist beliefs.

Latino voters will be united in a way that the GOP has not contemplated nor have Latino voters even imagined but if the Democrats champion CIR, Latinos voters will come out in November like it’s the 2008 presidential campaign all over again.

It’s not a prediction — it’s just the writing on the wall.


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  • Truth
    April 12, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    The Undocumented immigrants paying more taxes than you think!!
    Eight million Undocumented immigrants pay Social Security, Medicare and income taxes. Denying public services to people who pay their taxes is an affront to America’s bedrock belief in fairness. But many “pull-up-the-drawbridge” politicians want to do just that when it comes to Undocumented immigrants.
    The fact that Undocumented immigrants pay taxes at all will come as news to many Americans. A stunning two thirds of Undocumented immigrants pay Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes.
    Yet, nativists like Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., have popularized the notion that illegal aliens are a colossal drain on the nation’s hospitals, schools and welfare programs — consuming services that they don’t pay for.
    In reality, the 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified Undocumented immigrants from nearly all means tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization.
    The only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and K-12 education. Nevertheless, Tancredo and his ilk pushed a bill through the House criminalizing all aid to illegal aliens — even private acts of charity by priests, nurses and social workers.
    Potentially, any soup kitchen that offers so much as a free lunch to an illegal could face up to five years in prison and seizure of assets. The Senate bill that recently collapsed would have tempered these draconian measures against private aid.
    But no one — Democrat or Republican — seems to oppose the idea of withholding public services. Earlier this year, Congress passed a law that requires everyone who gets Medicaid — the government-funded health care program for the poor — to offer proof of U.S. citizenship so we can avoid “theft of these benefits by illegal aliens,” as Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., puts it. But, immigrants aren’t flocking to the United States to mooch off the government.
    According to a study by the Urban Institute, the 1996 welfare reform effort dramatically reduced the use of welfare by undocumented immigrant households, exactly as intended. And another vital thing happened in 1996: the Internal Revenue Service began issuing identification numbers to enable illegal immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers to file taxes.
    One might have imagined that those fearing deportation or confronting the prospect of paying for their safety net through their own meager wages would take a pass on the IRS’ scheme. Not so. Close to 8 million of the 12 million or so illegal aliens in the country today file personal income taxes using these numbers, contributing billions to federal coffers.
    No doubt they hope that this will one day help them acquire legal status — a plaintive expression of their desire to play by the rules and come out of the shadows. What’s more, aliens who are not self-employed have Social Security and Medicare taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks.
    Since undocumented workers have only fake numbers, they’ll never be able to collect the benefits these taxes are meant to pay for. Last year, the revenues from these fake numbers — that the Social Security administration stashes in the “earnings suspense file” — added up to 10 percent of the Social Security surplus.
    The file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year. Beyond federal taxes, all illegals automatically pay state sales taxes that contribute toward the upkeep of public facilities such as roads that they use, and property taxes through their rent that contribute toward the schooling of their children.
    The non-partisan National Research Council found that when the taxes paid by the children of low-skilled immigrant families — most of whom are illegal — are factored in, they contribute on average $80,000 more to federal coffers than they consume. Yes, many illegal migrants impose a strain on border communities on whose doorstep they first arrive, broke and unemployed.
    To solve this problem equitably, these communities ought to receive the surplus taxes that federal government collects from immigrants. But the real reason border communities are strained is the lack of a guest worker program.
    Such a program would match willing workers with willing employers in advance so that they wouldn’t be stuck for long periods where they disembark while searching for jobs. The cost of undocumented aliens is an issue that immigrant bashers have created to whip up indignation against people they don’t want here in the first place.
    With the Senate having just returned from yet another vacation and promising to revisit the stalled immigration bill, politicians ought to set the record straight: Illegals are not milking the government. If anything, it is the other way around.
    The Undocumented Immigrants pay the exact same amount of taxes like you and me when they buy Things, rent a house, fill up gas, drink a beer or wine, buy appliances, play the states lottery and mega millions . Below are the links to just a few sites that will show you exactly how much tax you or the Undocumented Immigrant pays , so you see they are NOT FREELOADERS, THEY PAY TAXES AND TOLLS Exactly the same as you, Now if you take out 10% from your states /city Budget what will your city/state look like financially ?
    Stop your folly thinking , you are wise USE YOUR WISDOM to see the reality. They pay more taxes than you think, Including FEDERAL INCOME TAX using a ITN Number that is given to them by the IRS, Social Security Taxes and State taxes that are withheld form their paychecks automatically.
    Taxes, paid by You & the Undocumented are the same in each state check your state :
    GAS Taxes paid by you & the Undocumented are the same. Go to and check out your states tax;
    Cigarette Taxes paid by you & the Undocumented are the same, check this out in :
    Clothing Sales Taxes, are the same paid by you & the Undocumented Immigrant;
    City Taxes, are the same paid by you or the Undocumented, since he pays rent and the LANDLORD pays the city :
    Beer Taxes, are the same paid by you or the Undocumented:
    TAX DATA :

  • Emma
    April 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Don’t despair! There are currently at least ten Republican Senators who either voted for immigration reform in 2007, or who have otherwise indicated that they favor immigration reform. If Obama showed some leadership, some of them would probably come around and support a centrist immigration reform bill.

  • cookie
    April 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    There is no anti-Hispanic sentiment, only anti-illegal alien sentiment. The only racism that exists in this issue is by their ethnocentric enablers and abettors. It is not being an extremist to oppose amnesty for immigration law breakers.
    There is no viable evidence that the main core of the tea party movement has any racist notions or ever expressed any. This is just propaganda by the far left extremists. What has racism to do with illegal immigation anyway? Illegals come from all over the world.
    So it is admitted that illegal immigration is a Latino issue? I thought all Americans were supposed to not think along ethnic lines but in the best interests of all Americans? I love it when someone calls others racists all the while exposing their own racism.

  • laura
    April 12, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Dear Marisa, do you know a single Democratic representative or Senator who has the courage of their – of any – convictions?
    I don’t. If there were any, we would have a public plan to choose among all the for-profit health insurance policies we will now be forced to buy.
    We need to demand of President Obama to stop his acceleration of the human rights violations, the raids and deportations, begun by the Bush administration. The Obama administration has torn apart more families in a year than President Bush ever did. They need to end the 287G plans, the deportations, they need to close the “detention centers” – the American gulag.
    Until they make moves in that direction – ending the brutal human rights abuses they have ramped up – how can I expect anything positive from an immigration bill? Any immigration bill that comes from these people – this administration, this Congress – will make matters worse, not better.
    Do you believe President Obama or Congressional Democrats worry about suffering children separated from their parents? Do you think they worry about mentally ill people abused in “detention centers”? I am certain that they don’t care in the least – since they had the power to stop this suffering with simple directives, and they didn’t.
    Yes, many Americans take refuge in anti-immigrant (and anti-black) hate and racism from their own suffering. This is no excuse for the Democrats. The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats don’t care about the suffering of American families losing their homes, their breadwinners unemployed for months, either.
    We should not waste our breaths asking these Democrats for reforms. We should have a few simple goals and stick to them – end the deportations, end the 287G, close the “detention center” gulag.

  • Angel
    April 12, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    You’ve proclaimed both the Republican and Democratic parties dead to the Latino constituency as the result of non-support of amnesty, thereby burning both your bridges. It would seem that you are running out of patrons for your cause. If you have no one’s support, that means no one is taking amnesty seriously. As long as the Democrats aren’t losing out to the Republicans on this issue and vice versa, neither has anything to lose.

  • Chicano future tense
    April 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Senator Reid is just one cog in the Obama/DNC machine.His job is to carry out and advocate Obama/DNC policy decisions.He says what he is told to say for political expediency by the DNC/Obama people.
    I for one do not trust the Obama/DNC machine at all.I think they have all along been using and playing Latinos and the immigration reform movement as unwitting dupes to buttress political support for obamacare,democratic candidates and government programs such as the bailouts,TARP and stimulus scams.
    I believe they have absolutely no intention of getting behind immigration reform in the same way they did health care even though Obama promised Latinos during his campaign that immigration reform would be at the top of his list of priorities if elected.More recently they suckered the CHC into abandoning their resolute “no immigration reform-no health care” position with more pretty sounding words and phrases-false promises..downright lies.Sadly and pathetically,The CHC folded like a cheap suit.
    The DNC/Obama machine-all words ,no action.IMHO they couldn’t give a rat’s ..s about immigration reform or Latinos. Latinos to them are nothing more than votes-every 4 years they get out there,don sombreros,throw out a few words of mangled spanish,sing mariachi songs off key and eat tacos with the Raza.
    To illustrate my point with something current-The DNC recently issued it’s annual 2010 survey( begging for donations).It is revealing that for all the shouting and breast beating by DNC leaders supporting immigration reform, they conveniently and cynically failed to bring it up to potential money donors!!..immigration where to be seen..”out of sight out of mind” as far as Obama/DNC are concerned.
    The handrwriting on the wall-one more sign that Democratic leaders aren’t sincere about getting behind immigration reform.It listed 13 national issues the Obama/DNC would be focusing on during the remaining Obama presidency.
    Guess what? immigration reform wasn’t even mentioned in the list of the top 13 issues!!,zip,nada…
    It’s time for a change-Latinos need to kick the kool-aid habit,spash their faces with some nice cold water and sober themselves up.Latinos need to stop their pathetic pleading and begging the Obama/DNC machine who continues to kick them in the teeth.Latinos need to concentrate on educating and building a higher level of political consciousness among Latinos,building unity and mobilizing the Raza for action We Latinos must politically stand on our own two feet,become more independent and self-reliant.
    We need to look at reality the way it is instead of believing in santa claus and the tooth fairy..(the democratic and republican parties).

  • Katie
    April 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Why don’t you people get it we can not afford to support the whole world. Our country is broke. We have laws on the books that are not enforced and if they were enforced our system would not be broken. It is time for the government to start doing their job for the American people. We need a moratorium on immigration until we get our house in order. Give us a chance to see if the Americans can fill the jobs that are out there and start from there. Let’s see if our hospitals continue to go broke if they only serve Americans. Let’s see if our schools improve if we no longer cater to those who don’t speak English. Let’s see what happens to Social Security if it goes to Americans. It is time for all who are not here legally to return home and take their families with them and see if we can’t get back on track. I know it won’t be an easy task to do but why continue banging our heads against the wall and let’s see the other side of the coin, let’s give it a chance to see if we can make it on our own. If we can’t, then lift the moratorium and admit those that are needed, with a sponsor of course , so we know where the guests are staying the sponsor shall be responsible for the guest worker. No sponsor sorry. It is time all are held accountable for their actions and sneaking in the back door is not the right way to do things. Have some pride and stop breaking our laws to serve your own purpose. You will recieve a lot more respect if you come in the front door. (By the way my job was eliminated because it is on its way to Juarez, so I feel I have a right to be upset by the invasion we are experiencing.) So you want my job go home and take it.

  • GHook93
    May 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    You have to be kidding! There is a HUGE difference to being against illegal immigration and being against legal immigration. There is a huge difference between being anti-illegal immigration and anti-Hispanics.
    Why is it so hard for people to understand that securing the border in the age of WMD and knowing who coming into this country is not racism its rationality!
    No doubt there is a segment of the antiIllegal immigration crowd that are racist along the lines of the KKK (as there are many racist along the lines of the Brown Berettas and La Nation of Atlzan in the open border pro-Illegal immigrant crowd); however, the VAST majority of us are not racist whatsoever. We just want an end to illegal immigration. There is nothing wrong in that, however, there is something serious wrong in supporting and allowing illegal immigration.
    The AZ law requires police to check a person’s IDENTIFICATION if he/she things the person is in the country illegally. The idenfitication can be a driver’s license or State ID card, for a legal alien that means a Green Card (which is required to be carried at all times). In all honesty who doesn’t have their driver’s license or State ID card with them? Usually only people up to no good!
    This is a rational and highly necessary law.
    Get the facts right!

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