Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Politicians favoring Arizona-like immigration bills run risk of anti-Latino label

Politicians favoring Arizona-like immigration bills run risk of anti-Latino label

LatinaLista — The force of the Latino consumer is widely recognized by retailers. With an estimated buying power of $1 trillion, it’s no wonder department stores carry Latino-influenced product lines that sport either bright colors and shapely silhouettes or Spanish surnamed celebrities. Grocery stores now devote shelves or aisles to products that appeal to a wide Latino audience.


In fact, retail recognition of the power of the Latino consumer has even extended to stores, such as Wal-Mart, acknowledging that future growth for their business lies with the Latino audience.

So one has to wonder — If corporate America sees the inevitable future of Latino influence, why don’t politicians see it?

Or the better question may be, why don’t they believe it?


Right now, elected officials around the country can hardly wait to announce that they too are drafting Arizona-like immigration bills for their states/communities.

It might have something to do with every major poll that is conducted, and are from non-Latino organizations, seem to overwhelmingly favor the Arizona immigration bill.

Maybe that’s why these politicians are not paying attention to the poll that shows the majority of Arizona’s Latinos are against SB 1070.

And that’s a serious mistake.


The National Council of La Raza found that this bill not only has united Arizona’s Latinos in condemning it but it is actually serving as an impetus for a heightened interest among Latinos for the upcoming November election.

And if it’s happening in Arizona, it’s happening wherever there are Latinos.

It’s clear that politicians aren’t fully appreciating the growing influence of Latinos — and that’s a mystery.

After the presidential election where it’s known that Latinos helped Obama win, and even before then when the Latino electorate helped George W. Bush win in 2004, the idea that Latinos can make a difference at the voting booth has already been proven.

So, why can’t politicians see the potential in Latino voters like retailers see with Latino consumers?

The obvious answer may be because, unlike voting, every Latino is a consumer. Yet, not every Latino is a voter.

But a report issued in February illustrated that there are enough Latino voters in districts where Latino turnout can cause serious upsets.

The report by America’s Voice “outlined 40 mid-term races where Latino voters could have a significant impact on the outcome.”

The nation’s fastest growing population is also one of the fastest growing parts of the American electorate, according to Census figures. Between 2000 and 2008, Latino voter registration grew 54 percent and turnout grew 64 percent. In the 2004 presidential race, 7.5 million Hispanics voted. In the 2006 midterm election, 8 million voted. And in the 2008 presidential race, 10 million cast ballots.

From the 2008 presidential election, it was observed that two things must happen with the Latino electorate that would ensure a turnout that matches the hype of the Latino vote — a strong emotion generated by the presence of an issue/candidate and identifying an issue/candidate as being anti-Latino.

Of course, there is strong emotion being felt throughout the community by the passage of the SB 1070. Any politician that supports such an issue that is already negatively emotional for Latinos is seen as being anti-Latino.

Semantics like “I’m against illegal Latino immigrants not legal Latino citizens” doesn’t matter at this point. We are one community. What impacts one, because of this bill, now impacts all.

The candidate that supports such a bill is seen as anti-Latino. This theory is supported in the 2008 presidential election where McCain, who personally had been viewed as an ally to Latino voters, was seen as representing the party that oppressed Latino immigrants, which offended Latino voters.

We know what happened to McCain among Latino voters. From the way things are going now, it won’t be a big surprise to see Latinos turn out in record numbers and vote out those considered bigoted, insulting, discriminating — anti-Latino.


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  • Texan123
    May 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Each State has individual rights in this country. To be anti-ILLEGAL ALIEN is not the same as anti-Latino.
    The Arizona law makes it clear that the State has, not only a right, but an obligation, to enforce immigration law.

  • Chicano future tense
    May 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    It’s a numbers game based on changing voter ratios ..
    It is true the Latino vote could very well be a deciding factor affecting the outcome of elections to come.But like they say “for every action there is a reaction” and any increase in the Latino vote would be in all probability significantly offset and even outpaced by the growth of anti-immigrant republicans and tea party candidates who calculate they will capitalize on Americans current racist and xenophobic sentiments and by doing so win over many more white voters to their side by opposing pro-immigrant pro-immigration reform candidates and supporting Arizona type anti-immigrant laws.
    White voters vastly outnumber the Latino vote and unfortunately many Latinos can’t vote because they are undocumented or too young or more probable apathetic.So the White vote has the big numbers and even though they may lose some elections in heavily Latino areas they will also gain big numbers through republican and tea party movement mobilization of the white vote.
    Add to this mix the increasing unpopularity and disillusionment of white voters with Obama,health care and other Democratic party inspired programs and policies,the shift over to the republicans and tea party movement column becomes even more dramatic.
    It is also true corporate and business America loves Latinos..that is they love to make profit from them by selling them their products and exploiting them for cheap labor thereby increasing their fat profit margins..the bottom line is profits here..
    The republican,tea party movement candidates and politicians are incredible hypocrites and demagogic frauds pandering and making money and winning over voters to their side by appealing to racism,xenophobia and white skin privilege..
    their constituencies comprise billionaire corporate bosses as well as blue collar workers and unemployed whites who feel threatened by Latinos.The republicans are experts and know adeptly how to play both sides of the to rich corporate bosses who market to and make billions off cheap Latino labor and at the same time catering to racist and xenophobic whites whose worst nightmare would be to find themselves at the bottom of America’s social,economic and political hierarchy..
    IMHO the likely outcome of this mess is that social walls will be hardened…white vs Latino ..political and economic lines will be drawn in the sand..once again Latino vs white..
    We are in for a long,drawn out epoch..a new “dark ages” for Latinos if you may,of Latinos being drawn down and tethered further to the bottom of America comprising a vast “Underclass” -a new American caste system…
    Latinos are in for a long,drawn out epoch of a new “low-intensity” political warfare white vs Latino…if unchecked or remedied could lead to “balkanization” and initiate a cycle of hostility,violence and hatred not unlike what occurred in the former Yugoslavia with it’s Kososvos,Bosnia and Herzegovina,Serbia…etc..etc…
    America is currently undergoing a tectonic shift in it’s society,it’s politics,it’s economy..
    the Old America is’s dead…we Latinos are in a whole new ballgame right now,most of us have never seen these things and many will be traumatized and shocked to their inner core when they fully comprehend and perceive the face of “New America USA”…
    or should we perhaps say “the USA of KKK”…

  • Javier Santiago
    May 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    The way you write is really shameful. You are writing as if “hispanics” are some kind oppressed minority, that are being done in by the white man’s evil deeds. The word hispanic was word created by the Nixon Administration, in order to divide those CAUCASIANS who’s origins were from Mexico, Central, South America, Spain and other Carribean countries that spoke spanish.
    S.B. 1070 is not the problem, people like you are the problem. You are so angry about an issue that does not exist. Americans don’t walk around in fear, scared of brown people. There are pockets of people who do that sure, but they are just as ignorant as you are. Hispanic/Latino is not a race of people, it is a geographical origin.
    Your entire blog is completely redundant, and it sounds to me like you have a huge chip on your shoulder. You give the “hispanics” a really bad name.

  • Michael Gregoire
    May 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Arizona Immigration Law? There is now an APP for that on Itunes:

  • Marisa Treviño
    May 27, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Javier, Unfortunately, I’ve come across your kind before – because it’s not happening to you or is within your realm of experience, it must not exist. If I’m a problem because I continually point out the bad thought process and the negative consequences of SB 1070 then so be it. You are right. I am angry. I’m angry that rather than actually try to address fixing the illegal immigration issue AZ chose to extend their punitive measures to all Latinos without consideration of how the law affects their Latino citizens. And if my blog sounds redundant these days, it’s because this is a serious issue that needs to be talked about frequently. The days of pretending everything is going well for all Latinos are gone — for those of us who want to face reality.

  • arturo fernandez
    May 28, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Javier, SB1070 is a problem, for hispanics and for everyone else. Now that immigration will be the police’s business in Arizona, crime will go up. Sheriff Arpaio has actually been at it for a few years now. It now takes his department twice as long to respond to 911 emergency calls. It gives thiefs, rapists and murderers more time to get away.
    Rather than be concerned with misuses of the word “hispanic” why don’t you think about what it says about a people who would sacrifice their safety by giving more time to thiefs, rapists and murderers to get away…because they’re so concerned with people who are here to work (and who by working are helping the economy)?

  • Robert
    June 15, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    These are horrible laws that violate the U.S. Constitution and federal civil rights laws. And Republicans aren’t stopping with just legalizing racial profiling. The latest news states that AZ Republicans are introducing a bill that would deny children of immigrants born on U.S. soil birth certificates. At this pace, Republicans won’t be satisified until they make anyone with a Spanish surname “illegal.” Wake up Latinos in Arizona!! You better get off your butts and start registering to vote and actually voting against Republicans. When you don’t vote, decisions are made FOR you.

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