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Sixty-seven percent of the Latino vote should be enough to pay for a moratorium on immigration raids

LatinaLista — The unprecedented turnout of Latino voters for Barack Obama signaled not just a desire for change in the country but a change in how federal immigration policy is adversely impacting Latino communities.
The importance of the Latino vote is now an irrefutable fact. Not because Barack Obama was able to garner 67 percent of the Latino vote versus Sen. McCain’s 31 percent, but because Latinos turned out in record numbers in key battleground states turning the electoral college tide in Obama’s favor.
Analysts agree that without the Latino voters in these must-win states, Obama’s victory would have been questionable. So what happens now?
Since this is politics, the kind of support Latino voters gave the Democratic Party did come with strings attached. The big question is does that payback come in the form of a key Cabinet position going to a Latino/a or can it be satisfied with the Obama Administration addressing in his first 100 days an issue that was among the top three for Latino voters and one that has soured many against the Republican Party — immigration reform?
There’s no denying that it would be “sweet” to see Bill Richardson assume the position of Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. Yet, from examples of past administrations that have appointed Latinos/as to high positions within their “inner circles,” it’s one thing to have the ear of the President and quite another to have his attention.
So I vote that Obama make immigration reform a priority. Unlike the financial help being afforded Wall Street and debated for the auto industry, which takes a trickle down effect to reach Main Street USA, the Obama Administration can implement a form of help that would immediately relieve countless Latino communities across the nation — put a moratorium on immigration raids.
Continue reading Sixty-seven percent of the Latino vote should be enough to pay for a moratorium on immigration raids


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  • Texano78704
    November 13, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Quid pro quo?
    That is the way it worked in politics since politics existed. However, I suspect that, with “Manifest Destiny” on temporary hold, there will be certain groups that will come out and tell you that “it doesn’t work that way any more,” or the equally absurd, “Obama is everyone’s president and can’t do that.” Also, it may or may not precede absurd reasoning, outrageous claims, and derogatory statements.

  • Grandma
    November 13, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Don’t hold your breath on immigration reform
    By Ruben Navarrette Jr.
    Article Launched: 11/11/2008 05:56:10 PM PST
    In July, during an address to the annual meeting of the National Council of La Raza, Barack Obama promised to make comprehensive immigration reform “a top priority in my first year as president.”
    Don’t hold your breath.
    Just a few days before the election, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Obama to rank in order of priority five issues — tax cuts, health care, energy, education and immigration. Obama made up his own list, appropriately adding the economy as his No. 1 priority and dropping immigration altogether.
    For Latinos who assume that helping to elect Obama president guarantees them another shot at comprehensive immigration reform, his selection of Rep. Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff is not a good sign. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s enforcer in the Democratic-controlled House, Emanuel was — in the last two years — a major stumbling block to achieving an immigration package. Capitol Hill newspapers reported shouting matches between Emanuel and members of the Democratic-controlled Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who tried unsuccessfully to pressure the leaders of their party to tackle the issue.
    It’s not that Emanuel has anything against immigrants or immigration reform. It’s just politics. According to the Washington Post and other newspapers, Emanuel decided that the issue was a loser for Democrats and that it belonged on the back burner. He was protecting the Democratic majority in the House by covering members who
    might be vulnerable to ouster if they were seen in their home districts as going along with “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. Once in the White House, I suspect Emanuel will channel those instincts toward protecting President Obama from a sticky debate.
    The conventional thinking is that the issue has very little benefit for Democrats beyond scoring points with Latino voters, who will probably stay in their camp anyway. And it has a significant downside in that it makes some powerful enemies. Contrary to what you hear from the pundits, the Democrats’ major concern is not the nativists on the far right. Those who call into talk radio shows to complain about taco trucks or having to press “1 for English” never had much power to begin with. And they have even less now that their mean-spirited worldview has been repudiated by an election where much of the narrative was about embracing cultural diversity.
    As has always been the case with the immigration issue, what Democrats worry about most is antagonizing their sponsors in organized labor. Bringing back the debate over comprehensive immigration reform means restarting the discussion of a new guest-worker plan — which John Sweeney at the AFL-CIO considers “a bad idea (that) harms all workers.”
    It’s true that President-elect Obama owes Latinos an enormous debt for giving him two-thirds of their votes. But Obama and congressional Democrats also owe a lot to labor. Those IOUs are headed for a collision. I’m betting on labor to win. I expect immigration reform to be off the agenda for the next four years, especially since Obama will be looking to placate the unions while backing off the loony idea of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. That was never a serious proposal anyway, only something that Obama embraced during the Democratic primary to win votes from defeatists convinced that American products can’t compete with foreign ones.
    Expect Latinos to get shortchanged — again. They may get bought off with a couple of high profile appointments. Bill Richardson is already mentioned as a possible secretary of state and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa could also be in line for a prominent role in the new administration. As someone who made history, Obama could also make more of it by appointing the first Latino to the Supreme Court. That would buy a tremendous amount of good will.
    Yet when it comes to immigration, Obama will have trouble keeping his promise of comprehensive reform from last summer. He will probably toss Latino supporters a bone by stopping construction of the border fence that he voted for in the Senate and ending the workplace raids that have caused so much disgust in the Latino community.
    But nothing else. And if Latinos are paying attention and holding the new president to account, they’ll know they’ve been used. And, if honest with themselves, they’ll have something else to be disgusted about.
    Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a San Diego Union-Tribune columnist.

  • BrownViews
    November 14, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Amen to that, Marisa, a moratorium … at least until our values are clarified, the law is settled, and our policy defined.

  • Eric
    November 14, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with you – I believe that immigration reform needs to happen and it needs to happen soon, politically speaking.
    Having lived in southern California my entire life, I have come to know what it’s like to live amongst many illegal immigrants. For the most part they are good, hardworking people who obey the law and truly want a better life for their families.
    Of course there are some bad apples who – in this country, at least – give all illegal immigrants a sour reputation.
    I have witnessed first hand how hard these people work, how grateful they are for their often meager possessions, and how happy they are to live here.
    A complaint that many people have is the fact that so many Latinos do not learn to speak English. Well, I have several Mexican friends, 4 of which I used to work with, and whilst working 12 hour days 6 days per week, there just isn’t any time to learn a new language. They work these massive, massive hours, do their laundry and pay all of their bills on their off day, only to start the treacherous work cycle again. When a man is working in a kitchen all day, or performing some other behind-the-scenes job, he or she is not going to interact with many English speakers, and this is what critics need to understand.
    Of the 168 hours in a week, 72 are spent working, 50 are spent sleeping, 6 are spent driving to and from work, which leaves approximately 40 hours of “free time” for laundry, oil changes, grocery shopping, and any other errands. I don’t see a place for studying English or even associating with English speakers long enough to get a grasp.
    This immigration reform absolutely needs to happen because it pains me to see my friends terrified of getting pulled over by the police, or being interrogated by immigration. These people work hard and they more than deserve their place in this country. It is just too difficult to get a visa or a permanent resident card, so more often than not this process is circumvented.
    Let’s bring about the reform these kind-hearted, hard-working people deserve.

  • alfredo
    November 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    we are linking to this post at La Frontera Times the raids, the deportations of unaccompanied children, the terrorizing of the whole community has to stop. thank you for a great article.

  • katie
    November 17, 2008 at 9:41 am

    How can the president elect
    stop enforcing the immigration laws that are on the books? If he stops enforcing the laws for illegals he would have to stop enforcing laws on Americans, wouldn’t he? If not he would be discriminating against his fellow Americans. If that were the case we would no longer need law enforcement at all. But I guess that would cut down on a lot of tax dollars.

  • Irma
    November 17, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    First, Barak Obama needs to send a clear signal that the
    Latin vote and its concerns are not on the bottom of his
    How can he do this?
    As President of the United States, the first country he should visit is Mexico and the
    second country should be Canada. That will send a strong signal to the world,
    that the Obama administration
    recognizes that it is part of
    the Americas and is not
    still a European wannabe.
    Visiting Mexico, FIRST,would be just terrific.

  • Marisa Treviño
    November 17, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    immigration raids aren’t specific laws on the books. They are merely actions chosen as a method to enforce them. Calling for a moratorium is calling a halt to a subjective action that deserves review.

  • Irma
    November 17, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Check out Jack and Jill politics, an African American political blog. Latinos are being referred to as “you people’ and some contributors
    are predicting that we will all be sent back “in trucks.”
    All of this because because someone pointed out that Latinos expect Obama to
    live up to his campaign
    promises (immigration reform).
    Dont forget people, a politician is just that.
    If they dont deliver-
    vote them out.

  • Irma
    November 17, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Take a look at the Jack and Jill politics blog which claims to represent a sophisticated politcal view of
    African Americans. Electing Barak
    Obama was all about race for them.
    Some of their contributors want to send all those hardworking Mexicans
    back to Mexico ” in trucks.”
    If we have been duped into supporting a cause that has no interest in human immigration reform – I suggest we
    vote for real change in 2012 .
    Who will be the messenger for that
    change ? I have no idea.

  • Texano78704
    November 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

    “How can the president elect stop enforcing the immigration laws that are on the books?”
    Much better questions would be: How did Bush manage to suspend parts of the Bill of Rights? How did a US President block the state governments from investigating predatory lenders? How did our executive branch of government manage to connive the US into an immoral war of aggression based on false evidence?
    Saint Augustine said that an unjust law is no law at all.

  • laura
    November 18, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Irma, I agree to some extent – and that is that President-elect Obama will be measured by his actions now.
    67 percent of Latina/o votes were not cast to buy a stop to ICE raids. They were cast in the expectation that Obama shares our ideals that all people have human rights, and that the job of the government is to uphold our human rights and protect them from abusers. We expected that an Obama administration would end the Bush tradition of turning the federal government into the biggest human rights abuser.
    On 12/10/1948, the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United States was a prominent sponsor of this declaration. Eleanor Roosevelt was a major figure pushing its adoption.
    It says:
    “Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
    Article 2.
    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
    Article 3.
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
    Article 9.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
    Article 10.
    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
    Article 12.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”
    There is more in it, which we should return to another time. Suffice it to say now that I expect President-elect Obama to move immdediately to restore the human rights of out-of-status immigrants. Not because I paid for it with my vote – not to mention my precious time I volunteered for him – but because I hope he shares my belief in human rights for all.
    Irma I agree that if instead of upholding the Universal Human Rights, he defers to political considerations – as his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has advised – and continues the suffering of Latina/o families, we need to end our support for him. Right away. I will not waste a single second of my time, let alone a nickel more, on support for Obama and his friends if the promise of addressing immigration reform in the first hundred days is broken, and if he lets the ICE raids continue.

  • Sandra
    November 26, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Sounds like blackmail to me. Special interest group’s desires over the best interests of the entire country?

  • arturo fernandez
    November 29, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    “…If he stops enforcing the laws for illegals he would have to stop enforcing laws on Americans, wouldn’t he?…”
    katie, you’re being ridiculous. no one is saying illegal immigrants should be allowed to rape and murder.

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