Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > What It Would Take to Get More Latinos to Vote for McCain

What It Would Take to Get More Latinos to Vote for McCain

LatinaLista — As was seen in the Texas primary, Latino voters are a significant voting bloc. Both Clinton and Obama can cite support from Latino voters as factors in their electoral gains in their respective bids for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Yet, just as Latinos are not a homogenous group, not all Latinos are Democrats and not all Latinos necessarily agree with the platforms of either Obama or Clinton.
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(Source: LA Times)
So that leaves John McCain.
A man who at one time sponsored a bill on immigration reform and now can’t seem to distance himself far enough from it.
A man who has always been perceived to be a friend to the Latino community and now — is strangely silent.
A man who needs to carry 50 percent of the Latino vote if he wants to be President.

The Republican presidential nominee John McCain is no stranger to Latinos. After all, he’s been a resident and political representative of Arizona, a state with 40 percent of its population Latino, since the early 80s.
Because of his constituents, he knows Latinos. Yet, as reporters from the LA Times recently discovered, McCain knows that to win his longshot bid to become president he has to appear to be supportive of Latino issues while remaining true to the traditional conservative base that comprise his party.

McCain vowed to compete in states Republicans have written off and to reach out to “communities of all ethnic backgrounds and income levels.”
Before his victory Tuesday night, McCain told reporters it was time to broaden the campaign beyond the narrow scope of the Republican primaries. “We will contest every constituency in America — whether they be workers; whether they be Hispanic, whether they be African American — we’re competing for their vote.”
In recent days, McCain has frequently emphasized that he will try to win California. His advisors believe his work on the controversial immigration legislation that included a path to citizenship for many of the nation’s illegal immigrants will provide an inroad to Latino voters, particularly in the Golden State.

The only thing is that if McCain does tout his work on the immigration legislation he also needs to make clear that he no longer supports it.

He now says that “we’ve got to secure the borders first,” and that he would vote against his own comprehensive immigration bill if it came to the Senate floor.

While it’s true that not all Latinos identify with immigration reform as an issue important for them, it does still resonate for a significant number of US citizen Latinos who realize that renegade state legislators trying to drive out undocumented immigrants are impacting their lives as well.
For that reason, immigration reform is not just an issue for undocumented immigrants. The rhetoric McCain’s campaign has been delivering about securing the border first, before thinking of immigration reform, is pretty much a moot point in light of the Texans who have been actively challenging the Department of Homeland Security over the building of the border fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Concessions have already been made in utilizing technology and more manpower, in conjunction with incorporating the suggestions of landowners who live along the border region, in creating a system that secures our borders.
What’s left is to honestly discuss how the immigration system will be reformed and the plight of 12 million people who live in limbo and are being persecuted on a daily basis will be addressed.
But it’s a type of honesty that the Republicans have been sidestepping.
They think by creating a diverse gender ticket attention will be diverted from the polarizing issue of immigration. It’s being reported that some members of the Republican party, in an apparent bid to combat the diversity of the Democratic ticket, are urging McCain to choose a female running mate.
The two most mentioned women are Texas’ Kay Bailey Hutchison and North Carolina’s Elizabeth Dole. Yet, why not a woman of color? Why not a Latina Republican?
There are several who come to mind who would make notable contributions to the Republican ticket. Yet, Latinas or blacks or any other woman of color don’t seem to be on the radar of the Republican Party.
By having a woman vice-presidential candidate, Republicans are hoping to be perceived as a party that is as “with it” as an Obama or Clinton ticket. The only trouble is they’re still seeing in monochromatic.
It’s time the Republican ticket reflected the diversity they claim to support.
If putting a white woman on a ticket with a white man is the biggest step towards diversity that they can muster, then as conscientious voters, Latino Republicans owe it to themselves to ask Republican party leaders, “Why?”
Otherwise, it’s pretty clear that nothing has really changed in the Republican Party where political lip-service to sway voters is considered good politics and a strategy to “maintain” support among a group whose turn at top party leadership won’t come any time soon.


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  • Frank
    March 7, 2008 at 7:48 am

    How did this country arrive at a state where in order to gain the vote of a particular ethnic group that we have to ignore the immigration laws of our country and it is considered undesirable to enforce them and secure our borders?
    How did this country arrive at a state where instead of electing the most honest and qualified candidates that will work for all Americans, for public office, that we have to consider race, gender and diversity first?
    I truly fear for the future of this country with such thinking and division among our citizens.

    March 7, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Even those on this blog that keep preaching “equallity and justice for all” realize there is still a racial divide in this country. This type of separation is growing wider and wider as our diverse population divides into ethnic organizations, each with their own agendas that benefit themselves. Instead of being American citizens first, we have now had to pick a specific category in which to place ourselves based on common goals. It has only become more evident since we now have a woman and Black man campaigning for the highest position in the country, President of the United States.
    Just a bit of history to undermine the possibility of a Clinton (President) and Obama (VP) ticket. It’s already been tried by Victoria Woodhull (White woman for President) and Frederick Douglass (Black man for VP) in 1872 as candidates of the Equal Rights Party. It was an extreme failure and I do not believe we, as a nation, have advanced very far in our views of who should be running this country.
    There is no longer a honest and qualified politician left in this country, so you are left to elect who will do the least damage to America. Sorry situation for sure.

  • laura
    March 7, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Some Republican senators, led by Jeff Sessions of Alabama, are introducing another anti-immigrant bill in the Senate, that resembles the House bill of 2005.
    Senator Menendez of New Jersey has called on Senator John McCain to repudiate this bill.
    Let’s see what position Senator McCain takes on specific issues, such as this one. That is what he should be judged on.
    As for Clinton – with all due respect I have for leaders such as Dolores Huerta, I must judge her myself. She provided plenty of discouraging reasons. Her Iraq war vote. Her Iran vote. Driver’s licenses: she was against them in November, now she is for them. Would she be against them again once she is elected ?

  • Evelyn
    March 8, 2008 at 12:47 am

    GOP senators to introduce toughest-yet immigration package
    Bills would mandate prison time for illegal border crossings and compel English in dealing with federal agencies.
    By Nicole Gaouette, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    March 5, 2008
    WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are set to announce today the hardest-hitting package of immigration enforcement measures seen yet — one that would require jail time for illegal immigrants caught crossing the border, make it harder for them to open bank accounts and compel them to communicate in English when dealing with federal agencies.
    Most of the bills stand little chance of being debated in the Democratic-controlled Congress. But the move by some of the Senate’s leading Republicans underscores how potent the immigration issue remains, particularly in a presidential election year.
    The bills give Republicans a way to put pressure on the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to take a tougher stance on immigration. They also reflect a shift toward harsher immigration rhetoric and legislative proposals from both parties since Congress failed to pass a comprehensive overhaul in 2007.
    The package — an enforcement smorgasbord assembled by at least eight lawmakers — consists of 11 bills, but it could expand to as many as 14. Some elements echo House bills, but others go beyond House proposals.
    One would discourage states from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants by docking 10% of highway funding from states that continue to do so.
    Another would extend the presence of the National Guard on the border, and a third would end language assistance at federal agencies and the voting booth for people with limited English ability.
    A bill by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is leading the effort, would impose a maximum two-year prison sentence on someone caught illegally crossing the border a second time.
    “The point is to reinforce the idea that most of us here feel that we need to make enforcement and border security a first step to solving the overall problem,” said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), one of the sponsors.
    Although Congress usually avoids tough legislation during an election year, Vitter insisted that he and his colleagues could still get something done. “There are concrete steps we can take. None of us see any reason to waste this time,” he said.
    Other bills in the package would:
    * Block federal funding to cities that bar their police from asking about immigration status.
    * Give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to use information from the Social Security Administration to target illegal immigrants.
    * Require construction of 700 miles of fencing along the southern border, not including vehicle barriers.
    * Impose sanctions on countries that refuse to repatriate their citizens.
    * Deport any immigrant, legal or illegal, for one drunk-driving conviction.
    * Enable local and state police to enforce federal immigration laws.
    Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said the Republican proposal “falls far short of what is needed.” Democrats want to combine enforcement with a guest-worker program and a way to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Reid “continues to support legislation that is tough on people who break the law, fair to taxpayers and practical to implement,” Manley said.
    But Democrats have also begun embracing a tougher stance on immigration. A confidential study assembled for the Democratic leadership earlier this year urged them to start using tougher language. Democrats have focused on offering opportunity to immigrants, but the study by two public-policy groups urged them to begin speaking in terms of “requiring” illegal immigrants to become legal and about what’s best for the United States.
    Many House Democrats have gone a step further, endorsing an enforcement-only bill by freshman Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) that would bolster border security and require employers to verify their workers’ legal status with an electronic verification system.
    The SAVE (Secure America through Verification and Enforcement) Act has drawn 140 cosponsors, 48 of whom are Democrats, many of them vulnerable freshmen who won seats from Republicans.
    The Democratic leadership dislikes Shuler’s bill and has refused to schedule a debate. Republican leaders are considering collecting signatures for a special petition that requires House leaders to bring a bill up for debate if 218 members sign. There are 198 Republicans.
    Angela Kelley, director of the Immigration Policy Center, said Senate Republicans might be trying to match their House colleagues. “They might feel they’re being upstaged by House Republicans,” she said. But she also suggested that the Senate bills could provide political protection to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has clinched the GOP presidential nomination.
    Conservatives consider McCain soft on immigration. McCain, along with Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, has backed giving illegal immigrants some form of legal status, which conservatives consider “amnesty.”
    If McCain endorsed the Senate package, that could “create a platform for McCain to look tough on immigration, create distance from Ted Kennedy [D-Mass.] and erect a shield around the amnesty charge,” Kelley said.
    Besides Sessions and Vitter, the bills are being introduced by GOP Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
    Alot of republicans are trying to make McCain out to be soft on immigration to get people to vote for him.
    I dont think this is going to help him get anyone who believes in justice and equality to vote for him. ROTLF

  • Frank
    March 8, 2008 at 8:34 am

    laura, “anti-immigrant” bill? Why the lies? They are “anti-illegal” bills. Big difference!
    Why is there so little respect for immigration laws in here?

  • Horace
    March 8, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    “Some Republican senators, led by Jeff Sessions of Alabama, are introducing another anti-immigrant bill in the Senate, that resembles the House bill of 2005.”
    It doesn’t affect the only true immigrants, those who comply with the rules as defined in our immigration laws. Sorry, illegal aliens have no more immigrant status than Japanese tourists here on visas to Florida. Mexican illegal aliens are tresspassers and nothing more. Mexico doesn’t recognize illegal aliens as immigrants, so they and their fifth columnist lacky illegal alien advocates are hypocrites to assert that theirs are. If Mexicans want mercy they should be willing to give mercy. Remember the old Biblical passage that says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”? Mexico throws stones all the time but she is certainly not without sin. Hypocrites! They sent their chief representative hypocrite, Bustamente to look at our enforcement practices, and all he did was parrot Filipe Calderon, the ACLU and La Raza, all far from dispassionate impartial observers. Sending a Mexican to investigate our procedures and like sending Saddham Hussein to investigate human rights violations. Hypocrites!

  • Evelyn
    March 10, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Racist laws affect all Americans and make this country look more like the very countries we go to war with, to defend their people from laws just like those you defend.
    Coming from you who gives a damn what you think, especially when we consider what you are.
    If you cared about this country, you wouldn’t want it to be the same way you think Mexico is.
    Go spit on Bush if you dont like the way your gov. does business, instead of showing your ignorance on this forum and embarrassing all Americans with your stupidity and racism. Better yet go live in Iran, you would be happier there.

  • Texano78704
    March 10, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    What would it take? Taking up a moderate position on the immigration issue, given the fact that it is now very low on list of issues for the 2008 election.
    “I think some millions… if they complied with some very stringent and rigid requirements, they could find themselves on a path to citizenship.” That includes “getting at the end of the immigration line, paying a fine, learning English and having a job.”
    John McCain on 60 Minutes last night.

  • Frank
    March 10, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    We have immigration laws in place to take population growth into consideration, assimilation, job availability, etc. These policies are in place to protect the citizens of the receiving country. There is nothing racist about ANY country’s immigration laws. Our country takes in over a million legal immigrants every year, more than any other country in the world.

  • Evelyn
    March 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Kevin R. Johnson
    Excerpted from: Kevin R. Johnson, Race, The Immigration Laws, And Domestic Race
    A. From Chinese Exclusion to General Asian Subordination
    1. Chinese Exclusion and Reconstruction
    2. Japanese Internment and Brown v. Board of Education
    B. The National Origins Quota System
    C. Modern Racial Exclusion
    1. The War on “Illegal Aliens” a/k/a Mexican Immigrants
    2. Asylum, Haitian Interdiction, and the Politics of Race
    3. Proposition 187 and Race
    Racism, along with nativism, economic, and other social forces, has unquestionably influenced the evolution of immigration law and policy in the United States. It does not exist in a social and historical vacuum. Foreign and domestic racial subordination instead find themselves inextricably linked.
    In untangling this history, keep in mind critical differences between traditional immigration law and ordinary public law. Although the Equal Protection Clause generally requires strict scrutiny of racial classifications in the laws, the Supreme Court long ago–in a decision undisturbed to this day–upheld discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in the admission of noncitizens into the country. Similarly, even though discrimination on the basis of alienage status in modern times may mask an intent to discriminate against racial minorities, the Supreme Court ordinarily defers to alienage classifications made by Congress. Because the substantive provisions of the immigration laws historically have been immune from legal constraint, the political process allows the majority to have its way with noncitizens.
    continue link:

  • Frank
    March 10, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    There no longer is any racism in our immigration policies. Yesterday was yesterday and it doesn’t apply to today. Today under the quota system, Latino immigration is only second to Asian immigration in allotment and only by a few percent points. Whites are at the bottom of the ladder for quotas. Mind you I am not complaining about that but how can Latinos claim that our immigration laws are unfair or racist when they get one of the highest quotas allowed for legal immigration?

  • Frank
    March 10, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    By the 1840’s improved transportation presented the United States for the first time with the possibility of people immigrating to the U.S. faster than jobs could be created. And the first time this became a reality was with the German and Irish migration prior to the Civil War. The resulting wave of Immigrants provided so much unskilled labor to the U.S. economy that unemployment was rampant. And the oversupply of Labor gave rise to the Know-Nothing Movement and discrimination against the Irish and Germans.
    When the Chinese first came to California they were not mistreated. Racism began to really rise against them after after unemployment exceeded 30% because Immigrants were arriving faster than jobs could be created. As the largest group of immigrants, the Chinese, who made up a quarter of the population by then, were an easy target for the Labor Unions. The result was the Chinese Exclusion Act. Excessive immigration causing high unemployment and falling wages strikes again.
    History repeated itself a third time a few decades later when a wave of excessive immigration from eastern and southern Europe and flooded the unskilled labor market. That flood was so bad that the unemployment rate reached 32% for manufacturing, mining, and transportation workers by 1910 (which were the big unskilled labor jobs of that day and age). And in the years leading up to that date the states of Maine, Kansas, and Michigan experienced periods of unemployment exceeding 50%. The low wages and high unemployment created the perfect storm for the poor to be beaten down and the mega-wealthy Robber Barons to thrive. It took World War I to pull us out of that one. So today we control immigration.
    Now our Immigration Laws give the American Worker first priority to U.S. Jobs. This simple control has for decades made high unemployment resulting from excessive immigration a thing of the past. But today that control is slipping away thanks to Illegal Immigration. Including the hard core unemployed, as of the February 2008 report, there are 12.4 million out of work U.S. Citizens and Legal Residents (statistics courtesy of the U.S.B.L.S.) versus 6.3 to 7.2 million jobs currently held by Illegal Immigrants who have no legal standing to hold those jobs (statistics courtesy of the U.S. Social Security Admin., the U.S.D.H.S., and the Pew Center). Including the Hard Core Unemployed we now have a 7.7% unemployment rate. Meanwhile, the Foreign Born have reached 12% of our total population. The massive unemployment of the early 1900’s happened with the Foreign Born at 15% of our population. And until enforcement was ramped up last year the number of Citizen workers earning below poverty level wages was on the rise. Wages in Construction, Material Movement, Meat Packing, and so on have not kept up with inflation, so the Middle Class erodes while the gap between Rich and Poor widens, and a whole new class of Robber Barons are being born. If you are one the “haves” everything looks great so you say why stop Illegal Immigration. But if you are one of the “have not” citizens suffering because of the affects of Illegal Immigration, then welcome to oblivion. Because the only thing that can fix the situation now is to send people in the U.S. illegally back to their homes. That is why deportation exists and is the penalty for Illegal Entry (along with up to six months in prison) and for Illegal Presence in the U.S.

  • Evelyn
    March 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people. Instead of impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. The most effective propaganda is often completely truthful, but some propaganda presents facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject in the target audience
    Americans are not that stupid! LOL!

  • Frank
    March 12, 2008 at 8:25 am

    There is much propaganda out there spread by organizations such as the NCLR and their ethnocentric followers. For example, calling law abiding Americans who want our immigration laws enforced, racists, xenophobes and other “hate speech” names.

    March 12, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    No, Americans are not stupid at all, but we are sometimes slow at reacting to events that effect our lives as Americans. For our sake, reaction time has come and all efforts will be put forth to stop illegal immigration and relieve ourselves of all illegal aliens now present in our country. To reverse the damage that has been done to our nation over the past 20-25 years will take time, but it will happen. First step will be getting the Save Act passed into law which will dry up the job market for illegal aliens. It’s been a long time coming, but our elected officials are starting to see the light and are going to better represent the will of American citizens instead of illegal agitators.

  • Evelyn
    March 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…….lets just be stupid, and, and, and, call it a dog????? LOL!

  • Frank
    March 13, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Some people can’t tell a duck from a dog so they have no credibility in judging others. Especially since they are “ducks” themselves and are hypocrites.

  • Evelyn
    March 14, 2008 at 3:25 am

    Look in the mirror when you want to see a hypocrite.

  • Frank
    March 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Never been a hypocrite in my entire life. I don’t expect anymore from anyone else than I expect from myself.

  • Evelyn
    March 16, 2008 at 5:06 am

    Are you begging me to make you run crying to Marisa for help AGAIN, didnt you learn your lesson. It was you who said you never called me names…first. Hypocrite!

  • Frank
    March 16, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Well, as long as the pro-illegals insist on calling us all racists for wanting our laws enforced, we are not going to lie down and take it. It’s the same old game that is being played–the pro-illegals start the insults and then when you defend yourself, they accuse you of attacking them and then call you a hypocrite for objecting to the entire underhanded tactic!
    As long as the pro-illegals keeps calling Americans who want their borders secured and the government to do the job they promised they would do, racists, then expect a response in defense.

  • Texano78704
    March 16, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    He’s a paid troll, he gets to be whatever he wants to be.

  • Frank
    March 16, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Go back to our “first” encounter and see who called who names first.

  • Horace
    March 18, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Evelyn cited K R Johnson: “Because the substantive provisions of the immigration laws historically have been immune from legal constraint, the political process allows the majority to have its way with noncitizens.”
    Unfortunately for your argument, Evelyn, most of current legal immigration is drawn from non-European populations. I believe that more South/Central Americans are being given more visas than Europeans. Mr. Johnson’s comment is historical, not a statement regarding recent history. I visited an immigration center recently, and found more Hispanics and non-whites than caucasians awaiting the oath of citizenship. You’re way off base, if you’re trying to make your case by using his book.

  • Horace
    March 19, 2008 at 5:58 am

    Frank, don’t pay any attention to Evelyn’s name calling, it’s just her unique way of expressing her love for all of mankind.
    Texano, where do I sign up for this paid troll business you speak of?

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