LEGALIZING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IS A BAD IDEA: THE OP-ED THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE PUBLISHED

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

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The Chicago Tribune published an op-ed rehashing claims about undocumented immigrants that have been widely debunked, without noting that the author is a fellow at nativist organization the Center for Immigration StudiesCIS is an anti-immigrant organization whose affiliation with hate groups has been thoroughly documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the February 8 op-ed titled, “Legalizing Illegal Immigrants A Bad Idea,” CIS fellow David Seminara repeated the false claims that undocumented immigrants steal jobs from hard-working Americans and that they put a strain on social services. The Tribune identified Seminara simply as a former diplomat who has “issued thousands of visas during his career at the State Department.”

According to his bio on the CIS website, Seminara has been a fellow at the organization since 2009. He has written extensively for the group’s blog, including writing posts that have criticized an undocumented immigrant fearful of applying for deferred action and attacked scholarships for undocumented immigrants.

Knowing Seminara’s affiliation with CIS would have alerted readers that the op-ed was presenting a biased view of the immigration debate as it repeated many of CIS’ and other nativist groups’ talking points. Indeed, his claim that undocumented immigrants steal Americans’ jobs is not new; it has been discredited by economists and immigration experts using mountains of research: Undocumented immigrants do not generally compete with Americans for labor, and in fact have been found to boost Americans’ wages.

Immigrants given legal status under the immigration reform framework announced by the Senate are also unlikely to be a strain on the welfare system. Under the current framework, newly legalized immigrants would not be eligible for Medicaid or any government social benefit. In addition, immigrants are more likely to have jobs and over half have a high school degree or more.

In Illinois, consumer spending by undocumented immigrants already generates $5.45 billion in gross regional spending which accounts for 31,000 jobs in the Chicago area,according to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. In fact, the Immigration Policy Center reported that in 2010, undocumented immigrants in the state paid nearly half a billion dollars in taxes.

Read More: Media Matters

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ELECTION 2012: HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE HISPANIC VOTE?

 

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THIS WEEK: ARE LATINOS CON ROMNEY OR OBAMA?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

While President Obama enjoys a wide lead among Latino voters across the country, Mitt Romney has made some headway with Latinos in swing states, according to this week’s tracking poll by Latino Decisions for impreMedia. The poll showed that 33 percent of Hispanic voters in ten battleground states were “certain” or “thinking about” voting for Romney, a slight gain from prior weeks for the Republican candidate.
Still, the same poll found that President Obama had his strongest week to date with those surveyed. Fifty one percent of Latino voters in ten battleground states said they trust Obama more than his opponent to handle the economy, compared to 27 percent who said they trusted Romney and Republicans more.

Nationally, 72 percent of voters favor Obama on the economy, and more than 20 percent favor Romney — a significant increase from just four weeks ago when 59 percent favored Obama and 30 percent favored Romney. Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have campaigned on a promise of economic recovery in the Hispanic community, where the unemployment rate sits at 11 percent, three full points higher than the national average. Despite the GOP‘s focus on their economic message, Latino voters are siding with Obama nationally when it comes to the issue.
Furthermore, Romney lacks strong “core support” from respondents in the Latino community,” according to Latino Decisions. Just 10 percent of those surveyed said they had a “very favorable” opinion of Romney, while 55 percent of those surveyed had a “very favorable” opinion of Obama.
The Latino Decisions pollsters in part attribute Obama’s gain this week to Romney’s recent ’47 percent’ comments. “Romney’s infamous comments about the ’47 percent’ are clearly hurting him among Latinos,” Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions said. “He appears out of touch with the average working class family.” Latinos will play a key role in the election, as a growing population in key swing states, many pollsters argue. However, questions remain about just how many of these voters will turn up to the polls on election day.

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SHOULD LATINOS BE REPUBLICAN?

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Mitt Romney‘s presidential chances are caught between the agenda of the conservative Tea Party wing and the demands of the Latino electorate which is increasingly alienated by The Republican Party’s stance on immigration, writes the ABC’s Michael Brissenden. Among the bowls full of unguarded truth spoken by Mitt Romney at that now infamous $50,000-a-plate dinner in Florida is a glaring recognition of a significant threat to the long-term survival of the Republican Party. Don’t worry about all the bon mots that will be reheated from that night and put into play for this election cycle, Mitt Romney might be caviar-coated toast but even he recognizes that his party has a structural problem which if not addressed soon could keep them out of the White House forever.
Since that video was aired much of the media discussion has focused on Mitt Romney’s declaration that it wasn’t his job to worry about the 47 per cent of voters who don’t pay tax and who believe they are victims with an overblown sense of entitlement to government support. But not much has been said about that other percentage of voter that neither he nor his republican Republican stable mates appear to be worrying about at this stage – Latinos. This is despite the fact that Mitt Romney himself acknowledges the growing increasing political significance of the US’s fastest-growing demographic.

As the waiters (who may or may not have been Latino but were likely in the 47 per cent bracket referred to) looked on, Mitt told the gathering of wealthy donors that his father was born in Mexico but that unfortunately he had been born of American parents who just happened to be living in Mexico. If, however, he had been born of Mexican parents then he said, “I’d have a better shot of winning this … I say that jokingly, but it’d be helpful if they’d been Latino.”

And he knows it would be helpful because the Latino vote is becoming so important. Many Republicans admit it’s the reason why some of the swing states like Nevada and Colorado are no longer looking as much like swing states: because Latinos there, and all across the country, are overwhelmingly voting for the Democrats.

Even Florida has shifted – a state that because of the older generation of Cuban immigrants had been solidly posting broad Latino support for the Republican Party. Now the younger generation of Cubans are voting for the Democrats and the new influx of Latinos from elsewhere in Latin America are voting that way too.

What next? Texas? It was Ronald Reagan who famously said “Latinos are Republican. They just don’t know it yet.” way back the 1980s. He also granted a partial amnesty for illegal immigrants during his term, a position that at the moment is a world away from the sort of immigration policy that is championed by a party increasingly influenced by Tea Party wing.

To win the nomination Romney has had to bend ever further to their agenda. He denounced the Dream Act (a bill Bill that would give conditional permanent residency to those brought to this country by their parents when they were children). He supported Arizona’s controversial tough law (SB 1070) that allows police to check a person’s immigration status at will. He also declared that ‘self deportation’ was the best way of dealing with undocumented immigrants.Romney says what the country US needs is a permanent fix to problems posed by and faced by the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now in the country but he has so far been vague on what that permanent fix might be.

IN THIS VIDEO ARE CLIPS OF BOTH PRESIDENT OBAMA AND MITT ROMNEY BEING INTERVIEWED ON IMMIGRATION

As the Reagan quote suggests Latinos should be natural Republicans. Most are conservative, Catholic and entrepreneurial, they are here in the US because they believe in the transformational potential of the American dream, but almost every one of them has a relative, or knows someone who has a relative, who is in the country illegally. Immigration policy is a big deal in the Latino community and most sensible republicans Republicans know it. Many Republicans say privately that this is the last time they’ll be able to go to an election with their current immigration platform. They accept that they it is time to stop using terms such as “illegal aliens” and instead start talking about “opportunity”. Supporting the Dream Act is the first step.

Read More: ABC News

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IS PRESIDENT OBAMA DESIGNATING LATINO ICON’S CESAR CHAVEZ’ HOME A NATIONAL MONUMENT?

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President Barack Obama is designating the California home of labor leader Cesar Chavez as a national monument, a move likely to shore up support from Hispanic and progressive voters just five weeks before the election.

Labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez is buried at La Paz in Keene, Calif., where President Obama will announce a national monument next week. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / October 1, 2012)

The White House said Monday that Obama will establish the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Keene, Calif., during a campaign swing through California next week. The property is known as La Paz, short for Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz, or Our Lady Queen of Peace. The site served as national headquarters of the United Farm Workers union, as well as Chavez’s home, from the early 1970s until his death in 1993. Chavez is buried there and his gravesite will be part of the monument.

uestra Seňora Reina de La Paz (commonly known as La Paz) is a property encompassing 187 acres in the Tehachapi Mountains of eastern Kern County, California, and is associated with Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), one of the most important historic Latino leaders in the United States.

Obama said in a statement that Chavez “gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere,” adding that La Paz was at the center of significant civil rights events. By designating his home as a national monument, “Chavez’ legacy will be preserved and shared to inspire generations to come,” Obama said.

Obama said in a statement that Chavez “gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere.” (Photo: AP)

As head of the UFW, Chavez staged a massive grape boycott that raised awareness of the plight of predominantly Latino farm workers. His efforts were credited with inspiring millions of other Latinos in their fight for more educational opportunities, better housing and more political power.

Cesar Chavez Phoenix Rallies 05/1972 Photographer: El Malcriado

Creation of a national monument at La Paz follows designation of the site in the San Joaquin Valley near Bakersfield as a national historic site. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the site’s designation on the National Register of Historic Places last year. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Chavez’s founding of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the UFW. The Chavez monument will be the fourth national monument designated by Obama using the Antiquities Act.

Read More: Seattle Times

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