Obama gets a C from Latinos, 8/7/11-8/14/11

18 Aug

The grade is in, a consortium of Latino orgaizatios give Obama a C, NYTIMES, 8.10.11

Latino speaking to LULAC

Obama speaking to LULAC. AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Two-dozen of the nation’s Latino organizations released a report last week giving Obama a C grade for his performance in his first two years. Although Latino’s were critical to the president’s win in 2008, during the last two years he has utilized a political strategy that caters to independent voters rather then strengthens his constituency. The principal concerns from the report are the ramped-up immigration enforcement, the failure to pass immigration reform and the failure to pass the DREAM Act. The report does applaud health care reform and the stimulus legislation, both of which have substantially helped Latinos in the US. These positive notes are overshadowed by the previously mentioned anti-immigrant policies that have furthered marginalized Latino immigrants. Many of these Latinos are waiting for help from Obama. In the mean time more money is being poured into the southern border and record numbers of individuals are being deported. Immigrants have been the piñata while Obama and the conservatives take turns swinging their sticks.
Latinos have little recourse with conservative legislators pushing for more laws that disrupt the lives of immigrants. With such a toxic political environment for Latino immigrants, Obama can be considered the lesser of two evils (let’s be clear though, when the alternative is Russell Pearce, it’s hard not to be less evil). While the Latino constituency has not abandoned Obama  entirely, he will still get their vote, this bi-partisan piñata beating will likely result in  apathetic and no-show voters in 2012. If that is the case, both Latinos and Obama will be the losers.
The messages from Latinos have been consistent, loud and clear. Election night 2012 is still over 14 months away, so there is still time for President Obama to respond,  It is our turn see  the hope of that was promised in 2008 realized. That’s why Obama received our vote then, and if he makes the right moves, that is how he can motivate the Latino voting bloc for 2012.

Marco Sauceda, undocumented immigrant, pepper sprayed and wrestled in his own home, Truth-out, 8.8.11
Police came when neighbors thought they saw a burglar breaking into the home. There was no burglar, only Marco Sauceda, an intellectually disabled undocumented immigrant who was feared deportation. Mr. Sauceda reacted to the police by hiding in his bathroom; the police eventually removed by force, leaving a gash in his head. He was charged with resisting arrest and given a 30 day jail sentence and a $500 fine.
Arizona gov. Brewer brings SB1070 to supreme court, LATIMES, 8.11.11
After losing battles at the district courts and court of appeals, Brewer is taking the fight of state authority to enforce immigration laws to the supreme court. Advocates say that a win for Brewer is unlikely.
Recall of SB 1070 sponsor Russell Pearce given the go-ahead by local superior court, Christian Science Monitor, 8.9.11
Russell Pearce is feeling the blowback from taking the anti-immigrant crusade too far. After failing to pass extreme anti-immigrant bills in the state senate earlier this year, he is now facing recall a move organized by the group Citizens for a Better Arizona. We are seeing that while immigration is an important issue to Arizonans, there are limits to how repressive they are willing to allow their laws to become.
ANTI-Latino hate crimes rise nearly 50% in 2010, Riverside Press Enterprise, 8.11.11
119 anti-Latino hate crimes in 2010 in California, up almost 50% from 81 in 2009.  One policy research speculates that growing discomfort with Latino growth and economic concerns may have contributed to the jump.

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