Ignorance and Immigration Reform

By Claudia Longo

Part of the problem with immigration is the lack of understanding of how broken the system is. I have seen tons of comments on social media or in real life of people who are not directly affected by the issue (although I have to confess I have seen some people very close to the issue clueless too) who have no idea what they are talking about, making comments and giving their opinion on the problem of immigration and what would be the perfect solution to an extremely complicated system by saying things like “why don’t they come the right way?” “Go back home and come back legally” “illegals are taking our jobs” “they don’t want to adjust to our country” “deport them all”. 

This are all misconceptions growing in people’s minds like bad weeds taking over reality without even trying to inform themselves of the facts behind their comments.
The truth is, the system is so complicated and obsolete, that has created the largest “sub class” of citizens living and working in the country since the dark years of slavery and until people understand the issue well enough to wanting to change it, we will continue to have this mess of a system.

So instead of correcting and trying to convince people with facts that the best economic and moral thing to do for our country is to reform our immigration system, politicians on the right side of the isle are capitalizing that ignorance and turning it into votes; of course this tactic is not new nor a crime but by knowingly letting lies and myths turn into shape , they are being responsible and contributing to the problem. 

When some Republican candidates say things like “illegals are taking jobs from U.S. citizens” , when they say they will end birthright citizenship, build walls and send 11 million people all back home, (including their U.S. Born citizen children) even though home is here now, what they are really saying is “vote for me even if what I’m promising is impossible to do” and that is as immoral as keeping 11 million under the rug while taking their tax money, their talent and their children who are the future of this nation.

We were very close to find a solution in 2013 when the Senate passed an Immigration Reform bill that had bipartisan support, which Speaker John Boehner refused to bring up for a vote. But the problem has not gone away and 11 million people are still living in limbo.

I’m not scared or worried about Trump or Carson or even Rubio’s electoral promises  (Rubio now saying he will end DACA ,the program for young immigrants brought to the country as kids), I’m scared of ignorance being the voice in politics and no one trying to stop it.

Why aren’t there protests of every anti-immigrant incumbent in vulnerable congressional districts? #ElectReform #CIR

 The problem is not just Trump, so why doesn’t national reform movement resource allocation demonstrate that our priority is the election of a pro-reform congress? The U.S. Constitution is very clear, if there are differences in the nation on policy, it is ultimately the responsibility of each of us to settle differences through elections. We are fighting for citizenship, so our commitment to democracy should be evident in the amount of time and resources we focus on vulnerable Congressional districts to make it impossible to elect an anti-immigrant majority. It’s not only immigration reform that is in jeopardy. Economic, education, environmental, faith, justice, labor, lgbt, minority, women and other issues that affect immigrant communities will be impacted by the immigrant vote in 2016.

Electoral engagement work should be prioritized in vulnerable districts to confront anti-immigrant incumbants, register church/org/business members, pledge friends and family to vote, and prepare for the greatest community group driven voter mobilization in reform movement history. The civil rights movement of the 60’s made electoral engagement the duty of all community leaders and institutions. The result is a Black community that educates and mobilizes itself to punish candidates who hurt their interests. They also are proof that a community united in educating and mobilizing itself can be almost impervious to the corruption of money and propaganda. All other progressive constituencies have a great deal to learn from Black community electoral engagement. Their efficacy and turnout should be the standard by which all community and cause leaders should be measured. If your group does not compare favorably to that standard then, for the sake of your community and cause, we must ask ourselves “how much worse must Regressives make things before we fight back with electoral power as the Black community does?”

There is too much focus on subsets of the 11 million with actions that don’t drive a narrative for equality through permanent comprehensive immigration reform for all. The catastrophic executive action push before the 2014 elections is an example of misdirecting attention to the executive branch and away from Congress when the priority needs to be electing a pro-reform majority. Our national reform movement concentrated it’s energy from Sept of 2013 to Aug of 2014 on blaming the Executive branch for deportations and asking for executive action that the courts have repeatedly indicated is unconstitutional. 

When the executive action for Dreamers of 2012 (DACA) ended up in court, that Texas Southern District court judge told us that someone with standing “was likely to succeed” in a case against executive action. The case brought by ICE agents against DACA was dismissed, because the Congress took their right to sue away. However, it was dismissed without prejudice. Dismissing a case without prejudice is a clear indication that the court made a path for others with standing, like Congress or the states with the suit against DAPA, to overturn executive action. The Southern District Court of Texas also falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. 5th District Court of Appeals in Louisiana, so national leaders also had a warning that an appeal on executive action like DAPA would end up in these courts. No one has explained where in the opinions of Justices Kennedy or Roberts they indicate disagreement with the injunctions or thinking of the lower courts on the executive action. Why did national leaders waste scarce resources on executive action when the court told us what would happen?

It is not the Judiciary or the Executive who is responsible for deportations. The courts have made clear that all the responsibility for deportations is on the Congress and its laws. Blaming the Executive and focusing resources there made Latinos angry with the President, which dropped his approval ratings and the approval ratings of his party. The failure to focus our community on electoral engagement also disproportionately depressed our voting power. As the President was not up for election, the resources wasted on blaming the executive would have more wisely been used confronting candidates who oppose reform; with a priority given to vulnerable districts first. Even if punishing anti-immigrant candidates in vulnerable races had only resulted in keeping every elected official in place who supports #CIR, it would have been a historic defeat for anti-immigrant forces. The irony is that the same national leaders who wrongly attacked the first Black President left our communities vulnerable to the majority that won control of Congress in 2014 due to our electoral inaction. Immigrant communities have the electoral engagement of the Black community and the president they elected to thank for the vetos protecting our communities from the anti-immigrant bills of the new majority in Congress.

More than 10 of the 24 months between elections have passed. The national focus on DAPA, detention centers, or driver’s licenses are distracting us from the focus needed on Congress. Of course, we can use subsets of the problems caused by our corrupt immigration system to draw voter attention to reform obstruction by the local Congressional incumbent or candidate. However, if we fail to put media focus on elected officials doing wrong, then we are letting them hurt our community without consequence. All our civic/business/faith leaders have a duty to defend our communities from what anti-immigrant politicians are doing to us. If they don’t have the courage to help us take away the power elected officials use to hurt us, then who will?

Idea, Plan, Accion

Por Mauro Kennedy
Luego de varios debates sostenidos en las redes sociales , saludables por cierto, que se ha generado en los ultimos dias en relación al apoyo o no que hubiera que darle a demócratas y/o republicanos de cara a las próximas elecciones presidenciales teniendo en cuenta la postura que tomen frente al tema de inmigración, quisiera puntualizar dos o tres cosas.

Lo primero, entender quiénes estamos interesados en que se resuelva el tema y cuáles son nuestras metas como comunidad. Existe la percepción o creencia de que si amenazamos a uno u otro lado con quitarles nuestro voto podremos lograr lo que buscamos, en mi opinión esta es una fantasía que no se sostiene en la realidad. Hemos visto a líderes del partido republicano llamando a la sensatez y a la necesidad de apelar a una base más amplia incluidas las minorías a partir del resultado de las últimas elecciones presidenciales donde Obama fue reelecto. Les duró un par de meses, al día de hoy el discurso predominante es aún más xenofóbico y nativista que en aquellos tiempos. Se tiene la ilusión de que no, de que van a entender la importancia del voto latino, de que somos buena gente, trabajadores, etc. La realidad demuestra lo contrario. La ideología predominante en el partido republicano vuelve una y otra vez a sus guerras culturales, dentro de las cuales el tema de inmigración tiene un lugar predominante. NO NOS QUIEREN. Invito a que lean este párrafo del artículo (más abajo está) y si pueden todo el articulo para entender lo que digo.

El otro tema es el de la representación que tenemos. Hay por allí varios grupos, cada uno con sus propios intereses: Están los “Dreamers”, muchos de ellos ya beneficiados por DACA, muchos de ellos súper valiosos en su contribución liderando esta lucha con inteligencia y creatividad. Otros, ya absorbidos por la maquinaria lobista, quienes trabajan para quien les paga, se han convertido en voceros de un discurso vacío y anodino, manejan dinero y son objeto de adulación por parte de organizaciones y personas necesitados del mismo. Están las organizaciones, un universo complejo donde todo cabe, desde la lucha de base hasta el notario sin escrúpulos, los voluntarios que trabajan a sol y a sombra y los aprovechadores listos a anotarse con el próximo que traiga un subsidio, sea demócrata o republicano. A mi modo de ver, se han equivocado en sus estrategias y mucho, el año pasado desalentaron el voto de la comunidad y confundieron el mensaje, con el slogan del “Deporter-in-Chief”, la meta era lograr que Obama pare las deportaciones nos decían y para eso hay que atacarlo, nosotros decíamos hay que concentrarse en sacar a la gente a votar y lograr una reforma integral por la vía legislativa. Por supuesto dos meses antes de las elecciones salieron desesperados a tratar de impulsar a los demócratas porque con lo otro estabámos fritos.

Los resultados: Obama dio DAPA y la extensión de DACA, los republicanos ganaron el congreso, trataron 13 veces de pasar leyes para deportar a los “Dreamers” y a sus padres, DAPA termino bloqueada por vía judicial, en fin, al día de hoy no tenemos nada.

Entonces, de nuevo, aparecen los mismos personajes, los que supuestamente nos representan a tratar de impulsar las mismas estrategias fracasadas. Pues bien, a mí no me representan, y me contengo de dar nombres, pero estoy harto de gente que tiene papeles y todo solucionado tratando de imponerme lo que tenemos que hacer, lo que han decidido ellos, que al fin del día son republicanos más o menos encubiertos, burócratas más preocupados en cuidar la fuente del dinero que reciben que en tratar de llevar adelante esta lucha de una forma sincera. Tenemos que sacudirnos a esta gente de arriba de nuestros hombros si queremos llegar a buen puerto. Somos NOSOTROS LOS QUE NO TENEMOS PAPELES, somos nosotros los que tenemos que decidir cuáles son las estrategias a seguir. Les invito a leer el artículo, que explica claramente lo que podemos esperar de uno u otro partido.


La Reforma Migratoria seguirá Dependiendo del Congreso

Por Claudia Longo

Actualizado 2/2/2016

Los candidatos a la presidencia por el partido Democrata, Hillary Clinton y Bernie Sanders podrían ser la única esperanza para los inmigrantes indocumentados en Estados Unidos que esperan hace muchos años regularizar su estatus migratorio, ya que son los únicos candidatos  que apoyarían una Reforma Migratoria Integral y Comprensiva con camino a la ciudadanía para 11 millones de personas viviendo en las sobras.

Pero, es posible lograr tan ansiado objetivo tan solo con la voluntad política de un presidente?

La historia mas reciente nos indica que la respuesta es NO.

En su camino hacia la Casa Blanca , el actual presidente, Barack Obama, prometio en su  campaña electoral, modernizar y reformar el sistema migratorio del pais, el cual mas de un 70% de la población en general , acepta esta roto y debe hacerse algo al respecto.

Por mas de 7 años , Obama ha abogado, en cada ocasión que se le ha presentado, para que el congreso trabaje en forma bipartidista para lograr un proyecto de Ley que fuera satisfactorio para todas las partes y que el pudiera firmar como ley.

Pero el presidente Obama, al  momento de hacer sus promesas de campaña no contaba con la obstrucción en el congreso del liderazgo Republicano en la Camara baja quienes nunca , ni siquiera trajeron a votación el proyecto de Ley del Senado, y es muy probable que el próximo presidente o presidenta, tampoco lo pueda lograr a menos que logremos cambiar el congreso.
Activistas y organizaciones pro inmigracion, tras la incapacidad de Washington de ponerse de acuerdo en votar una Ley , exigieron al presidente que actuara solo, para solucionar un problema que solo podría cambiarse legislativamente.

El presidente actuó, utilizando una herramienta constitucional, Acción Ejecutiva, para que las agencias gubernamentales (ICE) puedan implementar discreción a la hora de deportar personas indocumentadas. Hasta el momento de publicada esta nota, seguimos en limbo, gracias a una demanda presentada por 26 Governadores Republicanos , esperando que las Cortes decidan el destino de mas  de 5 millones de familias viviendo y trabajando entre nosotros, siendo parte de esta gran Nación pero viviendo en un limbo migratorio.

Pero la historia puede volver a repetirse mientras sigamos ignorando como funciona el sistema democrático del pais y no nos demos cuenta que debemos ser parte de la solución y no del problema.
Las leyes se crean , se reforman y modifican solamente en el congreso. Un presidente solo, no puede lograr los cambios que deseamos.

Es así que debemos recordar que en esta campaña electoral ,no solo debemos prestar atención a las promesas de un candidato con aspiraciones a ser presidente , debemos saber como votaría nuestro representante estatal (Senador) y nuestro representante de Distrito sobre los temas que nos interesan, en este caso, inmigración. Todos los candidatos tienen un sitio web y números a los que se puede llamar y preguntar cual es su posición sobre inmigración.

Debemos informarnos para saber, si quien será nuestra voz en Washington, realmente nos representa. Llamar y cuestionar a nuestros representantes electos y aquellos que se postulan y piden nuestro voto, haciéndoles saber que no Lo obtendrán si mantienen posturas que no nos benefician como comunidad y como individuos.

Los Latinos debemos realmente reflexionar y entender que si no participamos inteligentemente en política, la Comunidad no avanza, las familias seguirán siendo afectadas y 11 millones seguirán estando en las sombras por muchos años mas.

Dejemos las emociones de lado por un momento y utilicemos las herramientas democráticas con las que contamos, una de ellas, el Voto.

Claudia participa en las redes sociales Como parte un movimiento que ayuda a motivar e informar a nuestra comunidad Latina en Los temas politicos que nos afectan .

Follow Claudia @ClauVale77

La Importancia de Hacerse Ciudadanos Americanos

Por Claudia Longo

Cuando decimos que apoyamos una reforma migratoria, que estamos dispuestos a hacer para conseguirla?
El sistema migratorio de estados unidos no funciona acorde a los tiempos que corren y nos afecta, sobre todo a la comunidad latina, directa o indirectamente.
Ya sea que queremos una reforma por razones personales y/o humanitarias, por ser indocumentados nosotros mismos o familiares y amigos, o Simplemente porque creemos que es lo correcto para la economía del país, los Latinos no estamos haciendo lo suficiente para hacer que nuestras voces se escuchen en Washington DC.
En estos últimos meses, al verme mas involucrada en el activismo, me he preguntado muchas veces, porque si la gran mayoría de los americanos apoyan una reforma migratoria, es que no se ha conseguido aun.
Y parte de la respuesta es que muchos activistas se han olvidado de algo muy importante. Los latinos somos invisibles en Washington y las marchas y las peticiones no serán nunca suficientes. Lo que se precisa, sumado a todo eso, es educar a nuestra comunidad a ser parte del sistema democrático de este país.
A la fecha y según el último censo, viven en Estados Unidos 54 millones de hispanos, los cuales conforman el 17% de la población total del país y la cual se estima llegaría a más de un 30% para el 2060. Entonces, como es posible que tengamos tan poca representación política y porque nuestros representantes no toman en cuenta los temas que le importan a nuestra comunidad? Una de las razones es porque no votamos o lo hacemos en números muy bajos, sobre todo en las elecciones de medio término cuando debemos elegir a nuestros representantes en el congreso.
A pesar de haber crecido en población habilitada para votar, el número de votantes hispanos que salieron a votar este pasado noviembre se mantuvo igual que en las últimas dos elecciones de medio término. Eso quiere decir que pudiendo, muchos eligen no participar.
Muchos inmigrantes que son residentes legales nunca llegan a hacerse ciudadanos y eso también afecta la manera en que se ve a la comunidad latina. Hay que entender la importancia de hacerse ciudadano en este país. Al hacernos ciudadanos logramos el sentido de pertenencia e igualdad de derechos que los nacidos en esta tierra. Y lo más importante, nos da el derecho a ser escuchados a través de nuestro voto.
Debemos incentivar a nuestra comunidad a que se hagan ciudadanos y puedan así por fin ser la voz de lo que no tienen voz.
Sentarnos y quejarnos que el gobierno no funciona como queremos no es hacer honor a la democracia. Votar sí lo es.
La política nos afecta día a día en cada cosa que hacemos. No sea un apático político, participe y sienta orgullo de decir “hice lo que estaba en mis manos para cambiar lo que no está bien o lo que me afecta”
Hazte ciudadano
Regístrate a votar y vota en cada elección. Dejemos de ser invisibles.image

Why immigration advocates are not reacting by defending Obama’s Executive Order?

By Claudia Longo

With Ohio, Arizona and Florida joining Governor Greg Abbot (R-TX), the number of states that filed a lawsuit against President Obama’s Executive Action, gets to twenty.
We know this lawsuit from Republicans Governors, along with last week House vote on Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) bill to block the president’s immigration action, are only their response to please their conservative base. Even knowing the House bill will not pass a dominated democratic senate and even if that happens President Obama had already said he would vetoed, they still put up a show in order to leave Ted Cruz and his gang happy . Same thing with the lawsuit which many constitutional lawyers had said it will not go anywhere.
But we all know why they are doing it , to show their ultra conservative constituents that they are at least trying to do something to stop Obama to act alone on immigration, even if it means they waste time and tax payers money in the process.
But what really puzzles me is why many immigration advocates stay so quiet about it. Aren’t they going to defend what they have spent so much effort and time to get? Isn’t this executive action going to be defended by those who ask for it?
We have seen hecklers at Presidents Obama’s speech’s , many times, actions directed by organizations like Not1More, DRMAction, an others, asking him to “Stop Deportations” “Not one More” “Go Big Obama” and more. Now, the president has listened and is doing the right thing for the country and our communities. Why is it that I’m no seeing any bashing against those who are trying to undo what so many asked for? Why aren’t this organizations as loud with republicans as they were with our president? I just wonder..


Follow Claudia @ClauVale77

Latino Immigration to The United States

The History of humankind is a history of migrations. All through history people have moved from one area to another in search of better living conditions. Sometimes they have moved peacefully into vacant lands. Many times their migrations have been forceful, by moving into and conquering lands previously claimed by others. But how rightful were those claims?

The United States was built by immigrants. Except for those with full Native American heritage, everyone living here has ancestors came from. Others, due to geographic moves, intermarriage, or other reasons, cannot really tell where their ancestors originated.

Spanish speakers were established in the United States before English speakers. Some Latinos today are descendants of those first Spanish-speaking settlers; others immigrated later. Latinos continue to immigrate to the United States in significant numbers, in many ways and for many reasons.

Some Latinos come to study. They intend to return to their countries, but while in the United States they receive a job offer, get married, or simply decide to stay.

Some Latinos come for what they think will be a short visit to relatives or friends. Once in the United States, they like the idea of spending a longer time. They may eventually get a job or buy a house, and leaving becomes a distant thought.

Some Latinos have come because of political unrest in their home countries –war, dictatorships or insecurity. Since the United States often has influence in the events in their home countries, they find it appropriate to seek asylum here.

Just like previous immigrants to this country–British, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Danish, as well as Jewish people of many nationalities–the majority of Latinos come in search of better living conditions.

The reasons for global poverty, both for individuals and for countries, are complex and must be addressed. But all people need to have enough to feed and cloth their children, to keep them safe and healthy, and to give the and education that will lead them to opportunity. The United States became a great nation through the work of immigrants from many parts of the world. Today there is still much work to be done. New immigrants want to do that work, just as the immigrants of the past have done.

Crossing the border without papers or with false papers is breaking the law. But not all laws are just, moral or ethical. The law that allowed people to be held as slaves was wrong. The laws that prohibited enslaved people of Africa descent to learn to read was wrong. The law that prohibited women to vote was wrong. The law that segregated blacks from whites in the southern states, so that African children could not go to the same schools as white children, was wrong.

The United States has one hundred senator, four hundred thirty-five representatives, and fifty state governments to enforce, debate, amend, and repeal our laws. When laws are insufficient or unjust, due to realities or new understandings, we look to our lawmakers and fellow citizens to change those laws for the better. Today we recognize as heroes people like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez and Fred Korematsu, who challenged unjust laws of the past.

Immigration is one of the most important issues in the United State. Our country could not function without the work of immigrants. How many immigrants can the country admit? How can we ensure that those who come into the country will obey the laws and became productive citizens?.

Many people are debating these issues. In the meantime, thousands of immigrant families continue to live, work and study as they seek a better life.

Source : “Yes! We are Latinos” by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy


El Objetivo de los Activistas Deberia ser Reforma Migratoria Integral

Muchos activistas a favor de la reforma migratoria ya están diciendo que gracias a la presión que ellos han puesto sobre el presidente Obama, éste tomará medidas en cuanto al tema de inmigración. Lo cual en parte en cierto, pero seamos realistas que también se debe a su buena voluntad, porque él hubiera podido haberlos ignorado completamente. ¿Se imaginan, que hubiera pasado si estos activistas hubieran ejercido esa misma presión sobre el congreso? Probablemente el presidente estaría firmando la tan ansiada Ley de Reforma Migratoria Integral, en vez de una Acción Ejecutiva. Definitivamente no hacerlo, fue una estrategia errada.
El presidente Obama ha prometido tomar medidas administrativas en el tema de inmigración, luego que reciba las recomendaciones de su equipo de consejeros y del Secretario de Seguridad Nacional Jeh Johnson.
La acción ejecutiva que el presidente pueda dar, permitiría detener las deportaciones de cierto grupo de inmigrantes indocumentados que cumplan determinados requisitos. Eso significaría que no existe manera alguna por la cual el presidente Obama pueda ayudar a los 11 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados en el país. Sólo el congreso tiene la potestad de hacerlo a través de una modificación de la ley actual de inmigración. Y aun así, tal vez algunos inmigrantes quedarían exceptuados.
Los activistas han insistido en que el presidente debería permitir el alto de las deportaciones de todos, de los 11 millones de indocumentados, pero esa solicitud es inexacta e imposible de atender mediante órdenes ejecutivas. Lo que ciertas organizaciones han pedido al presidente que haga, es lo que los reyes hacen. El presidente ya lo ha expresado, sólo el congreso puede ayudar a número mayor de personas indocumentadas.

El presidente tomará medidas. Todos debemos estar agradecidos por lo que el hará, sea lo que decida hacer, mientras sea beneficioso sólo para algunos inmigrantes indocumentados viviendo en esta país. Ya que será mucho mejor que aquello que el Congreso, particularmente la Cámara de Representantes, hasta ahora ha hecho: tratar de aprobar proyectos de leyes anti-inmigrantes, y acabar con la acción diferida DACA que beneficia a un grupo limitado de jóvenes traídos a este país siendo menores de edad. Recordemos, el congreso lo trató de hacer no una, sino hasta en tres ocasiones.
Al tomar esta decisión, el presidente Obama está poniendo en riesgo su relación con el Congreso, la gobernabilidad del país o más bien la falta de ella, y procederá a pesar de las amenazas ya expresadas en contra de su gestión, que van desde evitar el funcionamiento normal de las agencias del gobierno hasta enjuiciarlo para removerlo de su cargo. Aun así, él está decidido a proceder, simplemente porque dados los hechos (la Cámara de Representantes ha tenido más de 500 días para someter a votación el proyecto de ley de reforma migratoria aprobado en el Senado S.744 y no lo han hecho), debe ser así.
El trabajo de los activistas a favor de una Reforma Migratoria no termina, mientras no se cambie la ley existente. Las medidas que el presidente tome, buscando corregir el sistema de inmigración disfuncional actual, serán limitadas y provisionales, ya que podrán ser revocadas por el próximo presidente.
Realmente esperamos que en los próximos meses, esos activistas ejerzan presión sobre el congreso. Si continuamos viendo manifestaciones, solicitudes para enviar mensajes o hacer llamadas telefónicas, o publicaciones con críticas sobre “promesas incumplidas”, dirigidas al presidente por no haber incluido “a todos” en su acción administrativa, no tendremos ninguna duda de que esas organizaciones estaban alineadas con el partido Republicano luchando en contra del presidente y de los intereses de nuestra comunidad.
Necesitamos crear un nuevo liderazgo entre los activistas y los defensores de los inmigrantes que represente adecuadamente a nuestra comunidad y vele por sus intereses de manera transparente y cabal. ¡Y debemos hacerlo ya!


Why Anti-immigrant Candidates Don’t Deserve Our Vote

Why Anti-immigrant Candidates Don’t Deserve Our Vote
By Faby Aguilar

My state of Texas has two anti-immigrant rhetorical candidates – GOP nominee for Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick and GOP candidate for Governor, Greg Abbott – time after time these two have bullied and rallied against our Latino community. Slamming immigrants, whether they are legal or illegal, is repulsive! I encourage all Latino and non-Latino Citizens to shut their anti-immigrant rhetorical mouths by voting against them! Whether you live in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, or anywhere across America, let’s NOT vote for “Pete Wilson” cynical ideologies. If we, as Latinos, who are the target of derogatory comments don’t stand up and VOTE, then this pathetic anti-immigrant oppression will not stop. Want to see change? Act! Vote early or on November 4 against anti-immigrant candidates!

Texas is a crystal clear example of bigotry exposed in front of our noses; it is factual to witness how Dan Patrick attacks the immigrant Latino community by accusing immigrants of bringing “third world diseases with them.” And he also claims there’s an “illegal invasion,” and links undocumented immigrants to be a menace of “drug-smuggling, murder, and terrorism.” Dan Patrick stated that Latino immigrants “Threaten your life. They threaten your business. They threaten our state.” Also, like a parrot, he campaigns the “secure the border” overstatement injecting fear in Americans by stating that ISIS group can come in through our Southern border. I ask myself, what about Canadian borders, why isn’t there a border security commotion up North like our Southern borders? Hmmm… are Latinos a bad case of political strategy to motivate anti-immigrant registered voters to vote for these radicals? Apparently it’s easy to attack Latinos since their lack of voting participation will not affect these extremists who spit against our Latino community. Wrong! At least from my part, my family members who are able to vote, and I will NOT vote for these cynics who disrespect our Latino community. Fortunately, I am not alone; many voters who see the discrimination behind all these verbal attacks will validate their voices at the voting booths!

Furthermore, Greg Abbott is another extremist, who ironically is married to a Latina, yet he justified doubling border security spending by comparing the South Texas border region to a “third-world country.”Abbott offensively stereotyped a region where millions of Latinos live. He also carried the “stop the invasion” rhetoric just like Dan Patrick. In addition, both, Patrick and Abbott strongly oppose a Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), Dream Act, Drivers’ License issuance for immigrants, and college in-state tuition for Dreamers. Instead of bringing solutions to the table, they reject all pro-immigrant proposals because they simply don’t respect community and because they are not threatened by our vote. Our vote is the best defense and antidote to suppress their anti-immigrant apathy to help and to try to stop their constant harassment!

Unfortunately, this anti-immigrant rhetoric has spread like a vicious disease across America among other right-winged candidates who also campaign Patrick’s and Abbott’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. The time has come for Latino and non-Latino citizens to voice their objection towards anti-immigrant and Latino community oppression. Don’t we all know a friend, a neighbor, and acquaintance, or even a mother who is an immigrant but who is NOT the stereotype person profiled by discriminating people like Patrick and Abbott who have tagged on our immigrants as though they are some rare and dangerous “illegal alien” species from out of this world? What can you expect from these candidates who have dreadfully attacked the Latino ethnic group with distasteful comments? It is obvious that their anti-immigrant advocacy reveals their ethics are too weak to lead a State!

The oppression from SOME anti-immigrant Americans, groups, and government officials is extremely nauseating. Yes, schemes like Republicans voting to deport Dreamers is a form of oppression. Yes, anti-immigrant armed militia groups at the borders and Murrieta’s protestors’ against refugee children demonstrate oppression, discrimination, and lack of humanity. I can go on listing but the truth of the matter is that these types of malicious signs of oppression affect our families, our country, and our society. If you’re not against immigrants obviously this doesn’t apply to you. However, some Anti-immigrant candidates and anti-immigrant Americans argue that “illegals break the law.” Well, these immigrants are NOT felons; some of them may carry a misdemeanor or civil offense for illegal entry, an eye opener fact reveals that most immigrants enter the country legally with a Visa – so STOP labeling ALL immigrants of being criminals! Still, the smart solution lies in implementing a Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) for the 11 Million immigrants already residing the U.S. soil.

Without forgetting that being “legal” or “illegal” immigrants are humans; America is a country of immigrants, these lands belonged to Native-Americans once, remember? I say to all the anti-immigrant extremists groups and government officials – how would you feel if your immigrant ancestors underwent through all the injustice, prejudice, stereotypes, oppression, family separations, labor inequality, and deaths at the deserts/borders that modern immigrants have endured? Didn’t your ancestors escape from their native countries in search of a better economic life and freedom of oppression just like modern immigrants? You see, implementing a Comprehensive Immigration Reform would reinforce immigration laws, help non-criminal immigrants with legal status and diminish or stop other immigrants from coming to America. Immigration system is NOT working, is in it wise to fix it?

In addition to my strong Latino community defense, I also oppose Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott because they stand against equal pay for women, they have cut educational funding from our schools, they stand against A.C.A. Medicaid expansion knowing that this benefit doesn’t cost a penny to Texans because resources are provided by Federal funds, and because they’ve shown carelessness towards our veterans. Even if you’re a reading this but are careless about our immigrants, I say to you: be smart and get involved with your communities wellbeing. Surely there must be something in your community you don’t like. Whatever triggers you should be enough reason to motivate you to vote because directly or indirectly government representatives’ decisions affect your environment.

To the resentful and misinformed Latinos, activists, and media who promote boycotting our vote or who only focus on deportation halts, and to the ones who have stopped striving for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform passed in Congress; I stress to all in a respectful but loud manner:

My parents have lived in the immigration shadows for 25 years with good moral conduct, paid taxes every year, having never asked for government assistance. Although they contribute to the economy, they currently carry deportation status over their shoulders, my mother first in line. I have two brothers who came to this country at ages four and five and are protected (still) by DACA. Never again have they gone back to our native soil; America is the only home they know and remember. Cases like mine are a representation of the millions of non-criminal immigrants who migrated to work hard but still live in the immigration shadows, some suffering from family separations, pay inequality, civil rights injustice among many of the long list of hardships immigrants go through simply because a group of anti-immigrant government officials oppose implementing a Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Some of you need to stop grieving and motivate others to vote instead of boycotting! I voted, so can you! I’ve heard all your arguments ranging from “Obama’s broken promise,” to ”Democrat inaction deception,” but we can’t give up, we have continue in the CIR fight and play all the cards on the deck. If you are too proud to vote for whatever blinding sentimental reasons, then STOP confusing our Latino community by propagandizing boycotting our Latino vote! Want to really teach a lesson? VOTE against anti-immigrant candidates! It is obvious that Obama made a mistake signaling a date for an executive order, but he didn’t remove it! Many of you seem to miss the real struggle should be to obtain Comprehensive Immigration Reform as a law in Congress instead of conforming to obtain Obama’s revocable executive order. Study how our government works and you’ll understand that Obama has limited power and that he is hand tied by anti-immigrant Republican representatives because Obama has no power in the legislative branch. Don’t you see Obama is trying to get the legislative branch to pass CIR as a law? He is asking you to vote and send him a Senate he can work with to get it done, yet you turn your back? It is also fundamental to understand the difference between a law and an executive order. CIR law equals permanent relief for our immigrants while an executive order implementation is vulnerable to be revoked. DACA is a perfect example of an executive order situated the Limbo of removal. You tell me isn’t wise to strive for CIR? Latinos remember this: if November 4 comes and you didn’t vote or didn’t motivate others to VOTE and anti-immigrant candidates overtake the Senate, then you better not complain, cry, or throw tantrums if DACA and CIR suffer the consequences. Our actions or inactions will have an effect; hopefully you’ll be smart enough to keep fighting and not stay home begging for a miracle. Do both, pray and vote! Let’s work together and stop this anti-immigrant nonsense! Our immigrants deserve respect! Don’t surrender, vote!

Let’s help our immigrant community, whether they are Latino, Philippino, Chinese, etc., they contribute to our economy and most are non-criminals who have lived in the dark shadows of our broken immigration system for years. Do your research in your state, find out who supports a Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and vote for them! Please let’s think objectively and take off the political party fanatic blindfolds, pessimism, or discard the fox news brainwashing junk. Evidence, not ideologies, reveals that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, from the Republican Party refuses to bring a vote on immigration Reform and facts demonstrate that Republican majority oppose a Comprehensive Reform. Republicans and Democrats toss back and forth CIR issues like inept circus clowns because Latinos vote at a ridiculously low rate compared to their massive demographics. Let’s be proactive by voting to make these anti-immigrant representatives listen to us instead of attacking us!

As in independent voter, and as a normal citizen just like you, it is my conclusion, that on Nov. 4 we have to vote in favor of the lesser of the two Blue or Red devils, and in this moment in time, given the FACTS that the Republican Party has repetitively underscored that they will NOT act on Immigration Reform, my vote is against them. If the Democratic Party wins majority of the Senate, Immigration Reform has more probabilities of becoming a legislative law passed by Congress providing permanent relief to immigrants rather than simply getting a temporary executive order band aid fix from Obama. This is NOT about red or blue political parties; this is about our community who deserve respect and legal status to the non-criminals and hard-working immigrants who contribute to our economy. For all this, my vote goes to Leticia Van de Putte and Wendy Davis who do not carry an anti-immigrant rhetoric and who are willing to work for solutions for our immigrant community. Even if you are not sure to cast your vote to a Democratic or Republican political party, I can respect that, but please at least vote blank and cast your Latino presence in a ballot so politicians recognize our participation. As a result, in future they’ll think twice before continuing with their anti-immigrant rhetoric! Our Latino vote will determine who controls the Senate. Please vote wisely!

By Faby Aguilar

Follow me @Faby_070


Can Civic Culture influence on how a country votes?

By Claudia Longo

Uruguay will celebrate a new Presidential Election tomorrow (Sunday October 26th). It’s a celebration of democracy. Everyone, young and old, women and men, right wing , centrists and left wings are eager to have this privilege come to a reality every five years.

At least one year earlier all three parties will start working on their electoral campaigns by slowly painting the streets of the city with the colors of each party and candidates start showing up their faces on TV spots and their voices on radio shows. The whole city turns into a political discussion. At school, at work, at the corner store, at the dinner table, long “tertulias” (discussion) take place every time more than two citizen get together.

Everyone has a favorite candidate. This form of civic behavior doesn’t discriminate between social or economic classes. Wealthy, Middle class and poor, will gather in every corner and expose their reasons why their party or candidate should be elected.

After many years I realize this practice is nothing else but Civic lessons uruguaians practice, in a natural way almost since birth. You get sucked up by the conversations, your learn from your elders since the time you are in diapers only by being present on those conversations, and you learn how the democratic system works without even knowing you are being gifted with this skill that will help you practice your privilege and right to vote as an adult.

Me as many others, would get annoyed at some point by this constant single-issue conversations that takes place for so long, which gets very heated as we get closer to Election Day, making entire families and friends to temporary get mad at each other for not sharing the same opinions only until after the last ballot is counted and life goes slowly back to normal.

I have been living in the US for the last twelve years and with only ten days away from Midterm Election here, I miss the political noise. I miss the constant discussion about what the outgoing president and congress has done good and bad for the country to take in consideration at the moment of casting your vote.
Here, it doesn’t happen that way. Most of my friends don’t even know we are on an election year or how important it is to register and vote or even what is the process to get it done. I hate to compare, but today, on the eve of an Election Day in my home country, I feel homesick.

Follow Claudia on Twitter @clauvale77

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