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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Curanderismo

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

A steady stream of Latino immigrants is fueling the demand for curanderismo in the Southwest. Often misunderstood as witchcraft, the practice also has piqued the interest of doctors trying to educate themselves about different ways to approach medicine and healing.

Curanderismo is a holistic, spiritual approach to medicine that uses the natural world to heal the mind, body and soul. Curanderas often prepare teas, creams and tinctures from herbs and plants and use massage therapies to treat a wide variety of ailments.

I appreciate my culture as much as the next guy, but I think curanderismo entails a lot of superstition that we can all do without.

Hispanic Soldiers

Jonah Goldberg of National Review's blog, The Corner, sets the record straight and correct's Al Sharpton's statement that Latino service people don't need to know English to become citizens.

FOR THE RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]When Al Sharpton says that Hispanic soldiers didn't have to take an english test to be sent to Iraq, he was talking out his Fleet Center -- if you know what I mean. Enlisted men actually have to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) , which tests verbal skills. But hey, it was a good line.

Elian Gonzalez

Almost normal at 10 years old:

Four years after little Elian Gonzalez was plucked from the seas off Florida's coast and sparked an international custody battle, the young boy is leading a sheltered and almost normal life back in Cuba.

After the Party

Here's some interesting post-convention news:

LAST-MINUTE LATINO SHUFFLE: Organizers of the Democratic National Convention added Latino speakers to the lineup after receiving complaints from Latino delegates, according to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the convention's chairman. "Hispanics got a lot of play at this convention," Richardson said yesterday. "We added a couple at the last minute, and we've added a couple today just to make sure all concerns were accommodated." The 2000 convention featured about two dozen Latino speakers, but the original plan for this year's speaker list featured about half of that number, the Houston Chronicle reports. Despite the subsequent increase, only two Latinos spoke in primetime: Richardson and New Jersey Rep. Bob Menendez. Democrats realize the importance of the Latino vote, especially in a handful of crucial swing states. So with the convention over, Richardson is turning his attention to heading the Democracy Corps, a $2 million project aiming to increase voter registration and turnout among Latinos in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Florida.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Battle of the Titans

Kenneth Starr and Miguel Estrada will face each other at the Supreme Court in a case about wine sales over the Internet. It should be interesting.

Courting the Hispanic Vote

From the very insightful Marcela Sanchez in the Washington Post (also in Spanish):

Add to those Latinos who easily cross party lines the 30 percent to 35 percent who are undecided or claim to be independent and you have what has become a permanent feature during U.S. electoral seasons: the hot pursuit of the unpredictable Latino voter.

Unfortunately, that pursuit is often shaped by generalizations and stereotypes. Take the Spanish language, for instance. Democrats and Republicans are predicted to spend a record $17 million in Spanish-language ads this election season. Yet, according to the Pew/Kaiser report, eight in 10 registered Latinos primarily speak English.

There is something about the parties' efforts to attract Hispanic voters that reminds me of my teenage years and my clumsy attempts to woo the girls.

Well, just because you're clumsy doesn't necessarily mean that you have failed. At least this is what Ruben Navarrete seems to be saying:

John Kerry has done a horrible job of reaching out to Hispanic voters. But what do you know--Hispanic voters may now be reaching out to him.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

A New Underclass?

Heather MacDonald:

Hispanic youths, whether recent arrivals or birthright American citizens, are developing an underclass culture. (By “Hispanic” here, I mean the population originating in Latin America—above all, in Mexico—as distinct from America’s much smaller Puerto Rican and Dominican communities of Caribbean descent, which have themselves long shown elevated crime and welfare rates.) Hispanic school dropout rates and teen birthrates are now the highest in the nation. Gang crime is exploding nationally—rising 50 percent from 1999 to 2002—driven by the march of Hispanic immigration east and north across the country. Most worrisome, underclass indicators like crime and single parenthood do not improve over successive generations of Hispanics—they worsen.

Without a doubt, this is required reading for anyone interested in the welfare of our youth, but I have to warn you that this piece is as heartbreaking as it is long.

Is a Fetus a Citizen?

From Fox News:

LOS ANGELES — Lawyers for a deported Mexican woman who is eight months pregnant are seeking her return to the United States to protect the unborn baby's health. They also say under federal law the fetus is a viable human being and thus may be eligible for citizenship rights.

That argument sounds like a longshot to some on both sides of the immigration debate. But in May, a U.S. District Court judge in Kansas City, Mo., approved a stay of deportation for a pregnant Mexican woman after raising, among other concerns, the question of whether her fetus could be considered a U.S. citizen. The judge is reviewing the issue.

I don't know the answer to this question, but just thinking about it makes my head hurt.

Teresa Heinz Kerry

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., writing for the American Spectator:

It is understandable that Ter-aayzah would address her remarkable audience in Spanish. There are many Spanish-speaking Americans, and she speaks Spanish with a lovely accent. She speaks English with an accent too, which I personally find quite charming. Al fresco, in the cafes of her youth, I can envision her as a lot of fun. On the far side of middle age, however, intent on one-upping the many poseurs of the Democratic Party, she is a little hard to take. No wonder her Gallic husband looks so grim.

More from Andrew Sullivan:
Now there are many languages spoken in the United States. French isn't one of the more common ones. Neither is Portuguese. THK was saying nothing here, it seems to me, except, "I can speak lots of languages." Good for her. But the point? That her opponents don't care to appeal to new immigrants? Or that new immigrants have a special claim on the Democrats? As one myself, I'd like to think so, but I'd also like not to be set apart. The opening of her speech was simply an exercise in exhibitionist cosmopolitanism. She's not the Pope; and her audience is American, not French. I don't get it. Neither, I suspect, did many others.

The VIP Treatment

The Dallas Morning News reporting from the Democratic Convention in Boston:

With the presidential election about three months away and its outcome still too close to call, Mr. Richardson joined Mr. Kerry and President Bush in going after the Hispanic vote like never before.

That included outreach efforts here that are approaching VIP treatment.

The Mr. Richardson referenced in the quote is, of course, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, one of the most prominent Hispanic leaders in the country and a man that was seriously considered as John Kerry's running mate.

All this attention is lovely, but both parties are beginning to run the risk of over-promising or seeming a little desperate in their attempts to court the Hispanic vote.

Up For Grabs

From the Fond Du Lac Reporter in Wisconsin:

The Latino community is focusing on issues such as education, jobs, health care and immigration. Latinos are a hot commodity this election cycle because they are swing voters. That is short for “up for grabs.”

Recently, I spoke with Congressman Henry Bonilla, a Hispanic Republican from Texas. He shared how Republicans are gaining ground among a traditionally Democrat-leaning ethnic group. U.S. Sen. John McCain from Arizona received 60 percent of the Hispanic vote, and U.S. Sen. Pete Dominici in New Mexico over 50 percent.

Naturalized Voters

From HispanicBusiness.com:

Hispanics who have become naturalized U.S. citizens and registered to vote cast ballots at a higher rate than Americans who are citizens by birth, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

English Classes in NYC

From the New York Times:

To learn English is not easy, but more immigrants than ever are trying. All over the city, literacy experts say, they crowd the free or low-cost English programs offered at public libraries, schools and community organizations...

Such programs are part of a network of adult literacy and work force development efforts supported by a fluctuating mix of federal, state and city money. Officials at the Literary Assistance Center, an umbrella research group for many of the programs, counted 31,000 English class slots last year, up from 26,000 three years ago. Unions, colleges and jobs programs may account for several thousand more. But untapped demand is more than 1.5 million, according to recent surveys.

Kerry Video

Has everybody seen the Kerry flip-flop video that everybody is talking about?  Why not?

The Madness of Communism

Government dumps mangoes into the river rather than let the farmers sell it

HAVANA, July 27 (Moisés Leonardo Rodríguez / www.cubanet.org) - Lack of transportation has put a crimp on the government's effort to collect the current mango crop, but peasants who grow it are forbidden from selling their produce to the people. The result: No mangoes in the markets and 200 hundredweight of mangoes disposed of in the river Saná.

As a matter of fact, says local human rights activist Guillermo Llanes, this is the second time the massive dump takes place. Government officials had done the same last month.

Fox En Español

There's a petition circulating on the Internet to create a Fox News channel for the Spanish-speaking community.  Check it out!

Hat Tip:  A.J. Nolte

Hispanic Vote Analysis

The bottom line is that the Florida Hispanic vote can decide the election:

In the 2004 election, just 16 of the 50 states are considered in play to vote differently than in 2000. These battleground states are like the big gears in the watch; they drive the outcome.

And driving five of these battleground states is what many here are calling the ''hottest'' voting bloc of the 2004 electorate: Hispanics. In each of those -- Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and, of course, Florida, the biggest prize of all -- Hispanic voters can easily affect the result on Election Day...

The Kerry equation becomes clear: More young and post-Mariel Cubans voting Democrat means a smaller Hispanic margin of victory for President Bush. That could mean that Florida goes for Kerry. And who doesn't already know that, as goes Florida, so goes the White House?

Hispanics in Boston

It was Latino night at the DNC Convention yesterday.  Here are some of the people who addressed the delegates:

Bill Richardson

Ciro Rodriguez

Raul Yzaguirre

Antonio Villaraigosa

Eimy Santiago (I don't know who she is, either).

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Voter Turnout, etc.

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

BOSTON -- Voter turnout for Hispanics declined between 1998 and 2002, though overall turnout was up nationally, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

About 30 percent of voting-age Hispanics went to the polls for the 2002 midterm election, down from 33 percent, according to a bureau report. That compares with a slight increase - from 45 percent to 46 percent - in the turnout rate for all voting-age citizens.

Al-Qaeda at the Border

Michelle Malkin links to a report about a suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist who may have crossed the U.S. - Mexico border 250 times.  Yikes!

Hispanics in Florida

It's good to be Latino in Florida in an election year:

At least until November, Hispanics are the chosen people of the election year. Candidates are willing to do or say anything to tap into the fastest-growing segment of the Florida electorate. If you're Hispanic, the time is now to call and ask for something.

Vernon Robinson

I am pleased that Vernon Robinson, a black conservative Republican, is getting closer to becoming the next Senator from North Carolina.  However, his positions on immigration and language issues are more than a bit troubling:

In a development that attracted national attention, early Robinson backer Jack Kemp dropped his support when Robinson campaigned for strict enforcement of immigration laws. In one Robinson radio ad, the narrator said: "The aliens are coming and they're not from spaceships" as the theme from the "Twilight Zone" played in the background. In the ad, Robinson vowed to "safeguard our borders, cut off all welfare, and, once and for all, make English the official language."

Vernon Robinson is a member of a very unique group of people, nativist and xenophobic African-Americans.  It's very weird!

Affirmative Action

A former liberal rejects racial preferences:

Diversity now rules the day. By the way, whenever you hear liberals championing diversity, they're definitely not referring to diversity of ideas; only skin color and sexual preferences.

I predict that the race preferences debate will only get murkier and more heated. With Hispanic immigrants surpassing blacks in minority status, they'll increasingly benefit from so-called affirmative action although they can't claim to have suffered from the effects of past discrimination in this country.

I also predict that as a consequence, black supporters of race preferences will demand even more or demand that Hispanics receive less. There is no end to the madness.

Pinochet's Audit

From Yahoo! News:

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - Attorneys for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet have begun to audit his assets to determine the origin of millions of dollars he maintained in secret accounts in Washington-based Riggs Bank, his defense team said on Tuesday.

Inquiring minds want to know where he got his millions.

Chat with Rosario Marín

Rosario Marín, former U.S. Treasurer and current "Hispanics for Bush" Steering Committee member, will take your questions about the Democrats' attempts to makeover John Kerry's out-of-the-mainstream record and discuss why President Bush’s agenda reflects the values of the Latino community and all Americans.  Tonight at 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. (eastern).

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

New Kerry Spanish Radion Ad

From the AP via NY Newsday:

BOSTON -- Democrat John Kerry started running a Spanish-language radio commercial in five states this week, just as a group of centrist Democrats readied the next phase of its Hispanic-targeted advertising -- commercials assailing President Bush...

The 60-second ad touches on themes salient to the minority group -- education, health care, and values like honor and faith. It praises Kerry for "defending the working class" and fighting to "improve public education" for Hispanic children. "John Kerry, our hope for a better future," the ad says.

Rhode Island Hispanics

Who knew?

As the Republicans work to extend their control of the White House and Congress, it remains to be seen whether the fast-growing Latino population in the US offers more of an edge to Democrats or the GOP.  It might be a strange question in heavily Democratic southern New England, but the political leanings of Latinos -- from the super-conservative Cuban expatriates of south Florida to California’s Republican-leaning Mexican-Americans -- tend to be far more varied around the US.

In Rhode Island, where being a Republican has been compared to trying to pee up a rope, a few believe that the GOP theme of family, church, and self-reliance remains appealing for Latinos in the US. Those on the other side argue, of course, that anti-immigrant Republican policies do enough to drive politically aware Hispanics into the arms of the Democratic Party.

Voter Sophistication

From the Denver Post:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says his fellow Latinos will determine the election. "You can't appeal to them by trotting out a mariachi band and speaking Spanish anymore," said the convention chairman. "The Latino voter is not that unsophisticated."

Naturalization & Voting

Interesting report.  One excerpt:

Naturalization remains a key factor. Legal Latino immigrants are much less likely to become U.S. citizens than other immigrants; only 38 percent had done so by 2000 versus almost 60 percent of other immigrants. If Latinos had naturalized at the same rate as other immigrants, approximately 700,000 additional Latino votes would have been cast in 2000. Another one million Latino votes could be added in 2004, if the naturalization rate were on par with other immigrants.

Who Needs Who?

I beg to differ with this proposition:

Hispanic Democratic Party leaders said Monday that John Kerry will need the Latino vote to reach the White House, but they also stressed that the Hispanic community would be better off with the Massachusetts senator in the White House.

To paraphrase, the Hispanic community needs the Democrats like a fish needs a bicycle.

Latino Wish List

Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform:

With the stroke of Bush's or Kerry's pen, millions of illegal aliens can be instantly transformed into guest workers or green card holders, and the man holding the pen can take credit for having "delivered" something to Latinos, even if it is only the 11th item on their wish list. Ironically, in making item No. 11 come true, the politicians who are pandering to them will make their other wishes even more difficult, if not impossible, to attain. Because neither Congress nor the president possesses the authority to repeal the law of supply and demand, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and their families, expanded guest worker programs and still higher levels of legal immigration would only exacerbate the very problems that most Latinos (and everybody else) worry about.

There are so many things wrong with this piece that I could go on for pages.  Let me just make a few points:  normalizing the legal status of millions of immigrants would improve the lot of those people who are now laboring and struggling without the basic protections of the law (minimum wage, health and safety regulations, anti-discrimination laws, etc.)  Better wages would lead to a better standard of living for immigrants, which would lead to the ability to participate in an employer's health insurance plan and maybe even have enough money to send a child to Catholic school, for example.  The items on the "Latino Wish List" are not mutually exclusive, but inextricably interconnected.  Taking care of the immigration problem has the potential of resolving some of the other issues of greater concern to Hispanics, like education, health insurance and job security.

It is true that schools in Latino neighborhoods are failing our kids, and they will continue to fail if parents are working two and three jobs at below minimum wage, and they don't have the time to help their children with school or the money to opt out of the public school system.  Beginning with a guest worker program and moving toward making citizens out of these immigrants will lead to a faster transition from the underclass to the middle class, which is where we want to see people that come to this country and work hard.

On the economy, a guest worker program would be the right initial response to the laws of supply and demand that Mr. Stein refers to.  It is clear that there is great demand for laborers and that is why we see people risking their lives to come to America.  The president's immigration proposal recognizes this and it seeks to deal with the disconnect between supply and demand that currently exists.  The jobs clearly exist, and it's just a matter of deciding whether the people that are filling the demand will be treated like real workers or like indentured servants. 

Celia Cruz

Fascinating story from the Miami Herald:

The year was 1955, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and Celia Cruz, 29, was a star on the stage and airwaves with Cuba's celebrated Sonora Matancera band. And, at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, she was banned from visiting the United States as a suspected communist.

In fact, the singer known affectionately as Celia to generations of Cuban exiles was at least twice refused an artist's visa to visit America in the 1950s, according to a recently declassified U.S. document that described her as a ``well-known communist singer and stage star.''

Monday, July 26, 2004

Cause for Concern

I hope the Republicans are taking these numbers to heart and doing something about the situation:

Kerry, who officially becomes the Democratic nominee at the party's convention in Boston this week, holds a 60 percent to 32 percent lead over President Bush among voters who identify themselves as Hispanic.

Kerry gained two points since a similar poll in April -- within the poll's margin of error, but still a potential trouble spot for Bush, said pollster John Zogby, who conducted the survey of 1,003 likely voters.

GOP Outreach to Immigrants

Orange County, California Republicans have established a center to help immigrants navigate life in the U.S.:

Creating a nonprofit center to help immigrants was a way to take action to show that Republicans aren't monolithic and anti-Latino, said Dale Dykema, a Santa Ana businessman and longtime GOP activist who began advocating for the center in 1996...

Republican organizers decided to create a nonprofit center with no official tie to the party other than its appeal to donors. Its goal is to act as a free resource center, referring clients for help with education, immigration, healthcare and employment to local, state, federal and private agencies.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Kerry Edwards

Latinos should not forget this:

Apparently fearing that the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court could be appointed by a Republican, they [the two Johns] voted to continue the filibuster against the nomination of the eminently qualified Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Hispanic Swing Voters

This is how the Democrats see the Hispanic vote:

There is one big Clinton-Gore swing group that comes with an equally big asterisk: Clinton won Hispanics by an astonishing 51 points, while Gore won them by "only" 27 percent. The asterisk is the Republican Party's disastrous identification with anti-immigrant legislation in the mid-1990s. Bush's performance among Hispanics was much closer to the historic GOP percentage in this category, and probably cannot get much worse in 2004. John Kerry's realistic goal is to maintain Gore's margin among Hispanic voters while benefiting from a significant increase in the Hispanic segment of the electorate.

Bush Leads Kerry in Electoral Votes

Battleground state analysis from the AP (via the Philadelphia Inquirer):

John Kerry narrowly trails President Bush in the battle for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, as he makes his case at the Democratic National Convention this week to topple the Republican incumbent...

In Nevada, an influx of Hispanics and the administration's push to use Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste site make the state tougher for Bush than in 2000...

Hispanic voters make Colorado a prime target, but Democrats acknowledge it's a tough state to win...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Mexico Border Is a Security Risk

This is ammunition for anti-immigrant groups that advocate sealing the border or using the military to patrol the U.S.-Mexico line:

TUCSON - A border watch group claims it successfully sneaked into the United States carrying a fake weapon of mass destruction.

American Border Patrol spokesman Glenn Spencer told the Arizona Daily Star the test was intended to show how easy it would be for terrorists to sneak deadly weapons across the border.

Mike King, a former Army sniper who was assigned to Fort Huachuca as a National Guardsman after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said he's hoping the demonstration will help convince government leaders that the country's southern border is a national security risk.

Thank You Luis

I just received this very kind and encouraging e-mail from a gentleman named Luis:

I recently discovered your blog.  I think that what you are doing is very important for our democracy and the Latino community in particular, especially given the horrendous bias that exists in the Spanish speaking media in this country.

This note makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and it makes me very proud of having started this blog.  Thanks Luis!  You've made my day.

By the way, it's not all positive.  Shortly after posting up my 400th blog entry, I got a message from a reader calling me a "moron."  I'll take the good with the bad and keep on blogging.

Shhh! Quiet Please!

From the Wall Street Journal (subscription):

Call Carlos Delgado, the Toronto Blue Jays' slugger, a quiet protestor.

Mr. Delgado won't rise during the playing of "God Bless America" because he thinks the war in Iraq is "the stupidest war ever," as he told the Toronto Star two weeks ago. This stand is consistent with his larger anti-arms philosophy, which he had earlier expressed in criticizing the U.S. Navy's weapons testing on Vieques, an island off the eastern coast of his native Puerto Rico.

He may be a "quiet protestor," but he's not quiet enough for me.  Besides, what the hell is an "anti-arms philosophy"?  Does he believe the U.S. should get rid of all means to defend itself?

William Rhoden of the New York Times (surprise, surprise) thinks Delgado is just great:

Good for him. In the world of mainstream professional sports, where cookie-cutter athletes rarely take a stand on any issue, let alone one as highly charged as a war, Delgado is a rarity. He is unafraid to question a ritual that he does not agree with. Delgado's protest this season has been so quiet, so subtle that Bud Selig, the baseball commissioner, didn't know about it until I called him to talk about it on Monday.

God Bless America!  The land that made Carlos Delgado a gazillionaire!

Immigration Is a Low Priority

To the extend that the President has focused on the immigration issue as a way to attract Hispanic voters, this may explain while he's losing voter support among Latinos:

Immigration ranks last among issues viewed as important by Latino voters, a new survey shows.

Education trumped all issues. But immigration reform also trailed priorities such as health care, the war in Iraq and crime, according to the nationwide survey, which provided a list of issues for Latinos to rank.

Like I said before, we have other issues that are of interest to us as a community.

Castro, Trademark Pirate

William R. Hawkins of FrontPage.com writes in support of Congressional action to prevent Fidel Castro's regime from profiting from stolen intellectual property:

One example of how Mr. Castro has used confiscated trade marks to earn hard currency is provided by "Havana Club" rum, a top-of-the-line brand whose label is the legitimate property of Bacardi-Martini Ltd. The Bacardi label was legendary in the rum trade for generations prior to Mr. Castro's rise, having been founded in 1862. The family-owned business fled Cuba after its assets were seized and rebuilt itself into the world's fourth-largest spirits company.

Mr. Castro has made an agreement with French liquor conglomerate Pernod Ricard to produce and market the Havana Club brand around the world. The Cuban-French venture has been exploiting the label outside the U.S. and trying to obtain title to the U.S. trademark so it can be sold in the American market. According to a report in Forbes, Pernod Ricard splits the $40 million in profits from the stolen brand directly with Mr. Castro. In 1993, Mr. Castro granted Pernod Ricard a monopoly on the island's rum. Last year, nearly 2 million cases were sold under the pirated Havana Club label, generating $170 million in hard currency for Cuba.

$170 million is a lot of money going to a dictatorial, communist regime.  Drink Bacardi!!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Bush on Immigration

Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post is very critical of the Bush administration for not doing enough to push legislation that would help immigrants:

Every year the government deports American teenagers -- who have gone to school here and are on their way to productive careers -- to Latin American and Caribbean nations they may not have seen since infancy. It's for that reason that legislators of both parties support the Dream Act, which would enable 65,000 high school graduates who are undocumented to become citizens if they complete college, and allow them to pay the in-state rate for tuition at public colleges and universities.

The Dream Act passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last fall, with heavy bipartisan backing and the support of Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch. But like the Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act of 2003, or Ag Jobs, which also looked bound for passage until some recent mind-boggling legislative maneuvers, it has fallen prey to the Bush administration's reluctance to do anything that might rouse the ire of the nativist right...

Karl Rove knows perfectly well that the Latino vote is growing and is an increasing factor in such swing states as Florida, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. But he also knows that the president's half-hearted steps toward immigration reform were greeted by a storm of protest from anti-immigrant forces in the very same states, and that Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) actually incurred a primary challenge (which he beat back) because he had co-authored Ag Jobs in the House.

 

Illegal Immigration

The Washington Times has a three-part series on illegal immigration:

Part One:  Aliens Hiding in Plain Sight

Part Two:  Outnumbered in the Hunt for Aliens

Part Three:  Revolving Door at the Border

It's a long read, but you should take the time to go through it and come to your own conclusions about the issue.

The Negatives of Immigration

The other side of the story:

More than one-third of all people who ever immigrated to the US have come in the past three decades. Most have been men looking for jobs, legally or illegally, who compete directly with native- born men. George Borjas, a Harvard University economist and expert on immigration economics, estimates that between 1980 and 2000 immigration reduced the average annual earnings of native-born men by $1,700, or roughly 4 percent.

Because most immigrants in those 20 years had relatively little education, the impact of their arrival was greatest on natives who didn't graduate from high school, Borjas found. By adding to the supply of less-educated labor, immigration reduced their wages by 7.4 percent.

 

Miles to Go Before We Sleep

If the latest polls are to be believed, the GOP has a lot of work to do to convince Hispanic voters to help re-elect the President:

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) holds a strong lead over President Bush among the nation's Hispanic voters, with a majority rejecting the president's handling of the economy and the war in Iraq, according to a survey by The Washington Post, Univision and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute.

The headline from the Washington Post is "Latino Voters Favor Kerry, 2-1."  Ouch!

Update:  Michelle Malkin puts the impact of the Hispanic Vote in some perspective.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Tragedy in Honduras

From OneWorld News:

Casa Alianza Honduras, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense of children’s human rights, has documented the murder of more than 2,200 children and youth under the age of 23 between January 1998 and April 2004. In May 2004, a further 37 young victims were recorded as killed.

Like the majority of the cases hidden under the blanket of impunity due to the reticence of government to conduct investigations, it is logical to think that these are extrajudicial executions. In fact these executions count on the state’s consent when they are neither investigated nor punished and, therefore, tolerated.

The numbers alone demand greater attention to this tragedy from the world community.

Security Moms

Michelle Malkin takes both political parties to task for not doing enough to deal with the concerns of "security moms":

So far, neither presidential ticket quite measures up. Judging from the touchy-feely-fest put on by the John Kerry-John Edwards campaign recently, it is clear that the Democratic Party still thinks it can win by wallowing in the Sept. 10 politics of grievance, entitlement and passivity. The Democratic presidential campaign is softer than a Kleenex tissue, when its motto should be "No More Tears."

As for the Republicans, I have supported President Bush's war on terror overseas, but he continues to fight only a half-hearted battle to defend Americans on American soil from hostile invasion or attack. Recently, the White House revived an amnesty plan for millions of illegal aliens, and the Department of Homeland Security retreated on immigration-enforcement sweeps in Southern California. It is clear that the GOP elite gravely underestimates the wrath we security moms feel toward Washington's fatal addiction to "cheap labor" and "cheap votes" at the expense of secure borders.

If all security moms (and security dads) are as opposed to immigration reform as Michelle Malkin is, the President is going to have a difficult time doing anything about the issue in the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Maria Full of Grace

Maria Full of Grace, a new independent film about a Colombian drug courier is getting a lot of good pressCatalina Sandino Moreno, the beautiful and talented actress who plays the main character is being given awards and being considered for more.  NPR has an interview.

LULAC Against CAFTA

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has come out against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).  I think they're wrong.  Free trade with the U.S. will give the participating Central American countries an opportunity to improve their economies and their people's standard of living.

The Latino Vote

Both Bush and Kerry are using the immigration issue to court the Hispanic vote.  I hope they realize that we have other interests.

Memogate

This is the latest:

The deputy general counsel for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has concluded there was "no delay or actual manipulation" of the Senate's judicial confirmation process pertaining to the "Memogate" controversy.

Debra Carr said she found no evidence of wrongdoing by liberal interest groups who asked Democrat senators to delay or reject President Bush's judicial nominees.

...one of the controversial memos, a Nov. 7, 2001, note to Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) from a Judiciary Committee aide, advises that nominee Miguel Estrada is "especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment."

On the recommendation of liberal interest groups, Senate Democrats filibustered Estrada's confirmation vote, prompting the former Justice Department attorney to withdraw his nomination.

If you ask me, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is a useless pseudo-agency that is only interested in advancing the ultra-liberal agenda of minority victimhood.  It should be abolished or, at the very least, converted into an organization that actually advances the interests of civil rights in this country.

David Arredondo

Kudos to David Arredondo for a great letter to the editor regarding the insensitive remarks of John Leguizamo at a recent Kerry fundraiser:

Hispanics are not all Catholic, Democrat, disadvantaged, uneducated, heterosexual, and foreign-born. The Republican Party knows this and at all levels, is reaching out to earn the respect of Latino voters.

Once John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrat Party figure this out, the Hispanic community will be better off. Discrimination against any group diminishes us all.

Barriers to Entry

Tim Ferguson of Forbes is complaining about the difficulties travelers face in navigating entry into the U.S. since 9/11/2001:

Every nation reserves the right to determine entry. Some claims to rights by aliens and their advocates can be over the top. No one would call the gatekeeper's job easy: 500 million legal entries to the U.S. occur annually. Certainly the September 2001 attacks by terrorists with flawed visas could be expected to trigger better scrutiny. But is that really what's happening? When the Department of Homeland Security was created as part of the "war on terror," the old Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was subsumed into the agency, and the repackaged bureaucracy was put back in the loop (the State Department is the access point for visas). This crowd could be as officious and opaque as it was ineffective at preventing the 2001 hijackings horror and other entries by evildoers.

Made in Honduras

Where campaign T-shirts were made has become an issue in the 2004 Senate race in Colorado:

What's on the tags

• Bob Schaffer Shirts made in the United States. Had the shirt been made in Honduras, it would have cost $4,473 for 1,065 shirts. The shirts were $6,920.05 made in the U.S.

• Pete Coors Shirts made in Honduras. "It honestly didn't even cross my mind," campaign manager Sean Tonner said of ordering U.S.-made shirts.

• Mike Miles Shirts knitted in the United States and put together in Honduras. The candidate had wanted American-made shirts and was disappointed by the outcome.

• Ken Salazar Shirts made in the United States. "Ken has talked about creating jobs in America . . . and this was one way to support that philosophy," said spokesman Cody Wertz.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Nicaragua

It seems like yesterday...

Twenty-five years ago today, Nicaragua took center stage on the world scene by overthrowing one of Latin America's oldest dictatorships and replacing it with a leftist revolutionary government.

But the Sandinista Revolution and the internal strife here that created a new front in the Cold War confrontation between the United States and Soviet Union is now fading in Nicaragua's collective national memory. The lasting memory of the Sandinistas may not be of the young rebels celebrating their triumph over the Somoza family dictatorship but of them losing power in free elections after 11 years of authoritarian rule and a bloody war by U.S.-backed Contra guerrillas.

 

Tougher Citizenship Test

I like this idea:

The U.S. government plans to introduce by late 2006 more rigorous testing in English language, U.S. history and civics for immigrants hoping to become citizens, the program director said on Tuesday...

The new English standards, which are still being developed, would include having applicants participate in a conversation, give simple directions, express needs and preferences, respond to warnings, read and comprehend simple material, describe in writing a person, object, place or situation and fill out forms such as a job application or driver's license form. Some would like the new test to include specifically patriotic material to help inculcate love of the United States in the new citizens.  

Civil War in Venezuela?

Both sides are arming themselves as if to prepare for armed conflict after the recall vote:

In a Venezuela deeply polarized over President Hugo Chávez, reports of groups arming themselves have raised the specter that an Aug. 15 recall vote on Mr. Chávez could trigger violence if the losing side refuses to accept the result.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Immigrants Help America

From the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription):

So much of today's contentious immigration debate focuses on those arriving from Latin America to work in agriculture or take low-level service jobs that Americans tend to spurn. But a new study by Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy reminds us that the contributions of skilled foreign-born professionals and their offspring are no less important to the U.S. Without them the country would be hard pressed to maintain its world-wide advantage in such fields as math and science.

The report, titled "The Multiplier Effect," will be released on Monday and available at www.nfap.net. Here are some highlights:

• More than half of the engineers with Ph.D.s working in the U.S., and 45% of the nation's computer science doctorates, are foreign-born. 

• Children of immigrants comprise 65% of the 2004 U.S. Math Olympiad's top scorers (13 of 20) and 46% of the U.S. Physics Team (11 of 24). 

• At this year's Intel Science Talent Search, which recognizes the nation's top math and science students, 60% of the finalists and seven of the top 10 award winners were immigrants or their children. Last year, three of the top four awardees were foreign-born.

 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Latino Clout

From the Miami Herald:

About 40 million strong and counting, Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States and are heavily represented in several key presidential battleground states, including Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Florida. And while Hispanics have been a reliable Democratic constituency in recent election years - voting in favor of the Democratic presidential candidate by a two-to-one margin or more in the last decade - Republicans have made aggressive efforts to court Hispanic voters and close that margin over time.

While the number of Hispanics has increased rapidly, voter participation has lagged. About 5.9 million Hispanic voters went to the polls in 2000; Southwest Voter and other advocacy organizations plan to bring the total number of registered Hispanic voters to 10 million this year, and send at least 7.5 million to the polls.

 

Peter Camejo

Maria Elena Sanchez:

Peter Camejo might not be a familiar name, but he is making political history by becoming the first Hispanic to run for vice president of the United States.

Linda Chavez and LatinoPundit

LatinoPundit, my fellow blogger and all-around good guy, takes issue with Linda Chavez for criticizing John Leguizamo for his comments at a Kerry fundraiser in which he compared Hispanic Republicans to roaches. He implies that Chavez should have criticized George W. Bush for making jokes at a D.C. black-tie affair about his inabililty to find Weapons of Mass Destruction.

With all due respect, I don't think LatinoPundit gets it. While President Bush's jokes may have dealt with a very sensitive and controversial subject (WMDs), they were self-deprecating jokes. He was making fun of himself! John Leguizamo, on the other hand, was making jokes about other people, and they were jokes based on those people's ethnicity and beliefs. If he had compared himself to a roach for being a Democrat nobody would have complained.

Actions Have Consequences

From USAToday:

Comic Whoopi Goldberg's sexual puns on President Bush's name at a John Kerry fundraiser got her canned Wednesday as spokeswoman for Slim-Fast weight-loss products.

American Bank Helped Pinochet Cheat

From Forbes.com:

An old-line Washington bank deliberately helped former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet conceal his wealth, move funds and evade efforts under court order to seize his assets, Senate investigators say.

Riggs Bank managers, working with Pinochet from 1994 to 2002, set up phony offshore companies and hid the existence of his accounts from U.S. examiners, according to the report being released Thursday.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Huntington's Book

As readers of this space know, I've posted a number of reviews and other commentary on Dr. Samuel Huntington's book Who Are We? By and large, the things I've posted are critiques of the book, and they tend to adhere to my point of view on the subject. I really haven't given the other side much thought or credence. For the sake of balance, I'm posting an excerpt from a thoughtful review of the book and a response to critics of the book written by John O'Sullivan for Pat Buchanan's American Conservative Magazine. I still don't agree with some of the premises of the book, but the O'Sullivan piece is, in my mind, as good a rebuttal as I've seen short of the first-person defense mounted by Dr. Huntington himself on C-Span (which I also posted some time ago):

Some of the critics, however, promptly dealt with the difficulty that they could not refute what he had said by refuting things he had not said but would have said if he had been the unreconstructed bigot they desperately wanted to wallop. Several denounced him for relying on the “lazy Mexican stereotype.” In fact, he had pointed out that Mexicans’ propensity for hard work led inter alia to the displacement and reduced incomes of low-paid native-born American workers. True, he had also quoted Mexican and Hispanic writers to the effect that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were less inclined than Americans to believe that hard work was likely to lead to success—and that they were held back by that. Yet this argument is so different from the “lazy Mexican stereotype” that they could be confused only by minds already disabled by ideological fanaticism. It is worth noting, though, that falsely accusing others of relying on stereotypes is fast becoming stereotypical in itself.

Warning: the piece is longer than what I usually post here, but it is also very thorough.

Linda Chavez Is No Roach

And she doesn't like to be called a cockroach:

Can you imagine the outcry if Republicans hosted an event in which performers compared Latinos to cockroaches based on their voting behavior? It is almost inconceivable that the media would not be all over the story, with round-the-clock coverage, demands that heads roll, and ultimately, the candidate taking the blame. The double standard is appalling. When Democrats use four-letter words, make raunchy references to their opponents, even when they insult minority groups, the media give them a pass.

Parents Hate Bilingual Ed

From the New York Times:

On a sultry night in late June, when the school term was nearly over, two dozen parents gathered in a church basement in Brooklyn to talk about what a waste the year had been. Immigrants from Mexico and the Dominican Republic, raising their children in the battered neighborhood of Bushwick, they were the people bilingual education supposedly serves. Instead, one after the other, they condemned a system that consigned their children to a linguistic ghetto, cut off from the United States of integration and upward mobility...

For years, bilingual education coasted along on its perception as a virtual civil right for Hispanics. Maybe such a reputation was deserved 30 years ago, when the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund sued and won a consent decree requiring that New York City offer bilingual education. But as the innovation hardened into an orthodoxy, and as a sort of employment niche grew for bilingual educators and bureaucrats, the idealistic veneer began to wear away.

The grievances of Bushwick's parents point at an overlooked truth. The foes of bilingual education, at least as practiced in New York, are not Eurocentric nativists but Spanish-speaking immigrants who struggled to reach the United States and struggle still at low-wage jobs to stay here so that their children can acquire and rise with an American education, very much including fluency in English.

I have a feeling that these parents concerns are going to be ignored once more.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Analysis of the 2004 Race

From Brendan Miniter of the Wall Street Journal:

Let's start where the last presidential election ended--Florida. The Sunshine State is becoming increasingly Democratic as more middle-class seniors retire there from the Northeast. But, as in many states, the key to winning is the Hispanic community, and in South Florida that largely means Cuban-Americans. Al Gore managed to do well by distancing himself from President Clinton's callous decision to seize Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint and deport him.

This year the Cuban test isn't as clear, but Mr. Kerry may have already failed it in responding to a question by the Miami Herald. Mr. Kerry told a Herald reporter that efforts to petition the Cuban government for basic freedoms were "counterproductive," because they landed hundreds of Cuban-human-rights activists in the gulag. Mr. Kerry would have done better to check with Jimmy Carter before answering this one. The former president has praised the Varela Project, including while on a trip to Cuba.

Meanwhile, as The Economist reported last week, there is mounting evidence that Republicans are successfully making inroads with Hispanics across the country. On several issues--education, religion, taxes--Hispanics naturally find themselves in line with the GOP. The No Child Left Behind Act resonates in the Hispanic community because fewer Latinos between 19-25 have a high school diploma (73%) than blacks (89%) or whites (93%). President Bush won 35% of the Hispanic vote in 2000 (near the 1984 Republican record of 37%), and the Bush campaign can reasonably hope to reach 40% this year.

The Economist quotes Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, a Democrat and the son of a Mexican immigrant: "The problem with Democrats is that sometimes they take our people for granted." New Mexico's population is 43% Hispanic, and Mr. Gore won the state by only 366 votes. Hispanics are also key voters in Iowa, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state--all close states last time out.

Seven Million Votes

This is what I've been trying to say:

Landing the Hispanic vote could be key to winning the 2004 presidential election, as a record 7 million Hispanics are expected to turn out this year, up 1 million from four years ago.

More on the Kerry Fundraiser

The controversy will continue until Kerry disavows the nasty comments and maybe returns some of the money:

John Kerry's campaign continued to field questions Friday about whether the presidential candidate condones the off-color comedy and harsh attacks that were aimed at the president Thursday night. And the Bush campaign called for the Democrats to publicly release the videotape of the private event.

The Kerry campaign refused, saying that the Massachusetts senator and his running mate, John Edwards, did not approve of the risqué remarks but that the celebrities had a right to speak their minds.

According to the New York Post, if Kerry/Edwards do not condemn the comments, they are condoning them. Silence equals approval.

This is what the Latino Coalition has to say:

"John Leguizamo's comparison of Hispanics supporting Republicans to "roaches for Raid" (Jodi Wilgoren, "Kerry's Celebrity Fund-Raiser Is a Huge Bash," The New York Times, 7/9/04) is not only shameful coming from a Latino, but a sad display of the anger and rage that Kerry surrogates are willing to display without thinking twice about the consequences of their actions.

"If Latinos are going to join the movement of offensive, racial slurs against brothers and sisters who may disagree with them politically, what moral authority will any Latino have to raise his or her voice when others do the same?...

"Regardless of political affiliation, all Hispanics and the entire country should repudiate such political discourse. When in the course of expressing political opinions one denigrates an entire segment of the population, one has only contributed to those who exploit the differences among the members of that community to keep them from achieving their full potential.

Drink Bacardi

The ultra-liberal Guardian Newspaper of London thinks people should boycott companies who "trade unethically" and includes Bacardi on its list of bad actors because of its "counter-revolutionary activities." They quote the Revolutionary Communist Group:

They claim that ever since Bacardi rum's Cuban assets were forcibly nationalised by Castro in 1960, the company has covertly financed repeated US plots to overthrow him... "Bacardi shares the responsibility for the suffering imposed on Cuba over the last 40 years by those who refuse to accept the socialist path chosen by the Cuban people..."

This sounds like a reason to drink more Bacardi if you ask me (What a cool website!). Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan

Let's See the Tape

The Bush/Cheney campaign is calling on the Kerry/Edwards team to release a videotape of the controversial fundraiser of a few days ago:

July 12, 2004

  • Mary Beth Cahill
  • Campaign Manager
  • John Kerry for President
  • P.O. Box 34640
  • Washington, DC 20043
  • Dear Ms. Cahill:

    On Thursday your campaign hosted a fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall at which Sen. Kerry said, "Every performer tonight in their own way either verbally through their music through their lyrics have conveyed to you the heart and soul of our country."

    I called on your campaign to release the performance that Sen. Kerry said represented the "heart and soul" of America so that all Americans could see for themselves what John Kerry thinks represents the "heart and soul" of our country.

    Do most Americans in their hearts, think that calling the President a "thug" and a "killer" represents the "heart and soul" of our nation? We don't think so, but we think voters should decide for themselves by watching the celebrities John Kerry said captured the "heart and soul" of America.

    Your Senior Advisor Tad Devine said that you believed that releasing musical performances "might violate copyrights and licensing agreements for the entertainers who performed and allow the Bush campaign to use the tape in commercials against Kerry and Edwards"

    I have been assured that "fair use" rules of copyright would allow you to release the tapes of these musical performances to the news media under 2 U.S.C. § 107. To allay the other concern you relayed to the news media, Bush-Cheney '04 pledges to refrain from using audio, video or transcripts of the event for any television, cable, satellite or radio advertising. We look forward to seeing this spirited display.

    Sincerely,

  • Ken Mehlman
  • Campaign Manager
  • Arizona's Prop 187

    This piece by Tamar Jacoby appeared in the L.A. Times:

    Last week, backers of a ballot measure dubbed "Protect Arizona Now" turned in petitions signed by 190,887 residents of that state calling for the initiative to be put to voters in November. The local political establishment was stunned. No one had expected the measure, which would deny state services to illegal immigrants, to garner anything like that kind of support — over 50% more signatures than required to get it on the ballot. If the signatures hold up, Arizonans will pick up where Californians left off 10 years ago, in another ugly battle over immigration.

    Hat tip: Andre Traversa

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    More on us "roaches"

    Steve, a Hispanic Republican from L.A., has some interesting and insightful thoughts on the John Leguizamo tirade comparing Hispanics to roaches (see below):

    I guess no one will hold Mr. Leguizamo accountable to the notion that Hispanics are by far the kindest racial minority group to Republicans. Sure, 49% of Hispanics side with Democrats (20% - Republican), and the GOP, unlike in years past, only now are losing their edge on luring them over, but that 2.45 to 1 ratio look less dire, when you view Hispanics as substantially less Democratic than blacks (64 to 5 percent Democratic) , who are current the race apple of the DNC’s eye. Hell, you can argue that an immigration boom of Hispanics would help Republicans, because Democrats sure as hell wouldn’t know how to handle them. Don’t believe me? The Democrats only threw out one Spanish-speaking candidate for President, and he screamed his way out en route to ‘taking back the White House’ he never had. George Bush, on the other hand, Governor of a very Hispanic state, speaks fluent, if gringo, Spanish and his brother Jeb, a former missionary, speaks beautiful Spanish… also married to a Latina. Hell, Democrats only had one viable Hispanic option for VP, Gov. Richardson of New Mexico and Richardson wanted to stay where he is.

    Contrary to popular opinion, Latinos and Hispanics everywhere are rather industrious folk who come stateside to work, compile enough money, and send it back to whenst they came - all ideally of course. A Democratic message of protectionism and union domination simply won’t register as well…

    perhaps Mr. Leguizamo should step outside his New York mansion and explore a bit…

    Steve, cool blog and thanks for you comments.

    Spanish Ads

    The Washington Post:

    Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry announced Monday that he's spending $1 million to air Spanish-language television ads, part of his effort to target politically diverse Hispanics.

    The ads will air on Spanish-language stations in Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

    You can view the video on the Kerry site.

    Edwards Is Bad News for Latin America

    According to Andres Oppenheimer, Democratic Vice-Presidential hopeful John Edwards is a "protectionist zealot" that would be bad news for Latin America.

    If you look at his voting record on trade you'd have to agree.

    Ten Percent Rule Is a Failure?

    The Texas Policy Institute is critical of the law in the Lone Star State that gives automatic admission to state colleges and universities to all students who finish in the top 10% of their class. According to Dr. Ronald Trowbridge:

    Academic inequality has actually been compounded in Texas. Minorities have ostensibly been given special treatment not only through the 10 percent law, but even an extra edge with the 2003 five-to-four decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the University of Michigan case to permit race as a factor in college admissions.

    I say “ostensibly” because the 10 percent law actually helps Caucasians more than blacks and Hispanics. Enrollment at the University of Texas, reports State Rep. Garnet Coleman, was 14 percent Hispanic and 3 percent black; at Texas A&M, 9 percent Hispanic and 2 percent black. In light of the demographics of Texas, these percentages are relatively quite low.

    And there is another unintended consequence of the 10 percent law: we are told that it fosters diversity; it does not – in fact it works to the contrary.

    Florida Felons List

    This is a strange story from Florida:

    Florida elections officials said Saturday that they would not use a disputed list that was intended to keep felons from voting, acknowledging a flaw that could have allowed Hispanic felons to cast ballots in November.

    The problem could have been significant in Florida, which President Bush won by just 537 votes in 2000. The state has a sizable Cuban population, and Hispanics in Florida have tended to vote Republican more than Hispanics nationally. The list had about 28,000 Democrats and around 9,500 Republicans, with most of the rest unaffiliated.

    Governor Bush said the mistake occurred because two databases that were merged to form the disputed list were incompatible.

    When voters register in Florida, they can identify themselves as Hispanic. But the felons database has no Hispanic category, which excluded many people from the list.

    The article is not clear as to whether felons will be able to vote now that they've decided not to use the list they had.

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    X-Rated Kerry Fundraiser

    A NY Post description of a set of raunchy performances by Democratic celebrities at a Kerry/Edwards fundraiser contains this little gem:

    Latin comedian John Leguizamo said he refuses to believe there are any Hispanic Republicans, claiming that's "an oxymoron," because "Latins for Republicans - it's like roaches for Raid."

    It sounds like John Leguizamo should get out more, and he should be careful not to equate Hispanics with roaches.

    Bush Speaks to LULAC

    From the Houston Chronicle:

    SAN ANTONIO -- Courting the nation's crucial Latino vote, President Bush praised the contributions of Hispanics in the United States and pledged to create an "opportunity society" with better schools and more jobs.

    In remarks delivered live by satellite Thursday to the League of United Latin American Citizens national convention, Bush said his administration has helped Hispanics by improving education, fostering business growth and welcoming immigrants.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    Bush Loses Support Among Hispanics

    The GOP had better start doing something about this:

    In the past year, Bush's job approval rating among Hispanics dropped significantly, while approval from whites declined only modestly. Now, more Hispanics disapprove than approve of Bush's performance, and a majority indicate they will vote for Sen. John Kerry and for the Democratic representative in their districts in this fall's elections.

    Go to CNN for more.

    Discrimination Case

    A white man sues San Francisco for race discrimination and wins.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    Sharing Info with Mexico

    Forbes.com:

    The Bush administration announced Tuesday that it has resumed sharing a wide range of financial information with Mexico with the aim of trying to catch money launderers, drug dealers and terrorist financiers.

    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    Public Education

    The Washington Times:

    Hispanic youngsters are being shortchanged by the nation's public schools...

    The achievement levels are upsetting. Only 14 percent of Latino fourth graders reach proficient or advanced levels while 57 percent have not been taught to the basic level.

    Only 9 percent of the Latino 8th graders reach the proficient level in math while 60 percent perform below basic levels.

    Kerry Picks Edwards

    There is an indication that perhaps John Edwards' position with regard to language issues may have given him the edge over Iowa governor Tom Vilsack. The Corner, National Review's blog, has a quote from Edwards supporting a National Medical Translation System for patients who don't speak English. On the other hand, Michelle Malkin says Vilsack signed legislation in Iowa making English the official language of his state. Interesting speculation, but speculation nonetheless.

    By the way, Richard Gephardt has voted against English Only legislation in the past.

    Latino Vote Is Key

    This should come as no surprise to the readers of this space:

    Latino voters will play a critical role in the upcoming presidential election. An estimated 7 million Latinos, who comprise 5 percent of the U.S. electorate, are expected to vote in the presidential election.

    Oil Off Cuba

    According to the New York Times, a Spanish oil company is investing in exploration efforts and looking for possible deposits of crude oil off the coast of Cuba in the Gulf of Mexico. This is interesting for many different reasons:

    [A] big oil discovery could change the political debate in the United States over the decades-old sanctions against Cuba, which now prohibit most commerce with the country.

    The last thing that American energy companies want is to be trapped on the sidelines by sanctions while European, Canadian and Latin American rivals are free to develop new oil resources on the doorstep of the United States.

    Monday, July 05, 2004

    Two Reasons to Recall Chavez

    Corruption and Accountability.

    Saturday, July 03, 2004

    Venezuela News

    Stay tuned to www.vcrisis.com for the latest developments on the Venezuela recall election:

    According to Democratic Coordinator spokesman Jesús Torrealba, the opposition will likely hold a primary on August 22 to select one candidate for an eventual presidential election. He said that the 40 political and civic associations which conform the Democratic Coordinator agreed to set the date after the recall referendum. In an AP interview, he added that the opposition has delayed electing one candidate to focus on the recall referendum. In addition, he said that the Democratic Coordinator would present a “governability plan” before August 15.

    Terrorist in Honduras

    From WorldNetDaily.com:

    In a rapidly growing story, Honduran officials report that one of the top terrorist suspects in the world, Adnan G. Shukrijumah, was spotted in Honduras recently.

    More at LatinoPundit.com.

    Kerry and Values

    Apparently, the presumptive Democratic nominee has discovered a new theme and is talking about it a lot:

    Forty-eight minutes into a rambling speech about education, health care, jobs and equal opportunity here the other morning, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts went off-script to sum up his White House quest in a simple sentence. "In the end it's about values," he told a conference of the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition...

    Last Saturday, Mr. Kerry used the V-word no fewer than eight times in a 36-minute speech to Hispanic leaders and next Wednesday he is scheduled to give a speech on his "plan to restore America's values to the White House."

    It's nice for Kerry to talk about values to Hispanic audiences, but he still has to deal with the reality that he is out of touch with Hispanic values on issues such as gay marriage and abortion.

    Friday, July 02, 2004

    LULAC Rocks the Vote

    From the Washington Times:

    Officials of the largest U.S. Latino civil rights organization aim to get 2 million more Hispanic voters to the polls this year than two years ago.

    The League of United Latin American Citizens has registration and canvassing efforts under way to get out the Hispanic vote, LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes said Thursday. About 8 million Latinos cast ballots two years ago.

    Cuban Travel Limits and the Election

    The Washington Post has an interesting article attempting to quantify the effect of the administration's recent restrictions on contact with Cuban on the November elections.

    No Hispanic VP

    USA Today:

    Democrat John Kerry has one less person to consider while deliberating his choice of a presidential running mate: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has said thanks, but no thanks.

    Richardson said he wants to keep a promise to the people of his state to serve a full term and noted that Kerry has "numerous experienced and talented leaders" from which to choose a vice presidential candidate.

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    Most Want Chavez Out

    This is a good sign:

    A majority of Venezuelans, 54% would vote to oust President Hugo Chavéz in the August 15 recall referendum, according to the latest opinion polls published over the weekend.

    Hispanic Concerns Ignored?

    From the Washington Post:

    Latino voters are concerned that issues of particular interest to them will be overlooked in the presidential campaign because they live mostly outside battleground states, according to panelists who spoke at a meeting of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

    About 75 percent of the nation's Hispanics live in California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Florida, and only Florida is considered a battleground state. At town hall meetings NALEO sponsored in five cities across the country, the panelists said, participants expressed concern about the attention the candidates would pay to issues important to them -- education, immigration, jobs and health care.

    Political Clout

    From KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona:

    The Hispanic community's political clout isn't proportional to the size of its population, but the nation's largest minority group is gradually gaining influence, several Latino leaders said Tuesday.

    Even though politicians across the country are courting Hispanics, one of the Latino community's biggest political challenges is raising its voter turnout, said leaders at the National Council of La Raza's convention in Phoenix.

    More on this from the Arizona Republic newspaper.

    Cuba

    From the Miami Herald:

    International pressure shouldn't relent until the Cuban government has freed every political prisoner and respects political, civil and human rights. It should continue until a transition to freedom and democracy has begun.