Tuesday, August 31, 2004
The GOP & Civil Rights
We believe in the principle of affirmative access--taking steps to ensure that disadvantaged individuals of all colors and ethnic backgrounds have the opportunity to compete economically and that no child is left behind educationally...
Finally, because we are opposed to discrimination, we reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides based on skin color, ethnicity, or gender, which perpetuate divisions and can lead people to question the accomplishments of successful minorities and women.
The Hispanic Vote
The Internet in Cuba
HAVANA, August 29 (Ariel Delgado, UPECI / www.cubanet.org) - Government authorities closed six Internet cafes in Camagüey, saying they "didn't fulfill any social objective."
The cafes, run by the Cuban Postal service, offered e-mail service at a rate of 3 dollars an hour, or 78 pesos. The average salary in Cuba, according to official statistics, is on the order of 250 pesos a month. The cost also has to be seen in light of the fact that users are not allowed to take in diskettes, so that outgoing messages have to be typed while the hour runs.
Only one outlet now remains open in the provincial capital, at the main offices of ETECSA, the Cuban phone company. The cost there has gone up from 3 to 6 dollars an hour.
In spite of the government's "social objective" statement, the six cafes usually had long lines of customers waiting to use the service.
A young user of the service commented: "So, communicating with one's family is not a 'social objective.' Maybe they would rather we use the medium to promote the freedom of the Five (five Cubans imprisoned in the U. S. after being convicted of spying) but all I want to know is how my family is, my mother and my brothers, and what is happening with the paperwork for getting me out."
The polished young man speaking on Univision, the biggest Spanish-language TV channel in the US, might have been a movie star. Or perhaps, with his fluent Spanish and handsome features, a sports star.
Or he might be the next member of the Bush dynasty to take to the political stage and become possibly, just possibly, the first Hispanic president of the US.
Meet George P Bush, 28, nephew to W, grandson of H, son of Jeb.
Chávez & Al-Qaeda
Becky Armendariz Klein
Monday, August 30, 2004
Bush in Florida
As Bush listed how his administration was working to create a ''free and peaceful'' Iraq and Afghanistan, a central theme of his reelection campaign, the crowd at Miami Arena grew visibly -- and audibly -- restless.
''Cuba!'' one man shouted from the stands.
''Un momento,'' the president replied, as he turned back to his prepared campaign speech.
But when he did turn to Cuba, Bush earned his biggest applause as he opened a new line of attack on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, accusing the Massachusetts senator of being soft on Fidel Castro.
''The people of Cuba should be free from the tyrant. And I believe that enforcing the embargo is a necessary part of that strategy,'' Bush said. ``My opponent has a different approach.''
The nation's face is being reshaped in ways that aren't helpful to the Bush effort. The Hispanic population is exploding in size, and Hispanic voters are heavily Democratic. Other nonwhite ethnic groups are also growing. If all demographic groups split their votes this fall as they did in 2000, the Bush team estimates that Mr. Bush would finish with three million fewer votes than Democratic candidate John Kerry. In 2000, Mr. Bush lost to Al Gore by 500,000 votes in the popular vote. The growth in Hispanics largely accounts for the bigger gap.This analysis makes a common mistake by overlooking the fact that, although Hispanics have generally voted Democratic, Latinos are also more conservative than your typical liberal Democrat. Hispanics are mostly Catholics who oppose abortion and gay marriage, favor the death penalty and school vouchers and are also more entrepreneurial. All these factors could actually help the Republicans if they tailor their message to Hispanic audiences appropriately.
SACRAMENTO — In the face of certain veto from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state Legislature voted to let an estimated 2 million illegal immigrant adults apply for California driver's licenses.
Schwarzenegger immediately renewed his pledge to veto the bill approved Friday, calling it national security issue.
GOP and Hispanic Youth
Friday, August 27, 2004
...the size of Chavez’s victory cannot be explained entirely by fraud in a country of relatively well-educated people with access to information and to a mostly anti-Chavez media. The main explanations for the referendum’s failure to remove him lie elsewhere and are far more serious and extensive. Besides the incompetent opposition, the other major one responsible for Chavez’s survival is oil.
George P. Bush is actively campaigning for his uncle again. He's being touted as the next installment of the Bush dynasty.
Whites in Texas
Lawsuit Over Crackdown
A state crackdown that is projected to take away the driver's licenses of hundreds of thousands of immigrant New Yorkers is unlawful because it usurps federal responsibility for immigration, oversteps state law on issuing licenses and ignores due process, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund charged in a class-action lawsuit expected to be filed today.
The lawsuit, which names Gov. George E. Pataki and the motor vehicles commissioner, Raymond P. Martinez, as defendants, is the first legal challenge to a new policy that state officials have characterized as a means of ferreting out fraud and foiling would-be terrorists. Immigrant advocates have denounced the policy as discriminatory against noncitizens and dangerous to highway safety.
Failure to Assimilate
Here we find a most troublesome fact. Despite what America offers, most Mexican immigrants choose to avoid the process of becoming part of the American fabric. Pride in ones ethnic roots is commendable, but if Americans suddenly migrated to Sweden for any length of time, yet resisted becoming part of that countries [sic] fabric, it would harm the host country. This is happening here in America.In this article, Mr. Lowry refers to one million illegal immmigrants crossing the border into America every day. I've never heard such a high figure, and I'd love to know where it comes from.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Hispanics Lose Clout
WASHINGTON -- Hispanics may soon become the forgotten voters of the 2004 presidential campaign.
That's because the race to the White House has boiled down to 20 so-called battleground states, where Hispanic voters are few and far between.
Angered by Cuban attacks, Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso Tuesday was considering pardoning four anti-Castro Cuban exiles jailed in Panama -- and ordered the ''immediate'' departure of Havana's ambassador to Panama.
But we have a situation in the United States Senate where Democrats, including Senators Kerry and Edwards, are using the filibuster to block the President's sensible, mainstream nominations to the judiciary. They've blocked Miguel Estrada, a fine man who came to this country as an immigrant from Honduras, went to Harvard Law School and works [sic] in the Department of Justice. They've blocked Janice Rogers Brown, the daughter of sharecroppers who worked her way through law school and became a justice of the California Supreme Court.
With less than three months to go until the elections, Latino voters constitute one of the most coveted voting blocs in 2004. While polls show most voters have already decided who they will cast their votes for, Hispanics stand out as one of the few groups of voters that remain up for grabs. With so few undecided voters in America and so many of them Hispanic, it is safe to say that the outcome of the 2004 elections will hinge on each party's ability to attract Hispanic voters to their candidates and their causes and then mobilize them on November 2.
The Cost of Illegal Immigration
WASHINGTON — Illegal immigrants cost the federal government more than $10 billion a year, and a program to legalize them would nearly triple the figure, a study released Wednesday said.
The analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies, which opposes efforts to legalize the estimated 8 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, comes as Republicans are bracing for a fight over immigration at their convention next week in New York....
A leading immigration researcher challenged the study.
Jeffrey S. Passel, a demographer at the Urban Institute, a Washington nonprofit economic and social policy research organization, said a significant share of the costs attributed to illegal immigrants represented general expenses on domestic programs. The government would incur the costs — for such things as building roads and paying bureaucrats' salaries — with or without the presence of undocumented workers.
"Most of that money is not money that would be saved if you could magically make these people disappear," Passel said.
Conservatives Grumble About Immigration
Fraud in Venezuela?
On referendum day, there was no open audit at the polling stations to reconcile the paper ballots to the electronic voting machines, as the opposition requested, because Mr. Chavez would not allow it. There was also no closed-door audit with all of the National Electoral Council members present because the Chavez-controlled Council did not allow it. There was no inspection of the electronic voting machines immediately after the vote because Mr. Chavez would not allow it. And there was no impartial impounding of the election data -- paper or digital -- because ... you get the idea.And the Wall Street Journal is not alone:
Carter has a long history of coddling dictators and blessing their elections, and among his complex motivations is his determination to override American foreign policy when it suits him.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Cuban Olympians in the U.S.
Black Latino Conflict
Blacks, Latinos and labor are three of the most stalwart constituencies in Democratic Party politics. But the interests of the groups have increasingly brought them into conflict.
GOP Platform on Immigration
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Border Patrol Survey
More than 60 percent of Border Patrol agents and immigration officers surveyed for a study issued on Monday said the Department of Homeland Security could do more to stop potential terrorists from entering the country, and more than a third said they were not satisfied that they had the tools and training to do so.
Monday, August 23, 2004
LATINO MOVIEGOERS: Successful Spanish-language and Latino-themed films tend to play in art houses to predominantly white audiences, but veteran Latino marketer and film maker Santiago Pozo is hoping to change that. His company, Arenas Films, is distributing three films this year, starting this weekend with "Nicotina," a Mexican import starring "Y Tu Mama Tambien's" Diego Luna. The company aims to produce or acquire 10 titles a year, marketing the films directly to Latinos and showing them in mainstream multiplexes, Reuters reports. Analysts say that Latinos, especially young people, are more interested in the latest blockbusters than Latin-American imports, but Pozo disagrees. He points to "Empire," the 2002 urban drama starring John Leguizamo. It was produced on an art-house budget, but Arenas and co-distributor Universal Pictures released the film in 800 theaters, where it earned about $17.5 million (with an additional $22 million in DVD sales). With bilingualism and biculturalism becoming trends among Latino teenagers, there's a large market that is underserved, Pozo says. Tapping into that market could prove fruitful; the country's 40 million Latinos account for 15 percent of the $9 billion annual box office -- and that number is expected to rise.
Venezuela Recall Update
George P. Bush
Nephew of President Bush and Bush Cheney '04 surrogate George P. Bush, or "P" as his family calls him, takes your questions about his involvement in Bush-Cheney '04 and discusses the importance of fellow young Americans and Hispanics going to the polls and casting their vote for his uncle this year.
In unveiling his immigration reform plan, President Bush stated that America needs an immigration system that “live[s] up to our highest ideals” and “reflects the American dream.” Yet, while the President deserves credit for broaching the issue of normalizing illegal immigrants and making it a central part of his State of the Union address, both Bush and his critics have overlooked the need for assimilation. Including an assimilation component in immigration reform is essential if our new workers are also to be new Americans.
Absent a workable plan for assimilating the mostly Mexican immigrants at whom the legislation is aimed, our nation’s immigration problem will be redefined rather than resolved. Large numbers of workers with little knowledge of English, a poor grasp of civil society, and no prospect for improved education will remain outside the mainstream of American economic and cultural life. The American dream of owning a home and sending one’s children to college—in short, of joining the middle class—can’t be met by a populace trapped in a subculture of low expectations, low wages, and little hope.
Latinos and Trade
An emotional battle is brewing in the Latino community over whether a proposed free trade agreement with five Central American nations and the Dominican Republic will bring greater prosperity or despair to the immigrants who have settled in the U.S. and the relatives they've left behind.
The U.S. & Venezuela
On Sunday, when Mr. Chávez triumphed over his adversaries in a referendum on whether he should be recalled from office, countries from Brazil to Argentina, Colombia to Spain heartily congratulated him. The United States remained silent for more than a day, until a State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli, offered tepid backing for the "preliminary results."
The resounding victory was a blow to the Bush administration, which has struggled with how to deal with Mr. Chávez, a leftist firebrand who presides over the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and has opposed Washington on every major initiative in Latin America. "There's no doubt in my mind that at least in the White House - I don't know about the State Department - there was a deep desire to see Chávez lose," said former President Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Center monitored the election and who has briefed American officials on his efforts to broker a peace between the government and its opponents.
Now, the United States has the challenge of constructing, from the ground up, a new relationship with Mr. Chávez, who has done everything imaginable to antagonize what he calls "the colossus to the north."
Al-Qaeda in Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, Aug. 22 - Honduras tightened security at foreign embassies and declared a national terror alert after receiving information that Al Qaeda was trying to recruit Hondurans to attack embassies of the United States, Britain, Spain and El Salvador, a government official said Sunday.
Friday, August 20, 2004
Terrorists in Central America
On July 1, Tennessee became the first state in the country to track some of its immigrants through driving records. Instead of a state-issued driver's license, temporary and undocumented immigrants will receive a driving certificate. State officials say they need to know which immigrants are undocumented or temporary because of the potential homeland security threat. But there's confusion over the role of the new certificate.Read the whole article because you can expect this law to be enacted in other states, and it's important to think about the implications.
Fraud in Venezuela Election?
A Venezuelan who is a former U.N. deputy high commissioner of human rights wrote of his suspicions in yesterday's International Herald Tribune (right beside a pro-Chávez New York Times editorial, by the way). Enrique ter Horst cited as cause for concern the fact that "the papers the new machines produced . . . were not added up and compared with the final numbers these machines produce at the end of the voting process, as the voting-machine manufacturer had suggested."
An exit poll done by the prominent U.S. polling firm of Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates showed 59% of voters opposed to Chávez and only 41% in favor. (Messrs. Penn and Schoen both worked for Bill Clinton in his 1996 re-election bid.) Raj Kumar, a principal at the polling firm, told me yesterday that the firm has gone back to try to explain the 34-point spread between the PSB poll and the results announced by the government. "While there are certainly biases that can impact any exit poll, we do not see any factor that could account for such a significant difference," he said.
A 34-point discrepancy between the exit poll and the "official" results seems kind of high to me, but I am not exactly objective about Chavez. The other question that O'Grady raises is whether Jimmy Carter left too soon to be able to properly certify the election he monitored.
Update: The O'Grady article is now available for free at OpinionJournal.com.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
After the Hurricane
ILLEGAL WORKERS FEAR AID: Floridians are digging themselves out of the rubble left behind by Hurricane Charley, but thousands of illegal immigrants are afraid to seek much-needed disaster recovery. Under state and federal guidelines, illegal workers aren't eligible for most government aid, including temporary housing assistance, disaster loans and emergency cash grants. But the laborers can take advantage of emergency shelters and health-care stations set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required). Fear of deportation is keeping most of the estimated 111,000 illegal laborers in the 25 Florida counties designated federal disaster areas far away from all government agencies. Some Florida groups, including the Agency for Workforce Innovation, are attempting to deliver aid directly to immigrant communities. But more federal assistance is needed, says Jorge Lomonaco, Mexico's consul general in Miami. He adds, "There's no reason why these people should be at the end of the line."
Life Under Chavez
Los Lonely Boys
Immigrant Crackdown in NY
Dissent in Venezuela
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
"STAY OUT." The stricter barriers around the U.S. since 9/11 haven't helped the situation any. Washington has made it increasingly difficult for foreigners to go to, invest in, or do commerce in the U.S. The young elite of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America are having their visas to travel and study in the U.S. denied or delayed. New restrictions are being placed on those who want to go to the U.S. to work, even when they're sponsored by respected companies.That can't be good.
Financial transactions, particularly if they involve governments, companies, or individuals from the Middle East, are being closely scrutinized for money laundering and terrorist connections. Even going to America for a vacation has become a hassle. It's almost as if a big "foreigners stay out" sign has been posted on America's frontiers.
The divide in America isn't between rich and poor. It's between those who must live with the inescapable reality of crime on a daily basis, and those who don't. It's between those who would be scandalized if made the target of a violent crime, and those who have been victimized before and expect to be victimized again. It's between those who can buy new presents for their children to replace stolen ones, and those who can't.All I can say is, Amen, Amen and Amen!!
One America is safe. One America is not...
In the name of the Two Americas, we've spent untold trillions of dollars in the last forty years in order to vindicate the largely imaginary right of poor citizens to live on someone else's dime. It hasn't worked. Perhaps we should instead spend our money in defense of the real and fundamental right to unmolested ownership of self and property -- the right upon which the legitimacy of all governments is predicated. You want to help the poor? Don't subsidize their poverty. Subsidize their safety. Equality of opportunity begins with safe bikes in the front yard.
When Margaret Montoya was trying to get into Harvard University, she says a professor told her: "I'll never help a Mexican get into law school."Read the whole story to find out how it ends.
For years, Republicans have tried to shove Latin America to the foreign policy back burner, while Democrats have feigned interest with insignificant and ineffective foreign aid programs. It's time for U.S. leaders to stop pretending nothing is wrong. Mr. Chavez wants to harm the U.S. where it hurts the most — in the wallet and the oil tank.
President Bush had better watch out.
Affirmative Action and Diversity
The black alumni of Harvard are unhappy with the university's affirmative action program. It helps blacks—but the wrong ones. The New York Times says that there are 520 black Harvard undergraduates (8% of the total), but "the majority of them—perhaps as many as two-thirds— [are] West Indian and African immigrants or their children, or to a lesser extent, children of biracial couples." That leaves "only about a third of the students…from families in which all four grandparents were born in this country, descendants of slaves...."
It's hard for conservatives not to gloat: this is a dilemma that couldn't happen to a nicer public policy. It's important to realize, however, that the problem of elite schools enrolling the "wrong" blacks didn't just happen to affirmative action. It's a direct consequence of the way affirmative action has been rationalized and practiced.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
...now that his rule has been confirmed via the ballot box, he must prove he can lead democratically. His sorry record of arresting political opponents, stacking Venezuela's courts, undermining the country's civic institutions - and his close relationship with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro - led to violence and schisms at home, and criticism abroad.Don't hold your breath. This is a man that so thoroughly controls all the political institutions in Venezuela that if he doesn't like a particular rule, he can change it. You can expect an increase in his authoritarian tendencies now that he has his "mandate."
If Chávez really wants to improve the lives of the poor, he will have to bring all of his country's resources, including all of Venezuela's people, to bear, and protect their progress through democratic institutions, and processes.
Sunday's vote is a metaphor for the sorry state of Venezuela's "democracy." Mr. Chavez controls the military, the Supreme Court, the Congress, the National Electoral Council (CNE), the state-owned oil monopoly and the intelligence services. There is no balance of power, no transparency, and Venezuela is fast becoming an authoritarian state.
Equally worrying is that when the oil-rich Mr. Chavez claimed victory, he claimed it for all of the Americas, reinforcing his commitment to spread revolution on the continent. With Fidel Castro as his closest ally, Mr. Chavez is a dangerous presence in the region.
PHOENIX — An initiative that would require people to prove their citizenship when registering to vote or when seeking social services in Arizona was certified Monday for the November ballot.
Supporters said Proposition 200, the Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, was intended to combat welfare and voter fraud. Opponents said it was unneeded and rooted in racism. Secretary of State Jan Brewer announced that supporters had collected more than the required 122,612 signatures.
Good Fences = Good Neighbors
Chavez and Oil Prices
Oil prices retreated from a record high today after President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela claimed victory in a recall election, easing concerns about possible disruptions in the country's oil exports.I read a lot of articles yesterday about the Chavez victory, and a lot of people seem to think that his electoral win caused oil prices to come down. My view of it is that they had nowhere to go but down, considering that the prices were at record highs before the weekend. However, assuming that Chavez's win did bring oil prices down from record highs, I would have to say that this is one of the weaknesses of the market economy -- it craves the status quo above all else. In other words, "the markets" think change is bad even when it would be good to have a change. In the long term, it can't possibly be good to have a Socialist dictator as president of a country that supplies a significant share of the fuel the U.S. needs to run its economy. Can it? For the people of Venezuela, it can't be good to have a man at the helm that does not respect true democracy and wants to turn the country into the next Cuba.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Electoral Coup d' Etat in Venezuela
Gangs Going Rural
Gang activity has traditionally been a function of immigration and labor-migration patterns. Today, with those patterns changing -- with unskilled jobs shifting from cities to rural regions, with sprawl pushing suburbs and exurbs deeper into the countryside -- gangs are cropping up in unexpected places: tiny counties and quaint villages, farming communities and cookie-cutter developments, small towns and tourist resorts.
New Jersey Politics
Terrorists at the Border
President Bush has launched a drive to halt illegal immigration across America's porous southern border, amid growing fears that terrorists may be using Mexico as a base camp before heading to Arizona, Texas and California.
A string of alarming incidents has convinced Bush administration officials that lax immigration rules, designed to cope with the huge numbers of illegal entrants from Mexico, have become a significant loophole in the war on terror.
President Hugo Chavez survived a popular referendum to oust him, according to results Monday, while Venezuela's opposition swiftly claimed fraud.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
On the Venezuela Referendum
Like former President Alberto Fujimori of Peru, Mr. Chávez represents a new breed of Latin autocrat - a leader who is legitimately elected but then uses his office to undermine democratic checks and balances and intimidate political opponents.Meanwhile, Marcela Sanchez warns against the "charm of the status quo:"
Surely the threat of chaos is making many people think twice about the referendum, although Chavez is not among them. Nearly three months ago, Chavez wrote in a Post op-ed column that he was looking forward to the referendum. It is a chance, as he put it, to "once again win the people's mandate." Unfortunately, though, even if no significant questions are raised about the transparency of the process, Chavez seems to have made a sport of getting democratically elected, only to play undemocratically.
Despite the wishful thinking of some in Latin America, it's likely that Chavez will play the ugly winner. Instead of using the referendum for reconciliation, he will probably continue to stifle the opposition and govern on behalf of one group over another.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Teresa's Immigrant Shtick
People like Ms. Heinz Kerry live in an alternate universe. It's one that bears no resemblance to the harsh reality that confronts most newcomers to this country.
All the more reason for Teresa Heinz Kerry to drop the immigrant shtick and – along with the entire Kerry-Edwards campaign – start talking to Latino voters about issues that matter to them: the economy, health care, jobs, the war, etc. Doing that would show something that's key to any successful outreach effort. Something more important than empathy. It's called respect.
Credit and Race
When you fill out a credit card application or ask your local bank for a car loan or mortgage next year, you may be asked about your religion or race.
Current law prohibits financial institutions from collecting such data, but a proposed federal regulation will allow loan officers to ask about and record color, national origin, and sex.
The Justice Department has strongly urged collecting this information to aid in fair lending prosecutions, and some banks have said that it could be used in marketing and outreach programs. That's a prospect that horrifies some privacy advocates and Republican legislators, who are demanding that the Federal Reserve Board reconsider its plan.
CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug. 12 - President Hugo Chávez said Thursday that victory in the referendum on his rule on Sunday was inevitable, as his adversaries mounted large rallies to marshal momentum in a last-ditch effort to end his presidency.The recall election will take place on Sunday, August 15th. It's interesting to see that Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich think that the dictator should be returned to power.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
The GOP's Cuba Policy
By clamping down on travel and remittances to Cuba last month, President Bush tried to send a signal to Miami's Cuban exile community that he was serious about getting rid of leader Fidel Castro.
But some candidates for office are trying to turn the tables and use the policy change to attract Cuban-American votes to the Democratic Party.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Candidates and Reporters
Librarians Against Castro
On the eve of the world's largest library conference, a group of prominent dissidents from the former Soviet bloc have issued a stinging rebuke to Fidel Castro for jailing independent librarians and have called on the International Federation of Library Associations, or IFLA, to challenge Cuba over its human rights violations.
Citing concerns about terrorists crossing the nation's borders, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday that it planned to give border patrol agents sweeping new powers to deport illegal aliens from the frontiers with Mexico and Canada without providing them the opportunity to make their case before an immigration judge...
Domestic security officials described the deportation process in immigration courts - which hear asylum claims and other appeals to remain in the country - as sluggish and cumbersome, saying illegal immigrants often wait for more than a year before being deported while straining the capacity of detention centers and draining critical resources. Under the new system, immigrants will typically be deported within eight days of their apprehension, officials said.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Taken For Granted
Since a majority of Latinos is expected to vote for Mr. Kerry anyway, Democrats need a huge Latino voter turnout. But if they continue to take the Latino vote for granted and many Latino Democrats decide to stay home on Election Day, Mr. Bush could still get a 35 percent share of Latino voters.
After all, Mr. Bush still has to go through his convention, where Republicans could embarrass the Democrats by coming up with some primetime Latino speakers and a "compassionate" platform that includes a new immigration reform proposal that is more reasonable than the one already proposed by the president. Stay tuned.
Liberal Media Bias
...journalists are supposed to be objective. They're supposed to be impartial. Their job is to be referees, not cheerleaders for one team or another.
Care Tied to Status
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 - The federal government is offering $1 billion to hospitals that provide emergency care to undocumented immigrants. But to get the money, hospitals would have to ask patients about their immigration status, a prospect that alarms hospitals and advocates for immigrants.
Venezuela Vote & the U.S. Economy
The last thing the US economy needs right now is another gas-pump shock. That's why the Bush administration has backed off from saying much about Venezuela's president, who faces a political showdown this Sunday on his future and whose country supplies about one in eight barrels of oil to the US.
An immigration scam exploiting the use of the Spanish word notario has bilked thousands of Latino immigrants seeking to legalize their United States residency status and prompted Los Angeles officials to launch a crackdown.
In some Latin American countries, a notario is a lawyer. In others, the title denotes someone who holds public office. In the United States, however, a notary is simply someone legally empowered to witness and certify documents and take affidavits and depositions.
Unscrupulous operators are using confusion over the meaning of the word to dupe unsuspecting immigrants into thinking they are attorneys who can help people get U.S. work permits and legalize their residency status, officials said.
Immigration and homosexual "marriage" are shaping up to be the most contentious issues facing Republican platform writers in the weeks before the party's national convention, convention officials said.
Bush's Ad in Spanish
W and Judges
But it's a problem, because I think my nominees deserve an up or down vote on the floor of the United States Senate. (Applause.) So I guess, you know, they're playing politics. I appreciate your question, because they're playing politics. That's all that is. And I'm picking good people from all walks of life. I named a man to be on the D.C. District Court, Miguel Estrada, first generation American citizen. (Applause.) A brilliant man. What a story. He comes over from -- comes up from Honduras, learns the language, works hard, got a family that loved him. He's now named for the circuit court, and gets turned down. They wouldn't even get him a vote. And that's just pure politics.
You know what the answer to your question is? We've got to elect more senators who aren't going to play politics with my nominees. (Applause.) I'm going to keep talking about it, too. They may think they're going to wear me down, they're not. I'm going to keep talking about it. (Applause.) I'm going to keep telling the people of this country, they've got a clear choice when it comes to President. They want people on the court who will strictly interpret the law, they ought to put me back in. If they want somebody who is going to put judges that will try to write the law from the bench, they got the wrong man in George W. I'm not changing, either. (Applause.)
The Lopez family came to the USA in the '70s because of political turmoil in their native Nicaragua. Lopez's father, Julio, worked for the government of Anastasio Somoza that eventually was overthrown by the Sandinistas. While Julio didn't have a high-ranking position, it was believed anyone from the Somoza government was at risk.Then, there's is Patricia Miranda, whose father immigrated from Brazil and who will represent the U.S. in women's wrestling:
"If we stayed there any longer, any of our lives could have been in jeopardy," says Jean.
Julio initially moved the family to Spanish Harlem in New York and made a living doing odd jobs, but he eventually was able to get a position in Houston in his field of study, structural engineering.
Miranda became a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford, where she wrestled on the men's team and earned a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's in international policy. The 25-year-old will enter Yale Law School in September — after she represents the USA in Athens in the 105.5-pound class when women's freestyle wrestling makes its Olympic debut.
Monday, August 09, 2004
Meanwhile, in fantasy land, oil companies have convinced themselves that a clear Chavez victory will be good for business:
Rationality suggests that given the torpedoed economy, the runaway murder rate and the more than four million anti-Chavistas who risked government harassment to sign a petition in favor of a recall vote earlier this year, Mr. Chavez's odds of survival are low if a clean and secret ballot is held. Yet in recent weeks, the chattering classes have begun to suggest that he can win fair and square. The Chavez government is a leading proponent of this line and is now claiming that all polls show it has a clear advantage of 15 to 25 points. More impartial parties also opine now that he could win, albeit in a tight race. For the record, I'm not buying it. Neither should the international community.
There has never been much reason to doubt that Mr. Chavez would pull out all stops to remain in power. Only the "how" has been in play. Skepticism about the government's good faith has risen sharply ever since it tried to block the referendum by disallowing hundreds of thousands of legitimate petition signatures. Now critics are worried about the "tricks" Mr. Chavez might employ to prevail on Aug. 15. The sudden "spike" in pro-Chavez poll numbers bought to raise those suspicions even further. What better way to win international acceptance of what would otherwise be an inexplicable Chavez victory than to set up such expectations ahead of time?
A decisive victory for Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez in next Sunday's recall referendum on his leadership could help pave the way for billions of dollars of fresh international investment in the country's oil and gas sector.Don't they know that Socialist dictators have a history of confiscating private property and nationalizing entire industries?
Kerry in New Mexico
From Yahoo! News:
In the southwestern United States Hispanics have typically cast their ballots for Democrats, the party often seen as more attuned to concerns of the poor.
But Kerry can't take it for granted. Republicans are trying to woo every voter in this year's tight race. Democrat Al Gore won New Mexico in 2000 by just 366 votes.
It may be happening in Washington, D.C.:
Five City Council members announced their support for a bill that would allow thousands of immigrants to vote in local elections here, placing the nation's capital among a handful of cities across the country in the forefront of efforts to offer voting rights to noncitizens.
Friday, August 06, 2004
Diversity & Division
From Campus Report Online:
Sometimes schools do silly things in the name of diversity that, more frequently, only deepen racial division...
“Students at the University of Colorado at Boulder can take the popular ‘School and Society’ course on Fridays—but only if they’re not white,” Valerie Richardson reports in The Washington Times. The school reserved that class period for “students of color” in order to provide “a much safer and open environment” in which to discuss race, gender and class issues. In the old days, we called this segregation.
Kerry Is Scary
Since the beginning of George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House, liberal special interests and their Democrat Senate allies have waged an unprecedented campaign to block, delay, and besmirch the President’s judicial nominees. John Kerry has been a loyal member of this hyper-partisan obstructionist minority…
Tensions boiled over when the President nominated Miguel Estrada, a Honduran immigrant with an impeccable record and stellar legal career, to the DC Court of Appeals, and a minority of Democrats blocked him through an unprecedented use of the filibuster.
Never before in history had the filibuster blocked a judicial nominee with a majority Senate support.
Furthermore, leaked Democratic memos from the time indicate that Estrada was targeted, in part because, “he is Latino,” and because “we can’t make the same mistake we made with Clarence Thomas.”
Since 2003, Democrats have filibustered not only Estrada but five other nominees: Carolyn Kuhl, Priscilla Owen, Charles Pickering, Bill Pryor, and Janice Rogers Brown.
Most of these nominees have been elected to their states Supreme Courts and are young and bright, and either women or ethnic minorities.
Gana La Verde
This reality show takes the cake:
LOS ANGELES - Some TV shows offer an extreme makeover, others a bid for pop stardom. But the hottest reality show in the US Hispanic market is offering the ultimate prize -- a potential green card to immigrants desperate to pursue the American dream.
"Gana la Verde" ("Win the Green") has attracted big audiences and hundreds of contestants willing to eat burritos crammed with live worms, jump off high-speed trucks or wash sky-scraper windows in exchange for a year's legal help in speeding up their visa or green card cases.
The moment of truth is drawing near:
In nine days, Venezuelans will determine the future of their democracy. The outcome of the Aug. 15 constitutional recall election will either oust leftist President Hugo Chávez and his authoritarian government or strengthen his overwhelming power.
Michael Gonzalez of the Asian Wall Street Journal is not impressed with Mr. and Mrs. Kerry's multilingualism:
Ideas count more than the language in which they are conveyed.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Republicans and Civil Rights
In an article for the Cox News Service, a reporter by the name of Ken Herman tells us that President Bush has "an uphill battle to lure minority votes." In the course of the article, Mr. Herman gives his readers this doozie:
African-Americans have been loyal Democratic voters since the Roosevelt era, a trend reinforced when Republicans opposed civil rights measures in the mid-1960s. Bush critics say he hasn't helped, with his opposition to affirmative action programs and appointment of judges viewed as hostile to civil rights.
Mr. Herman is woefully misinformed. Republicans did not oppose civil rights measures in the '60s. In fact, it was Dixiecrats (Southern Democrats) who were the biggest obstacles to civil rights laws during that period:
What is to be done? Well, the Republicans could start by telling the truth and there is no better place to start than the Party's voting record on civil rights. The Dems' black overseers spread the lie that the Republicans opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Acts. Even a loose reading of history shows that while 69 percent of Democratic Senators voted for the Act, 82 percent of Republican Senators did so.
The contrast in the House of Representatives was even more marked, with 61 percent of Dems voting for the Act as against 80 percent of the Republicans. Al Gore's father was one of those who refused to support the Act that enforced the constitutional rights of blacks. Unlike that well-known Democrat Bull Connor who used dogs, clubs and hoses to violate black rights, the genteel Gore merely voted against them.
In addition to Al Gore, Sr. and Bull Connor, there were other Democrats like Roberty Byrd and George Wallace who opposed the Civil Rights Act and defended Jim Crow laws. If Senate and House Republicans had not voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that landmark piece of legislation would have failed.
Mr. Herman needs to do some homework and get his facts straight.
The Latino Vote
Analysis from Mother Jones:
...the Latino vote is far from monolithic, and Latinos' values and voting behavior aren't as predictable as many think.
Bush Ads in Spanish
From AP via The Baltimore Sun:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's re-election campaign added Colorado to the list of states where it's advertising in Spanish as it rolled out a new television commercial Thursday that says America has "opened its heart" to Hispanics under the Republican.
"No matter where we came from, or why we came. Here, we found opportunity, a better education for our children, the medical care our families deserve," the ad says, as flags and people from several Spanish-speaking countries fill the screen. "America, our country. George W. Bush, our president."
The ad is running on Spanish-language networks in Arizona, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico, where Bush had been on the air previously. He had not run ads in Colorado, although Democrats have been on the air there for a few months.
Diverse GOP Convention
My Republican friends are making a big deal about this:
The Republican National Committee recently completed certification of the 2,509 delegates and 2,344 alternate delegates who will make up the most diverse Republican delegation in the party's history. In 2004, minorities make up 17 percent of total delegates and women make up 44 percent. In 2000, minorities made up 10 percent of total delegates and women made up 36 percent. In 1996, minorities made up 6.3 percent of total delegates and women made up 33 percent.
From FrontPage Magazine:
On the first day of the Democratic national convention, Andrew Stern, the head of the 1.6 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), dropped a bombshell in an interview with The Washington Post. He said that both organized labor and the Democratic Party might be better off in the long run if Sen. John Kerry lost the presidential election this fall. Stern's remarks were quickly rebuked by AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, who renewed his pledge to Kerry. However, the SEIU is the largest and fastest growing union in the AFL-CIO and has banded together with other expanding factions of the labor movement to push for a more far-Left agenda than the Democratic Party is presenting this time around. The SEIU also claims to be the nation's largest immigrant union and owes much of its growth to the recruiting of illegal aliens.
More on unions from Linda Chavez.
Immigration Law Q&A
Professor Allan Wernick answers your immigration law question in an advice column appearing in the New York Daily News.
The American Dream
Immigrants are making their American Dream a reality:
Higher-than-expected immigration, both legal and illegal, is a major reason some economists expect the housing market to stay strong as mortgage rates rise from their lowest level in decades and the baby boomers begin retiring, putting homes on the market.
Foreign-born households bought nearly 8% of new homes and 11% of existing homes from 1998 to 2001. Immigrants were 12% of first-time home buyers in 2001 and buy more expensive homes on average than U.S.-born first-time owners, says the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies.
This is one the best ways to assimilate. Right?
Huntington on Assimilation
Prof. Samuel Huntington is at it again:
The persistence of Mexican immigration and the large absolute numbers of Mexicans in the southwest reduce the incentives for cultural assimilation. Mexican-Americans no longer think of themselves as members of a small minority who must accommodate the dominant group and adopt its culture. As their numbers increase, they become more committed to their own ethnic identity and culture. Sustained numerical expansion promotes cultural consolidation, and leads them not to minimize but to glory in the differences between their society and America generally.
The continuation of high levels of Mexican and Hispanic immigration and low rates of assimilation of these immigrants into American society and culture could eventually change America into a country of two languages, two cultures, and two peoples. This will not only transform America. It will also have deep consequences for Hispanics--who will be in America but not of the America that has existed for centuries.
I would love to get some comments on this particularly clever bit:
The overwhelming influence of Mexicans on America's immigration flow becomes clearly visible if one poses a thought experiment. What if Mexican immigration to the U.S. somehow abruptly stopped, while other immigration continued as at present? In such a case, illegal entries in particular would diminish dramatically. Agriculture and other businesses in the southwest would be disrupted, but the wages of low-income Americans would rise. Debates over the use of Spanish, and whether English should be made the official language of state and national governments, would fade away. Bilingual education and the controversies it spawns would decline. So also would controversies over welfare and other benefits for immigrants. The debate over whether immigrants are an economic burden on state and federal governments would be decisively resolved in the negative. The average education and skills of the immigrants coming to America would rise to levels unprecedented in American history. Our inflow of immigrants would again become highly diverse, which would increase incentives for all immigrants to learn English and absorb American culture. The possibility of a split between a predominantly Spanish-speaking America and English-speaking America would disappear, and with it a major potential threat to the cultural and possibly political integrity of the United States.
I don't disagree with the need for the assimilation of immigrants into American culture, but I have more faith in America than Prof. Huntington seems to have. America will continue to be America despite that latest wave of Mexican immigration.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Hispanic Pundit has a great post about the difference between the way liberals and conservatives view and treat minorities.
Preferences Illegal in California
This is a blow to affirmative action:
SAN FRANCISCO -- A Superior Court judge has ruled that a two-decade-old affirmative action program in San Francisco violates the sweeping ban on race and gender preferences California voters approved in 1996.
Everybody agrees that the President should stop blogging. This is funny stuff!
Bilingual Audio Flash Cards
Do you want the Spanish translation for all the political clichés being thrown around by the presidential candidates? Check this out!
Florida Hispanic Vote Analysis
Although Latinos traditionally vote Democratic by significant margins, Cuban Americans usually go the other way and vote overwhelmingly for the GOP. Since George W. Bush became president by carrying Florida with little more than 500 votes in 2000, the increasing non-Cuban Latino population of the state is being carefully watched by both major parties. The demographic changes are likely to have a serious impact in this year's presidential election.
Venezuelan Political Prisoner
The Miami Herald calls for justice in Venezuela:
Henrique Capriles Radonski shouldn't be in prison. Yet for more than two months he has sat in solitary confinement in the offices of Venezuela's political police.
His ''crime''? He tried to pacify a crowd gathered in front of the Cuban Embassy during the tumultuous days of a failed attempt to overthrow President Hugo Chávez in 2002. Mr. Capriles' real crime? He is an outspoken critic of Venezuela's increasingly authoritarian president.
The immigration issue is dividing Republicans:
Call them the anti-Bush Republicans: stalwart conservatives and formerly active Republicans whose anger over the party's tolerance of illegal immigration is prompting them to throw their votes behind write-in candidates, third-party candidates — or no candidate at all.
Hat tip: Art Pedroza
What have liberals done for Hispanics lately:
It was liberal special interest groups such as the misnamed People for the American Way and the hypocritical National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who were quoted in a memo to liberal Sen. Dick Durbin as describing judicial nominee Miguel Estrada as "…especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail [and] he is Latino…."
I refuse to forget...
Immigrants who are defending our country are on the fast track to citizenship:
Almost 3 percent of the United States' 1.4 million active-duty military force are non-citizens. Immigration officials said about 16,000 of those have applied for citizenship in the last two years, and about half have completed the process.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Edwards Courting Cubans
From Fox News:
MIAMI — Vice presidential nominee John Edwards courted a traditionally Republican constituency on Monday, telling Cuban-Americans that Democrats in the White House would pressure Fidel Castro and "promote freedom not just in the world but also in this hemisphere."
Teresa Heinz Kerry
Teresa Heinz Kerry is describing herself as the first Hispanic woman to be the wife of a candidate for the presidency of the United States and the concept is gaining acceptance among some Democrats.The article points out that Mrs. Heinz Kerry also thinks of herself as African-American. When you try to be all things to all people, you wind up being a nobody to everybody.
Gaps in Math Scores
Students in fourth and eighth grade are making small gains in math, but high school students are falling behind in the subject, according to a national standardized test.
...the so-called achievement gap between whites and minority students remains unchanged. In the 2000 test, whites scored higher, on average, than black and Hispanic students, and "the differences in scores were substantial," according to a press release.
Get Your Papers and Vote
A recent increase in applications for citizenship likely indicates interest in voting on the part of many immigrants -- plus a desire to avoid a fee increase.
Chavez and Castro
Irony of Ironies
Monday, August 02, 2004
Parties Seek Out Hispanic Voters
An interesting report from Diana Fishlock of the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News describing efforts by local activists to get people involved in the political process:
Nationally, Democrats and Republicans are running presidential campaign ads in Spanish, pursuing votes from Latinos, the fastest-growing minority, whose votes will be crucial in battleground states such as Pennsylvania.
Latinos -- who hail from South and Central America, the Caribbean and Spain -- want to get their members registered, but may never form a bloc that votes together because they are culturally diverse.
Most Americans oppose granting legal status to illegal immigrants, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll in January. And key constituencies in each camp oppose the reforms. Some of Kerry's union backers fear his plan would cost Americans their jobs and depress wages. Many of Bush's law-and-order allies favor a crackdown on illegal immigration instead of easing the rules.
From the Washington Post:
Federal promises to make registering to vote easier for Spanish-speaking voters by posting the required forms on the Internet have been lost in translation.
Seven months after the government hired a company to translate the material, and nearly a year after the English version was made available, nothing appeared online.
I question the wisdom of providing voter information in Spanish, but I also wonder how many people who don't speak English use the Internet in this country. Every Hispanic I know who uses the Internet is fluent in English (and most times is bilingual), and the Hispanic folks I know who don't speak English view the Internet as a strange thing that they would rather keep at a distance.
Some sobering news:
For Hispanic women, the road from the barrio to the college campus can be a minefield strewn with cultural and economic obstacles, as well as ethnic and sexual stereotypes...
To understand the academic hurdles that Latinos, both male and female, face, consider these facts: Though they are currently the nation's largest minority population, they are also the least educated. They trail all other groups in college degrees while leading the country in high school dropouts.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Hispanics Are More Liberal
U.S. Hispanics are somewhat to the left of the general U.S. population. Thirty-five percent of Hispanics described themselves as ''progressive'' or ''liberal,'' while 32 percent described themselves as ''moderate'' and 29 percent as ''conservative'' or "very conservative.''
By comparison, about 32 percent of Americans identify themselves to the left in the political spectrum, while 41 percent see themselves as ''conservative'' or "very conservative.''
What's interesting about these number is that Hispanics tend to be more conservative about issues like abortion, school vouchers, gay marriage and religion. These are the kind of hot-button social issues that distinguish so-called progressives.