Evangelicos Sue Georgia Over Anti-Latino Immigrant Law

Atlanta Latino, Posted on New America Media:Sep 25, 2007
ATLANTA – The Hispanic Evangelical Church of Georgia, with the support of the National Latino Coalition of Christian Ministers, announced this week that they are filing a lawsuit against the state of Georgia for “treating their faithful without dignity,” according to Atlanta Latino newspaper.

State law 529 is unconstitutional, they argue, and encourages police to make arrests based on racial profiling. Pastors and congregational leaders are creating a database of reported cases of incidents involving their members.

On Sept. 16, 172 local churches canceled their services to participate in a protest with 8,000 Christians in Atlanta, who sang and carried Bibles, calling on local politicians to “stop their racist attacks” against honest people who only want to work to make a better life for their children.

Reverend Miguel Rivera, president of the coalition, said laws like 529 “revive racist rhetoric" and "manipulate the conscience of Americans in Georgia so that they see our brothers as invaders who have come to steal their jobs, when this is a fallacy." Immigrants come because there are jobs that Americans simply don’t want to do, he said.


GOP Disses Latinos And African Americans

Carl P. Leubsdorf, Washington Bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News, asks a question many political observers are pondering: Is GOP determined to avoid minority voters?

Shamefully, the answer is yes. The GOP presidential candidates--pandering to the party's rightwing base, have made it a badge of honor to openly turn down any and all invitations from, and to publicly diss, national Latino and African American groups.

A small but growing list of Republicans believe that an anti-people of color stance by the GOP is unwise. Afterall, the GOP is effe4ctively dissing a third of the nation's residents. Former New York Congressman and Reagan Cabinet official, Jack Kemp, has this to say:

"If we're going to be competitive with people of color," said former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp, "we've got to ask them for their vote."
Unlike many in his party Kemp practiced the politics of inclusion. He really believes that "empowering" people of color and the disadvantaged is a good thing for society. Kemp built bridges to urban communities across the country, and there was no Latino or African American group that Kemp would not reach out to.

Unfortunately, today's smug and mean-spirited GOP has no interest in Kemp's idea of a big tent party.


WSJ -- The GOP's Anti-Latino Tone is a Loser

The WSJ joins a small but growing list cautioning the GOP to stop marching to the beat (or the screeches) of its anti-immigrant/Latino racists. I've posted the full article. Whether you're Republican, Democrat or Independent, conservative, liberal, Latino or other, read it. It's a wise piece.

Hispanics and the GOP
How to lose elections in one Lou Dobbs lesson.

Saturday, September 15, 2007 12:01 a.m.

Between 1996 and 2004, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote doubled to more than 40%, only to fall in last year's midterm election to less than 30%. The most recent polls show Hispanics breaking for Democrats over Republicans by 51% to 21%. What gives?

To understand this remarkable erosion of Latino support for Republicans, look no further than the most recent Presidential debates. While GOP candidates debated the urgency of erecting a fence from California to Texas along the Mexican border, Democrats debated in Spanish on Univision.

To reverse current trends, the GOP need not resort to ethnic pandering, which is the left's métier. But Republicans would help their cause tremendously if the party at the very least adopted a welcoming stance toward Latino newcomers. People aren't going to listen to your message unless they believe you care about them. Ronald Reagan didn't regularly receive a third of the Hispanic vote by sounding like Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson on immigration.

Tone matters in politics, and getting people to vote for you is easier when you're not likening them to Islamic terrorists, or implying that Latino men are hard-wired for gang-banging. Unlike blacks, who have hewed to Democrats in large majorities for decades, Latinos are proven swing voters, and Republican energies would be better employed trying to win them over instead of trying to capitalize on ethnic polarization to win GOP primaries.

There's precedent here. In the mid-1990s after California Governor Pete Wilson embraced Proposition 187, which denied education and health-care benefits to the children of illegal aliens, Latino support for Republicans fell to 25% from 53%, and GOP support among Asians and women declined as well.

Some conservatives insist that it's only the illegal aliens who have earned their wrath, but when the target of scorn is the mother or brother or cousin of someone here lawfully, that becomes a difference without much of a distinction politically. Moreover, Tom Tancredo, the pied piper of restrictionists in Congress, wants a "time out" on all legal immigration, and Hispanic voters are wise to the fact that it's not because he thinks there are too many Italians in the U.S. Republican pols may decide to follow Mr. Tancredo, Lou Dobbs, Fox News populists and obsessive bloggers down this path, but it's likely to lead to political defeat.

Hispanics are now about 8% of the electorate, but they're projected to become 20% by 2020 and one-quarter of the total U.S. population by 2050. The political reality is that going forward Hispanics will have to play a bigger and bigger role in keeping the GOP competitive nationally. It's hard to see how Republicans have any hope of building a permanent majority if Hispanics start voting for Democrats in the percentages that blacks already do.

Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona all boast heavy Latino populations and are states that a GOP Presidential candidate probably has to carry unless he can pick up states on the West coast or in the Northeast that Republicans haven't won since the 1980s. President Bush won Nevada, Colorado and Arizona twice. Al Gore won New Mexico in 2000, but it switched to Mr. Bush in 2004 in part because the President did well among the state's large Hispanic population.

Which brings us to a final, somewhat ironic, point about these political and demographic trends. Republican strategists, led by Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman and Matthew Dowd, took note of what was happening long before their Democratic counterparts. As recently as 2004, Democrats still viewed Latinos as voters they could take for granted. The assumption was that, as with blacks, perfunctory appeals to past discrimination would suffice to win them over. John Kerry ran no significant campaign in Hispanic communities and rarely traveled to the Southwest.

But it turns out that 50% of Hispanic voters are foreign-born and grew up speaking Spanish, not nursing racial grievances. That's an increase from 20% in 1988, and most of Mr. Bush's gains among Hispanics in 2004 came from this cohort. The point is that Republican principles--economic or cultural--are not lost on Hispanics, who are hardly wedded to one party, even if some conservatives insist this vote is lost to them. And it's no coincidence the 2008 Democratic convention will be in Colorado, where Hispanics are 19% of the population.

President Bush proved that the GOP could make significant inroads with Latinos, and smart Governors like Rick Perry in Texas and Jeb Bush in Florida have also shown the political wisdom of avoiding anti-immigration appeals. It's unfortunate that other Republicans, including most of Mr. Bush's would-be successors, seem so eager to help the Democrats make up lost ground.

Copyright © 2007 Dow


The Mexicans Are Coming! The Mexicans Are Coming!

The Mexicans Are Coming! The Mexicans Are Coming! by Kerry Howley, Reason Magazine (9/07), raises questions about the motives of many of the politicians at the forefront of the war against Latino immigration.

Hyping the immigration crisis in America's whitest states

She cites the case of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. He's damn tired of this “unnatural influx” of people “who openly flout the laws.” Problem is that Missouri has few Latinos and the recent Latino immigrant surge has largely bypassed his state.

Howley notes that San Diego State University Sociologist Jill Esbenshade found that almost 80 percent of the localities where ordinances have been discussed had below the national average of Latino population share in 2000.

So what's the motivation?

Pure racism. That is, these politicians are using thinly veiled racist appeals for political gain.

In the 1800's it was under the banner of fighting the Yellow Menace that propelled many political careers. Today, nativists such as Blunt, Tancredo and Buchanan are riding a racist wave as they profit from their fight against the Brown Menace.


Fight for Immigrants: A Long Island Update

Dr. Luis Valenzuela, leading immigrant advocate and executive director of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, spoke recently at a Babylon Green Party Forum on Immigration. He gave a seminar on the local and national battle for immigrant justice.

Click here for a video of the the 29 minute presentation.

Among Dr. Valenzuela's successes is the defeat last spring of a proposed Suffolk County ordinance dubbed the "Standing While Latino" code.

An especially vile and discriminatory proposal, the bill sought to make illegal the gathering of two or more persons on public walkways. Enforcement of the ban would be targeted at Latino men.

Click here for Dr. Valenzuela's compelling testimony against the offensive bill.

BTW: Of all the local political parties, the Babylon Green Party stands alone in its commitment to ending racism and anti-immigrant bigotry on Long Island.

Thanks to the Wilders for their vision, commitment and leadership.

Unauthorized Immigration is NOT a Criminal Offense

Rudy Giuliani has just deep-sixed his presidential bid as a Republican, demonstrated yet again that he's a genuine leader, added much needed expertise to the national discussion around "illegal" immigration--or, all of the above.

Check out this ground-breaking exchange between radio/cable personality Glenn Beck and Rudy:

GIULIANI: The context of that was for people to come forward to report crimes because we needed their help and we didn't want them to be afraid of coming forward. The context of that was we wanted them to put their children in school not to be afraid to do that. Even with the policy that I pointed, I continued it was probably seven, eight years old, there were still people, illegal immigrants, who would not report crimes. But we wanted them to.

GLENN: Right. But isn't illegal immigration a crime in and of itself?


GLENN: Aren't you saying --

GIULIANI: Glenn --

GLENN: You're protecting criminals by saying that being treated as a criminal is unfair.

GIULIANI: Glenn, it's not a crime. I know that's very hard for people to understand, but it's not a federal crime.

GLENN: It's a misdemeanor but if you've been nailed, it is a crime. If you've been nailed, ship back and come back, it is a crime.

GIULIANI: Glenn, being an illegal immigrant, the 400,000 were not prosecuted for crimes by the federal government, nor could they be. I was U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York. So believe me, I know this. In fact, when you throw an immigrant out of the country, it's not a criminal proceeding. It's a civil proceeding.
GLENN: Is it --

GIULIANI: One of the things that congress wanted to do a year ago is to make it a crime, which indicates that it isn't.

GLENN: Should it be?

GIULIANI: Should it be? No, it shouldn't be because the government wouldn't be able to prosecute it. We couldn't prosecute 12 million people. We have only 2 million people in jail right now for all the crimes that are committed in the country, 2.5 million. If you were to make it a crime, you would have to take the resources of the criminal justice system and increase it by about 6. In other words, you'd have to take all the 800,000 police, and who knows how many police we would have to have.

Rudy is a former federal prosecutor and a Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan. It seems to me that Rudy probably knows what he's talking about. But if his view stands up, doesn't that blow the cover off of all of those closeted racists hiding behind the it's "illegal" banner?


Click here for the full transcript.
Click here for Glenn Beck's website.


Herndon's Backwards Step

In 2005, Mayor Michael L. O'Reilly of Herndon, a small municipality in Fairfax County Virginia, established a day-laborer center to allow workers and employers a central gathering and employment site. It was a sensible and forward-looking measure that bolstered the local economy and aided public safety.

Herndon was a model for enacting local solutions to a complex economic, political and humanitarian issue.

So how did voters of Herndon thank Mayor O'Reilly for his courage and leadership?

They voted out him and his two town council allies out of office and installed an anti-Latino immigrant mayor and council majority.

The new mayor Stephen J. DeBenedittis and council allies (with tactical support from anti-immigrant groups like the Minute Men) voted yesterday to close the day-laborer center. The workers, employers and residents will now be returned to the pre-laborer center chaos.

Is this leadership?

BTW: Who exactly does DeBenedittis represent? In a town of 28, 000 people--40% of whom are immigrants--DeBenedittis won election with just 1,363 votes, or less than 5% of Herndon's residents.

Is the solution to Herndon's mess not obvious?

Related articles:

Sending the Wrong Message on Immigrants

Herndon to Shut Down Center for Day Laborers

Herndon labor ordinance struck down by judge

Hypocrisy in Herndon

The Face of Local Counties Shifts With Surge in Minorities

Herndon Picked for ICE Program


Anti-immigrant policies push American farmers abroad

Talk about the law of unintended consequences!

As the anti-immigrants succeed in walling off America to Latino immigrant workers, American farmers are beginning to move their operations abroad. Already 12 major agri-businesses just from California and Arizona have set up shop in Mexico employing some 11,000 workers there. And U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) displayed a map on the Senate floor in July locating more than 46,000 acres that American growers are cultivating in just two Mexican states, Guanajuato and Baja California.

Ironically, a walled America may end up being a major boon to the Mexican economy.

As farm operations move abroad, not only are low end jobs created, but also managerial jobs as well. Additionally, it's likely that a growing share of the purchases necessary to sustain the operations will be made abroad as well.

Consider this scenario: As many as 70% of the 2.5 million farm workers in the United States are undocumented workers. Simple economics suggests that deprived of this workforce, U.S. farms will be forced to raise prices above world market rates, which would require major new protectionist legislation, close down domestic operations and open operations abroad.

The Dobbs and Tancredo Know Nothings will then have to push for farm price controls and to bar the foreign import of farm products--triggering a massive food shortage and the collapse of the U.S. farm market.

The big losers: Average Americans.

Read American Farmers Cross the Border for Labor.

All languages spoken here

All languages spoken here (by Ruth Kunstadter, NorthJersey.Com - 9.5.07)

THE CURRENT immigration debate is not only dividing our nation, it is also threatening one of the most valuable -- and already endangered -- resources for the future of this country: the linguistic and cultural expertise of our immigrant communities.

Anti-immigrant fever is growing at an alarming rate. U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo recently blamed the horrific murders in Newark on lax immigration policies, and hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan have gained new energy by retraining their sights on immigrants.

We won't get very far in the new global economy -- or in the democratic beliefs we seek to promote abroad -- as a monolingual and xenophobic nation.

According to Doris Meissner, former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, "We haven't had this kind of intensity and widespread, deep-seated anger for almost 100 years."

Not surprisingly, that anger is resulting in discrimination against all immigrants -- not just those who may be undocumented -- and, increasingly, against the languages they speak.



Rev. Samuel Rodriguez: GOP Losing Latino Evangelicals

The GOP and Latino evangelicals: Candidates' immigration views could alienate a natural group of supporters (by William McKenzie, Dallas Morning News - 9.4.07)

A note here for Mitt, Fred, Rudy and the gang:

You guys gunning for the GOP nomination really should pay attention to the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the many other Latino evangelicals who think like the California pastor. They are natural Republicans, but if your party keeps up its anti-immigrant rhetoric, you can forget them coming your way.


Prince William County Boycott Update: Raising the Heat

Carrying American flags and chanting "Si, se puede" ("Yes, we can"), several thousand Latinos rallied at the seat of Prince William County government yesterday to denounce the Board of Supervisors' plan to curb services to illegal immigrants. The rally was part of a week-long economic boycott of immigrant unfriendly businesses in Prince William County, Virginia.

In response, Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart--and leading local anti-immigrant--urged residents to avoid pro-immigrant businesses.

Aiming to raise the heat on the county's anti-immigrant politicians, boycott organizers have announced plans for an Oct. 9 work stoppage in Prince William.


Raymond J. Keating: Republicans court defeat by opposing immigration

Add Newsday columnist Raymond J. Keating to a growing list of conservatives warning that being anti-immigration means political suicide for Republicans. He wrote Republicans court defeat by opposing immigration.

Clint Bollick and Linda Chavez have issued similar warnings.

Keating's evidence?

A poll for the the National Immigration Forum and the Manhattan Institute, 3 of 4 conservative/republican voters favor comprehensive immigration reform that includes beefed-up border security, allowing more foreigners to come for work and a path to legalization for undocumented workers.

President Bush ran as a pro-immigration conservative Republican in 2000 and 2004 and won. Congressional Republicans turned anti-immigrant in 2006 and lost.

Many of the anti-immigrant Republicans/conservatives claim the mantle of Reagan. Keating says that's hogwash. Not only is there nothing conservative or Republican about being anti-immigrant, but Reagan himself was distinctly pro-immigration.
So, if most Americans including conservative are for sensible immigration reform, who is responsible for the "anti-immigration tail wagging Republican policy: these days?

Keating believes it's a small but loud group spreading populist fears. I suspect he's referring to some of the people listed in the ¡Ya basta! Hall of Shame and their followers.