Grandma or the economy?

BRIAN SNYDER REUTERS Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks to the Hispanic Leadership Network in Miami, … Continued

BRIAN SNYDER

REUTERS

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks to the Hispanic Leadership Network in Miami, Florida January 27, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama need to woo the Hispanic vote to secure the presidential victory.

They are aware that Hispanic votes in general and in the swing states in particular could change the course of this election. In 1996, Bill Clinton won 66 percent of the Hispanic evangelical vote and 73 percent of the Hispanic vote overall. In 2004, the single factor that gave George W. Bush unprecedented levels of Hispanic support came from Hispanic Protestants, who voted 56 percent in favor of his candidacy compared to 44 percent in his 2000 run. In 2008, Barack Obama took the win with 67 percent of the Hispanic vote and a majority of the Hispanic evangelical vote. Hispanic evangelical voters fit the mood of the majority electorate when it comes to presidential politics. If this remains, Romney and Republicans face a tough scenario for winning this year.

While Republican leaders Boehner, Cantor and McConnell have ensured the ugly and ethnic rhetoric used to describe the immigration problem has been toned down in their chambers, they must be cringing behind closed doors at the way Romney has alienated Hispanics on the immigration issue. This is not just my opinion but that of Republican Hispanic Leaders. Marco Rubio himself said in an interview with Fox News Latino, “It’s hard to make an economic argument to people who think you want to deport their grandmother.” In fact, a very sensible analysis comes from former Republican Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who stated that Hispanics are, “dismayed by verbal assaults that sound more anti-Hispanic than anti-illegal immigration. It is good policy and good politics for Republicans to push for comprehensive immigration reform legislation that supports our national security and economic policies. However, the tone of the debate surrounding those efforts should be civil and compassionate.”

Romney has boxed himself into a corner on immigration. There is virtually no way for him to move away from his – and his party’s- destructive positions on this issue, without alienating a core constituency which is animated by rhetoric that is at times more anti-Hispanic than anti-illegal immigration. Romney has even alienated Hispanic clergy who are strong Republicans. We perceive self-deportation as a euphemism for the starving of people until they have no choice but to leave. We also understand that by extension, this self deportation strategy would starve two million Hispanic American citizen children and an additional one million citizen children of other ethnicities.

Many Hispanic evangelicals cannot understand Romney’s callousness given that his great-grandfather fled to Mexico due to religious persecution, and his father was born there. Shouldn’t a presidential candidate whose family has suffered persecution, endured flight, and in essence lived as refugees be more sympathetic? Does he understand that when he called Arizona’s hateful law a model for the nation, when he poses for photo opportunities with Arizona Sheriff Arpaio or praises Kris Kobach for his work on the Arizona and Alabama laws, he appears to many Hispanic people as an uncaring soul, void of compassion?

For this presidential candidate and his party to state they can tack to the center now that the primary is over by publicly vetting potential Hispanic VPs or by blaming Democrats for not passing immigration reform, after every anti-immigrant state law has been sponsored and passed with overwhelming Republican support is cynical to the degree that borders on illusion. Do they believe we are so deficient?

The latest play is to blame the White House for not passing comprehensive immigration reform or the Dream Act. I do not want to defend White House failures on immigration but it is in Congress where laws are made. To date, the opposition to any legislative movement on has been Republican: just count the Dream Act votes or the failure of Republicans to bring forth any legislative proposals other than border enforcement.

Hispanic people of faith ask ourselves, if Romney was willing to eviscerate Perry and Gingrich for trying to find a solution to immigration that is not starvation, what will he do to us if elected? After the election we will see if Rubio was right. Will Hispanic evangelicals choose economics or their grandmothers?

The Reverend Luis Cortés, Jr., is president of Esperanza.

  • wmpowellfan

    Padre, doesn’t the church teach compliance with the law? Then why should your ethnicity be considered exempt from laws that everyone else is expected to follow? Illegal aliens cheat, lie and steal — and they are becoming increasingly aggressive in making demands of a country that isn’t theirs.

    Immigrate legally or go home, seriously.

  • mehuwss

    Notwithstanding Obama’s own failure and broken promise on comprehensive immigration reform, among Latinos, Asians, etc. Obama is perceived as the last line of defense against Romney’s mass expulsion agenda.

  • wmpowellfan

    Immigration reform is code for amnesty. Again, can anyone say why one group gets a free pass, to the literal extent that citizens pick up the tab from cradle to grave?

    And Romney has said no such thing about mass expulsion. Self-deportation is entirely reasonable and fair; illegal aliens cost us billions of dollars year after year, and our economy and society are impacted.

  • two4three2

    Well put, wmpowellfan!

  • two4three2

    “Mass explusion agenda” — Oh, brother! Attrition through self-deportation is the way to go. Or, mehwuss, do you prefer kicking in doors and demanding papers? Either way, illegal aliens have no business being here—and you know it, too.

  • two4three2

    Padre, you don’t speak for me or for any of my Hispanic relatives! We dislike illegal immigration, no matter what race, religion or ethncity the illegal aliens are.

    There is nothing “hateful” about SB 1070. Arizona has, in the past, pleaded with the federal government to do something about illegals. Yet our government turned a deaf ear to them.

    Guess what, Padre? If the Supreme Court upholds SB 1070, then be prepared for other states to follow in Arizona’s footsteps.

    Illegal aliens have no business being here—even “Grandma” if she is an illegal. Nor does anyone have any business aiding and abetting their illegal alien relatives. As a man of the cloth, don’t you think it’s immoral to break a nation’s laws?

    Let me give you an example, Padre. On the non-Hispanic side of my family, we had a long lost relative who wanted to immigrate to the US. The Old Country was behind the Iron Curtain. When the Iron Curtain fell and those who resided behind it were allowed freedom to travel, our relative came legally to study in this country. We all got to meet him. I remember thinking that it will be hard for him to go home. Yet he did go home. From there, he tried to apply to come here legally. When no avenues opened up to do so, he actually wrote to the family Patriarch and asked the relatives to pitch in and send him, his wife and son round-trip plane tickets to the US. His intention would be to come here and never return home. Family Patriarch was horrified and let the relative know that neither he nor any relative, would be party to such an illegal act.

    In light of this, I have no sympathy for illegal aliens no matter how they got here. I think it’s immoral for their family members to aid and abet illegal behavior. That’s bad enough but to then have the gall to demand amnesty for illegals and use thinly veiled threats to politicians (ex: If you don’t grant amnesty, we won’t vote for you and you’ll lose the election) is beyond the pale.

    To all politicians — No po

  • mehuwss

    Doesn’t the church teach compassion and love thy neighbor as thyself?

  • jalengalvez

    MITT ROMNEY HATES GRANDMA!

    Mr. Romney despises us. By us, I mean Latinos. He thinks we are good for one thing and one thing only, cheap labor.

    If he is elected, our work may go up, but our wages will go down.
    Any man who advocates self deportation is evil.

    Self deportation means making someone’s life so unbearable and miserable, they want to leave.

  • jalengalvez

    You have no sympathy for illegal aliens?

    There is a book called the Bible, mi hermano. Read it.

    Jesus says, “Whatever you have done to the least of us, you have done to me.”

    No one, not even you, is above the teachings of Jesus.

    I am here legally. I have an Ivy League undergraduate and graduate legal education.

    My mission in life is not to abandon the less fortunate. It is to give to them what has been given to me.

    I am my brother’s keeper.

    I will pray for you my friend.

  • jalengalvez

    You have no sympathy for illegal aliens?

    There is a book called the Bible, mi hermano. Read it.

    Jesus says, “Whatever you have done to the least of us, you have done to me.”

    No one, not even you, is above the teachings of Jesus.

    I am here legally. I have an Ivy League undergraduate and graduate legal education.

    My mission in life is not to abandon the less fortunate. It is to give to them what has been given to me.

    I am my brother’s keeper.

    I will pray for you my friend.

  • jalengalvez

    You have no sympathy for illegal aliens?

    There is a book called the Bible, mi hermano. Read it.

    Jesus says, “Whatever you have done to the least of us, you have done to me.”

    No one, not even you, is above the teachings of Jesus.

    I am here legally. I have an Ivy League undergraduate and graduate legal education.

    My mission in life is not to abandon the less fortunate. It is to give to them what has been given to me.

    I am my brother’s keeper.

    I will pray for you my friend.

  • wmpowellfan

    Illegal immigration involves a range of crime — human smuggling, identity theft and other fraud for starters. That’s evil.

  • wmpowellfan

    Jesus also told those who used the church for their own purposes, “You have turned my House of Prayer into a den of thieves.”

    The church does not tell us which commandments to pick and choose.

    And as to “the least of these” — a bank robber wants a better life. Is the church going to advocate that members drive the get-away car?

  • two4three2

    You should read it yourself, “mi hermano”.

    Where does the Bible say it’s okay to break another nation’s immigration laws? If anything, Jesus told his follows to obey the laws of the land.

    You can help the less fortunate—back in their own countries. We have plenty of American citizens who are suffering. They’ve seen their wages depressed or have been displaced in the workforce due to illegal immigration.

    Those illegal aliens for whom your heart bleeds, have no problems throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents. Nor do they have problems stealing other people’s IDs. Where is your sympathy for victims of ID theft? Did you know that so many Puerto Ricans have been victims of ID theft by illegal aliens, that the PR government was forced to declare all PR issued birth certificates null and void? Now if a Puerto Rican native needs a copy of his/her birth certificate, s/he needs to jump through some hoops to get a copy with security features.

    Where is your sympathy for legal immigrants? These folks jumped through all the hoops and waited patiently to come here. There are Burmese refugees in camps, many who have waited decades to come here. Why should illegal aliens be able to cut in line and thumb their noses at our immigration laws?

  • two4three2

    Jalen—You sure love to cut and paste, don’t you?

  • two4three2

    wmpowellfan—Did you notice that jalen just keeps cutting and pasting the same response?

    You posted a good response to him!

  • wmpowellfan

    Jalen, you say your mission is “to give to [the less fortunate] what has been given to me.”

    I would applaud this aim if it were focused on helping the countries that provide the greatest numbers of illegal aliens. That’s where the change needs to come: overcoming poverty, corruption and violence in these Third World countries.

    Instead, by encouraging illegal immigration into the U.S., you are being very generous with resources that belong to American citizens and to legal immigrants.

    You don’t have the right to use our tax dollars to reward illegal aliens with “free” healthcare, education, translation, welfare and other benefits. You don’t have the right to tell them to ignore our laws, to refuse to assimilate, to create an unsustainable economic, social and environmental burden because they feel so entitled.

    I’ll pray for you as well: for understanding that illegal immigration is a sin, and no amount of spin will make invading and squatting a holy act.

  • wmpowellfan

    Hello Two4three2, and thank you as always for contributing such thoughtful, well-informed and well-substantiated views — and very importantly, the perspective of someone who knows life in a border state first-hand.

    Yes, I have noticed the cutting and pasting — a sure sign of someone who can’t address the issues.

    But that’s fair enough — there is no way a church can honestly condone and encourage the sin of illegal immigration.

  • persiflage

    The GOP is making a habit of being on the wrong side of history, and the anti-immigration sentiment is only one of their defining qualities. As things stand, Obama pretty much owns the minority vote. Why would anyone vote against their own self-interest, or the interests of those that they share a common identity with? Marco Rubio, a high profile republican with early (former) potential as Romney’s VP running mate, makes that very point.

    Rmoney is so far to the right on this issue and many others, that white conservative votes are about all he can count on at this point.

    On the other hand, what he actually believes about anything is pretty much unknown, since his public positions change with the wind. And as far as economics go, Romney presents a very high risk political cipher who can be counted on to support the interests of the rich over those of the general population, and not much else.

    The fact that there is a monumental social and economic void between the affluent and the poor in Mexico is only one reason why we have the immigration problems that we have – Mexico can claim the world’s wealthiest individual, after all.

    Being one of the monied 1%, what exactly will Romney offer minorities?

  • persiflage

    Our prisons are chocked full of US citizens whose speciality was and is criminal behavior. Crime seems to follow humans around wherever you find them.

  • two4three2

    Knock it off—It’s not “anti-immigration sentiment”— it’s anti-illegal alien sentiment. Stop trying to blur the lines between the two.

  • two4three2

    Exactly. We have many homegrown lowlifes and they come in every race, religion and ethnicity. We simply do not need to import any more. Got it, persiflage?

  • persiflage

    It’s pretty disgusting, whatever you call it. The Obama administration has in fact deported more people in a few short years than any other administration in modern times. Now if that doesn’t get him some swing votes, nothing will.

  • persiflage

    Illegal aliens are really the least of my worries – but the prospect of another incompetent, rich-guy republican in the Whitehouse should be of concern to every citizen.

    Got it, 2X4??

  • persiflage

    ‘In light of this, I have no sympathy for illegal aliens no matter how they got here’

    I think no one here doubts that – and I do know quite a few legal immigrants that, unlike yourself, do indeed have sympathy for the plight of illegal aliens.

    But of course, they all happen to be from other countries themselves. And for that reason, they just don’t share the mean-spirited attitude.

  • two4three2

    LOL! Anyone would be better than Obama. Got it, persi?

  • two4three2

    Funny, but the legal immigrants I’ve talked to are angry about illegal immigration—as they should be. Perhaps the “legal immigrants” you talked to were ones who happened to get amnestied.

    You are the one who is “mean spirited”. Where is your concern for American citizens?

  • two4three2

    Whatever—Yawn!

  • two4three2

    Oh—BTW, I also have no sympathy for thieves, which is what illegal aliens are. I also have no sympathy for shoplifters, bank robbers, murderers and speeders. Do you have sympathy for all criminals?

    Since your heart bleeds for illegal aliens, then put your money where your mouth is. Take several into your home. Feed. clothe, shelther and pay for their medical care. While you’re at it, let them use your SSN so that they can find work. Just remind them not to use your name with your SSN. You see, there is a glaring loophole in our laws that says it’s not a crime for someone to use your SSN as long as they don’t use your name with it. Yup—right now several illegal aliens could be using your SSN and you won’t know about it.

    You’ll do all those things for illegal aliens, won’t you? After all, you consider yourself to not be “mean spirited”.

  • two4three2

    I began wondering why you were going on and on about Bush. Then it occured to me — you assume that I voted for Bush. If so, once again you are very, very wrong. I never voted for either Bush. Plus last election, for the first time in all my years of voting, I couldn’t stomach either McCain or Obama and voted third party.

    If you think that only republicans are against illegal immigration, then yet again, you are very, very wrong. Plenty of democrats and independents are against illegal immigration.

  • wmpowellfan

    “The wrong side of history” is an over-wrought cliche dreamed up by the illegal alien camp.

    They are on **the wrong side of the border.**

  • wmpowellfan

    obama’s cooked books include deportations by Bush.

    Either way, obama’s strategy is a combination of “catch and release” and “look the other way.” He’s not looking out for the people who matter: U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

    obama is weak on illegal immigration, as past presidents have been. That’s about to change. The majority of Americans want our borders protected.

  • wmpowellfan

    I too know legal immigrants who call the pandering to illegal aliens “a slap in the face.”

    “Sympathize” with illegals? Hardly.

    Legal immigrants obey the law. They support themselves and contribute to the economy and society in meaningful ways. And they assimilate. They love America and are grateful to be here.

    What a contrast to illegals, with their dishonest “reconquista” motives, their refusal to accept our flag and language, the billion-dollar burden they and their offspring impose on citizens.

  • wmpowellfan

    Mehuwss, you asked does the church not teach compassion.

    You know that it does.

    However, lying, cheating and stealing are not condoned by Christianity, or by any religion that I know of.

    That’s why I say the truly Christ-like action would be to help the home countries defeat poverty and corruption. Encouraging people to come here illegally robs Americans of opportunity — whether it is access to services, a living wage or competitive schools not overwhelmed by illegals.

    If you give to someone, but have to rob another to do it, how is that possibly right?

  • persiflage

    Hey 2X4 – at least we know it won’t be Ron Paul….but go ahead and vote for him anyway.

  • persiflage

    wmpowellfan – your ultra-nationalism is noted.

  • persiflage

    ‘I began wondering why you were going on and on about Bush. Then it occured to me — you assume that I voted for Bush.’

    No, I identified you as a Ron Paul follower from the getgo……

  • wmpowellfan

    And your great disdain for America likewise noted.

  • wmpowellfan

    Nobody’s failed at business like the Community Organizer.

  • wmpowellfan

    Calling people childish names doesn’t promote your cause, P.

  • persiflage

    wmpowellfan – I haven’t turned in my military medals quite yet.
    Do you happen to have any in your possession?

    You apparently think that your brand of patriotism is the only game in town……the fact is, you’re part of the human race, not the American race. Your disdain for differing opinions is noted.

  • persiflage

    ‘there is no way a church can honestly condone and encourage the sin of illegal immigration….’

    The arrogance of people that use religion to bolster their political positions is tiresome. The concept of ‘sin’ has no place in issues pertaining to governmental laws. And there are plenty of progressive-minded Christians that would disagree with this kind of religious absolutism in any event.

    The religious right is forever telling folks ‘ how it is’ – but without the proviso that their own beliefs are completely subjective and as relative as the next person’s convictions.

    Try and stick to secular arguments even if your political positions are at the right end of the continuum.

  • persiflage

    Which business venture might you be referring to? He certainly didn’t organize the collapse of the financial and morgage industries, now did he?

    It was folks just like Mitt Romney that arranged for that little fiasco……….with the help of an unconcerned government in Washington.

  • two4three2

    Wrong again, persi! LOL!

  • two4three2

    Thank you, wmpowellfan. Persi, I am not a Ron Paul follower. Of course you made that assumption because I said that I voted third party for president in the ’08 election. I’m surprised that you aren’t aware that Ron Paul wasn’t the only third party candidate on the ballot LOL!

  • two4three2

    “Your disdain for differing opinions is noted”. That refers to you, persi.

    You may have medals and if so, thank you for your service. However, your support for illegal aliens is astounding.

  • persiflage

    Well then, you have apparently supported the most obscure losers on the planet. At least Ron Paul was a high profile loser.

    On the other hand, you may have supported one of those religious whackos for president – am I getting warmer? I’m sure you have an intriguing voter history.

  • persiflage

    Dwelling in political obscurity is no solution. We still have a two party system, and protest votes are virtually worthless. What exactly is the point of voting for a third party candidate?

  • wmpowellfan

    I mean obama had zero executive experience going into office, and it shows. If he “inherited” a bad situation, he made it 5 trillion times worse.

  • wmpowellfan

    Look who’s talking, Persiflage.

    The concept of sin has no place in governmental laws? You mean laws like you can’t kill, lie, steal? Oh, silly me, how irrelevant.

    And as to the discussion of religion, you like to tell others to bone up on reading comprehension…

    …So you might want to take another look at this guest editorial, which was written by the pastor of a church.

    And as to arrogance, it’s pretty arrogant to twist the teachings of religion to serve a rather hypocritical viewpoint: that illegal aliens are more deserving of charity than the Americans who are forced to support them.

    You might want to take your own advice that “beliefs are as relative as the next person’s.”

  • persiflage

    ‘The concept of sin has no place in governmental laws? You mean laws like you can’t kill, lie, steal? Oh, silly me, how irrelevant’

    You think these rules only appeared with Moses and the 10 commandments?

    They’re as ancient as human culture itself……but they’re still relative. Because each and every one of these acts is culturally permissible depending on time, place, and circumstance. And sin is just another human abstraction …… as is religion itself. Humans make their own culture from the ground up, and it all changes over time.

    I know perfectly well that all we have here are opinions. Bringing religion into the discussion does nothing but muddy the waters, since there are no hard and fast ground rules when it comes to religious beliefs – or lack thereof.

    As far as the writer and religion goes, it appears his ‘religious’ spin on the humanitarian aspects of our undocumented alien problem didn’t garner much sympathy or support from fellow religionists like yourself, did it?

    ‘………to twist the teachings of religion to serve a rather hypocritical viewpoint: that illegal aliens are more deserving of charity than the Americans who are forced to support them.’

    Who said this? Are you making stuff up again, by chance??

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