On Political Vaporware and Hispanic Voting Registration

When I marched in the immigration protests, I noticed the lack of voter registration forms, but I was told that voter registration would happen later.  Apparently not.

LOS ANGELES -- Immigration protests that drew hundreds of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators to the nation's streets last spring promised a potent political legacy -- a surge of new Hispanic voters.

''Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote,'' they proclaimed.

But a review of voter registration figures from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Atlanta and other cities that had large rallies found no sign of a new voter boom that could sway elections. There was a rise in Los Angeles, where 500,000 protested in March, but it was more of a trickle than a torrent.

Protest organizers -- principally unions, Hispanic advocacy groups and the Catholic Church -- acknowledge that it has been hard to translate street activism into voting clout, though they insist they can reach their goal of 1 million new voters by 2008.

Hmm, so they can still reach their goal of 1 million voters by 2008?  I'm confused.

Through the Votos por America campaign, Almendárez hopes to get 1 million new voters registered before November's election. That's a big number but a fraction of the more than 7 million Latino citizens who are eligible to vote but have not registered.

Wow, so now the goal is 1 million new voters by 2008, not 2006.  Interesting how the goal kind of just changed without anyone saying so.  I wonder if registering 1 million new Hispanic voters by 2008 is any higher than the natural rate of voter increase.

This is very alarming news.  I imagine that if there is no new registration, there is no new organizing going on, which is going to crimp GOTV plans in November.  We saw this happen in the extremely low turnout Cuellar-Rodriguez primary awhile back, though that race was pre-immigration rally.  

This lack of registration isn't just bad on its face, it's bad because of what it says about progressive infrastructure.  A lot of the new and shiny infrastructure promised after 2004 seems to be little more than vaporware.  I'm sure there's good stuff out there, but it's clear that what good infrastructure exists has no accountability or oversite, and that distinguishing between credible and non-credible programs is nearly impossible.

The failure to put a political strategy around the immigration protests is simply tragic.  And lying about it to cover up mistakes?  That is inexcusable.

Tags: immigration, Labor (all tags)

Comments

59 Comments

The Immigrant Rights Movement

is not part of the progressive movement.  Not because their goals aren't progressive, but because their issue is one the rest of the progressive movement could give a damn about.

It has been very obvious to me over the past year that the progressive mainstream is basically afraid of this new movement and isn't welcoming them in.  That has left the immigrant rights movement on their own in terms of voter registration, and yeah, they're tanking.  Plenty of blame to go around, but a lot of blame has to go to Democrats who think it is posture about Republicans "failing to secure the borders," then kind of expecting immigrants rights supporters to just fall into the Democrats' lap without any effort because, well, people of color are supposed to support Democrats and what else are they going to do -- vote for Tom Tancredo's party?

by Colorado Luis 2006-09-06 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

Sure, that's a reasonable excuse for groups to lie about their goals and tactics.  It's the Democrats fault!

I blast Dems for race-baiting, but that's a bullshit excuse here.  Lying is lying.

by Matt Stoller 2006-09-06 11:10AM | 0 recs
Don't think I disagree

Like I said, plenty of blame to go around.

by Colorado Luis 2006-09-06 11:20AM | 0 recs
Lie?

After further review, I see you have no basis to accuse anyone of lying here.  You link to one article where a radio DJ says his group's goal is to register 1,000,000 new voters by this November.  Then you link to another article where an unnamed source says the goal is to register 1,000,000 by November 2008.  Unless you have evidence that Almendariz is the unnamed source in the first article, I think you have gone too far out on a limb here.  The most reasonable conclusion is that said radio DJ has not been able to develop an organization that will register 1,000,000 by this November, not that anyone is "lying about goals and tactics."

by Colorado Luis 2006-09-06 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Lie?

I have other sources on this.  The groups are extending their deadlines.

by Matt Stoller 2006-09-06 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

What is so "progressive" about taking the taxpayer dollars of citizens and giving it to illegal immigrants? I am sorry, but I have issues with the whole "immigrants' rights" movement. I support legal immigration, but I do have issues with illegal immigration. Why should we subsidize and support those who break the law and come here illegally?

by jiacinto 2006-09-06 11:19AM | 0 recs
Because they subsidize us

...by providing labor at cut-rate costs and allowing businesses to cut corners on saftey and regulations in regards to labor without having to worry about being reported.

Economically, illegal immigration is a net neutral.

by MNPundit 2006-09-06 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Because they subsidize us

Huh? Undercutting union wages and allowing businesses to cut corners on safety is somehow subsidizing us? Who is "us". Some businessman in a Hummer? Not the workingman that's for sure. Workingmen rightly feel that NO political party supports them.

by antiHyde 2006-09-06 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Because they subsidize us

who is to blame for that- the immigrant or the businesses that profit for their status.t he only reason why folks are agaisnt amnesty is not terrorism (b/c immigration has been a concern since way before 9/11) it is for two reasons a) racism (b/c no one is saying the same things about the Canadian border where the terrorists came from) and b) business. IN the case of the later- ahving lived in LA for 3 years, I know that peo speak out of both sides of their mouth on this. They claim they have a problem with illegal immigration in terms of resources, but then turn around and hire illegals and dont want to pay them miniumum wage. If they were brought into the legal system- this would address that corncern because rather than competing at a price point that is below where most Americans can work-t hey would be competing at a price point that is the same. But who does it benefit to not have to play at a price point that's not the same? the illegal? not really b.c they would like anyone prefer more money. THe businesses? most certainly.

by bruh21 2006-09-06 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Because they subsidize us

The illegal aliens that were "brought into the system" would soon find themselves out of a job as those same forces that currently support illegal immigration simply brought in new illegal aliens to take the place of the old.

And, there are links between those who organized some of the rallies and the Mexican government or Mexican institutions. Is allying yourself with foreign governments and foreign political parties also considered progressive? What about helping a foreign country achieve their agenda of making money off the citizens they can't take care of? Is that progressive too?

by TheLonewackoBlog 2006-09-06 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Because they subsidize us

the difference would be this: its easier to bring in those who are already here, and keep o ut those who arent than it is to think you are going to realistically take care of 11 million already here. the issues you raise can be legislated through prison sentences for any business that violates the law on this issue and stiff penalaties if they do as well. see here's the thing- there are solutions to these issues that are progressive, but require o ne to not play pretend. i dont think my solution is the end of twhat needs to be done, but if one were really concerned with immigration or terrorism- one would be doing something about canada 's border because that's where the terrorist came from, and as of earlier this year it was still easy to get through the border from canada to the US. instead we have these xenophobic arguments about what are economic choices as though they relate to terrorism. there are solutions that neither side wants to use because it would deal with the issue rather than bait it.

by bruh21 2006-09-06 02:21PM | 0 recs
Let's do it now!

Why don't we penalize corrupt businesses now?

Well, because those who profit from illegal immigration have a lot of power and many allies.

That makes it difficult to penalize those companies.

The various amnesty schemes would only give those corrupt corporations that profit from illegal immigration even more power.

They aren't going to take a permanent vacation once they get "reform". They're going to keep on pushing and they're going to have more power.

by TheLonewackoBlog 2006-09-06 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's do it now!

and yet the opposite idea- somehow uprooting the immigrants is an impossibility so the only real choice it seems to me is to focus on those businesses no matter how powerful they are

by bruh21 2006-09-07 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Because they subsidize us

The businessmen of course.

by antiHyde 2006-09-06 03:40PM | 0 recs
Uh, so organize them

Union organizers understand that the solution is not to try to round up and deport 11 million people (or whatever the number is), it is to legalize them so they can organize and demand that their workplace rights be honored.

It isn't progressive to oppose legal status for undocumented.  In fact, it is falling for the same old divide and conquer tactics.

by Colorado Luis 2006-09-06 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Uh, so organize them

No, it's insusting on obediance to the law. I fully supported the Senate compromise which has disappeared. I regard paying the fine and acheiving status, not as amnesty but as a plea bargain.

by antiHyde 2006-09-06 03:39PM | 0 recs
Huge economic benefit from Immigrants

Huge Economic Benefits of Immigration

See the Bell Policy Center's analysis of tax contributions by immigrants.. Also, do your own math. Back of the envelope numbers:

  • 10 Million Immigrants
  • Average Immigrant works 50 wks at 40 hours at $10/hr
  • $20,000 yrly per Immigrant
  • $200 Billion in direct economic contribution
  • Factor of 5 - 10 multiplier effect on local economy.
  • Revenues from Sales tax, Property Tax, Social security.

Other Benefits

(1) High quality workmanship for our landscapes, our restaurants, our houses, our daycare centers.

(2) A lot of immigrants are sending money to the "old folks back home", leading to development of small towns in Mexico or Honduras.

(3) Cultural: great restaurants, great music, lots of interesting people.

(4) Protecting the demographics of Social Security by increasing the lower age brackets.

(5) Opens up jobs for Americans, Construction Service Companies, Restaurant Owners, Auto Repair shops, etc.

Anti Immigrant is Strongly Coded for Racism

You may feel you aren't racist personally, but you can be damn sure the issue is being used by demagogues to play the race card. Notice that the loudest anti-immigrant voices are in the whitest districts, <ahem> Tom Tancredo CO-06 </ahem>. There was the other Pew Study noticing that the strongest anti-immigrant feeling came from zipcodes with very few immigrants.

by MetaData 2006-09-06 01:08PM | 0 recs
Wow

First of all, there's a difference between "immigrants" and "illegal aliens".

Second, neither all immigrants nor all illegal aliens are working.

Third, let's take a look at your boosterism for remittances (#2 above).

Can anyone think of any downsides to remittances?

Well, first of all, there's the issue that it's basically hollowing out some Mexican states as a very large percentage of their workers head to the U.S. That's unhealthy, as is getting most of that state's income from remittances.

But, wait, once you think about it, there's more.

Much of those remittances reflect money earned illegally: not just being employed illegally, but also using fake docs.

And, there are American companies profiting from that illegal activity.

And, those American companies then donate to politicians who do what those companies want: keep the illegal immigration flowing so those companies can make more money.

So, now that we think about it, we see that what MetaData portrayed as a wonderful thing leads to massive political corruption in the U.S.

Likewise, one could demolish the other points he raises.

by TheLonewackoBlog 2006-09-06 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

I was on vacation once in Honduras and got a pretty bad earache. I went to the local clinic and got an exam and ear drops. Cost? Free. Most countries allow those within it's borders to use health services as a humane gesture. Why should the US be any different?

Giving healthcare to people in your country is progressive. Giving education to any children is progressive.

Illegal immigrants pay sales tax and those working with false papers pays Social Security and payroll taxes for programs they are will never use. The costs of illegal immigrations are real to communitities that have a disproportinate number within their community but the overall costs are basically neutral.

Giving basic social benefits to children in the US illegally is the right thing to do. I would support legislation for all adult illegal immigrants that would deny the 'McCain/Kennedy' path to citizenship options for any adult illegal immigrant who fraudulently obtained social services and repayment. The path to citizenship bill includes fines and repayment for those here illegally before they can become eligible to enter the citizenship process.

The cost of illegal immigration is greatly exaggerated, just like cost of foreign aid.

by joejoejoe 2006-09-06 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

Indeed!

by fafnir 2006-09-06 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

if you support as you claim legal immigration then take this out of the realm of illegality where workers can be exploited by giving them less than minimum wage. the reason you have to pay for their benefits is that companies are using wages as form of externality that they push off to you. its no different than what wallmart does. the only difference is that we blame the worker for what is a system that benefits businesses. if the workers were making minumum wage and were legal- they like you would have to pay into the tax system and be forced to carry their own weight. i frankly dont get the arguments for not giving amnesty except this fantasy where some of you think they are going to go back home. there are several million illegals here- that fantasy isn't going to happen b./c our economy and businesses benefit from it to much.

by bruh21 2006-09-06 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

incidentally what I just said isn't new- it was said by Mayor bloomberg of nyc who is a republican that i agree with on the issue. when xenophobia is taking out of it- there are few reasons not to try to take the illegality out of it.

by bruh21 2006-09-06 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

I support legal immigration, but I do have issues with illegal immigration.

Then help make legal immigration more practicle for more people.

Why should we subsidize and support those who break the law and come here illegally?

You've got it backward. They're the ones paying into our system and getting nothing in return for it. So, in effect, they are subsidizing you.

by Sitkah 2006-09-06 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

its more like we all subsidizing the businesses that profit from the status quo. the workers pay by lower wages than minimum wage. we pay through paying for benefits like the case with wallmart. its a perverse system much most american prefer race baiting to address the issues involved i think.

by bruh21 2006-09-06 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigrant Rights Movement

We need a real system that will benefit everyone and not just those who get cheap labor.

by Sitkah 2006-09-06 03:48PM | 0 recs
100 % correct

Why should progressive politics be tied to illegal immigration?

It should not be.

by dataguy 2006-09-06 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: 100 % correct

because exploitation is wrong- and as I told a friend mine who also doesn't get it. We live in a global economy- the issues that are creating a larger illegal immigrant community are the same that creates wallmart's externalization of its benefits cost that it should be paying to its employee to the taxpapers are the same that explain why my friend a lawyer is finding even her benefits are being cut and tightened. I am for growth  but if you think these things happen without costs then you are living in the same fantasy world as the rest of the American peo. Cheap labor has to come from somewhere, these jobs have to done by someone, the real question is how to prevent the exploitation and to make sure the immigrants pay their fair share. I would have thought it was clear that fairness was a basic value for progressives- but in this post 9/11 world where they hate us for our freedoms- I suppose not.

by bruh21 2006-09-07 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

The lack of Hispanic voting is a problem that is not easily solved, even by registering.  When I lived in Phoenix, I registered probably a hundred Latino voters.  At the next election, I got the yellow sheets and found out that eight had voted.  Wha???

What we need is a machine.  And we need to stop disenfranchising voters with felonies committed when they are young and immature in our barrios and ghettos.  In Arizona, over one in four black and hispanic males are inelgible to vote because of mistakes they made whilst kids.  And in a lot of states like AZ and FLA, one class six felony like stealing a bike at the age of 18 makes you ineligible to vote for the rest of you life.

Forget the scare tactic of terrorism, it is THIS disenfranchisement which is keeping a Republican majority, for if these people could vote, we'd be in power.

by jgarcia 2006-09-06 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

There is also no guarantee that these voters are liberal, progressive, or Democratic. Many Latinos are conservaitve on social issues like abortion and gay rights.

As for giving felons the right to vote that will cost the Democrats more support than it would gain. It would scare white suburbanites away from the party and give the GOP ammunication to claim that the Democrats support "criminals' rights".

by jiacinto 2006-09-06 11:20AM | 0 recs
Whoa, where to start

Well, first and foremost, most states already allow felons who have served their time to vote.  No big suburben defections there.

Also, while the Catholic Church does have some influence re the abortion issue, that church has also been at the forefront of the immigrant rights movement.  (Gay rights is basically a non-issue when it comes to Latino voting patterns -- NDN did a gay marriage Latino focus group in which 100% of the participants said they had never discussed the issue before.)  One of the big lost opportunities here is that this is a social issue where the Catholic Church is being very progressive, and the opportunity has not been capitalized upon.

by Colorado Luis 2006-09-06 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

An 18 year old doesn't know right from wrong? They're just a poor misguided child? Gag me with a spoon because I've fallen into a timewarp and it's 1970 again. Attitudes like that are what Republicans the majority party.

by antiHyde 2006-09-06 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

And so, after serving their prison sentance, they should be denied the basic rights of citizenship for the rest of their lives? Why?

by dantheman 2006-09-06 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

exactly.  Possession of marijuana at 18 fucks your voting rights forever?  I have a hard time thinking that should be be constitutional.

by jgarcia 2006-09-06 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

Marijuana only hurts the user, if that. Same with underage drinking or shooting heroin or smoking crack. Theft is much more serious.

But don't put words in my mouth. I don't advocate taking away the right to vote for anyone, including prisoners still serving their sentences. But, I did object to characterizing theft as a minor crime and mentioning 18 as if that were a mitigating circumstance as age 8 would be.

by antiHyde 2006-09-06 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

Just a small factual correction here.  Arizona doesn't disenfranchise for a single felony.  Only for two or more felony convictions.

The number of states that disenfranchise for only a single felony is down to a small handful.  Florida is one, Virginia is another.  I think the others are Alabama, Iowa, and Kentucky but not completely sure.

There are also states like Mississippi that only disenfranchise for felony convictions in state sourt, but not in federal court (weird, huh? - probably a holdover from the segregation era), Tennessee where the reverse is the case, and Arizona as already mentioned, but most states give the right to vote back automatically.

by ACSR 2006-09-06 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

Great input.  Thanks.  But I do think that most people who have a felony assume they do not have their voting rights back.  Perception is reality.

I think the framers would have been appalled that even people in prison aren't allowed to vote.  A human is a human, right?

by jgarcia 2006-09-06 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

See my post below - you're right, most people with a record assume they've lost the right to vote.  That's been my experience working with them.  Just getting the word out that in most states they can vote helps.

"I think the framers would have been appalled that even people in prison aren't allowed to vote."

Yep, big time.  Most of them were worse than felons in the eyes of the British government they had rebelled against.  Some of them were felons in their own right according to U.S. law - Ethan Allen comes to mind, our own homegrown American Robin Hood.  Interesting- lately I've taken to thinking of myself as a conservative Democrat.  Part of what conservative means to me is live and let live, letting everyone have a fair shot at success, and a lot less sticking noses in other peoples lives.  Obviously this is a far cry from what today's neocons and religious right have in mind by "conservative", which is why I'm a Democrat and will remain one.

by ACSR 2006-09-06 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

Just a followup.  I was active on this issue about 5-7 years ago - helping ex-felons register to vote where they could, and helping them apply to get their rights back where restoration wasn't automatic.  Most of them didn't know they could vote, even in those states where voting restoration is automatic.  And goodness knows they deserve a second chance in life and the right to be re-integrated into society.

I haven't been active on this lately but anyone who is interested should contact Human Rights Watch and/or the ACLU - and I believe there may be other groups working on this too.  Those were the groups working on it 5-7 years ago when I was.  Simply letting these people know that in most states, they can register and vote, is a big help.  And no, this isn't an issue that will hurt Dems at all.  In most states where they have repealed their disenfranchisement laws (Wyoming, Nevada, Nebraska, New Mexico - just to name a few), repealing those laws was a bipartisan issue with broad support in both parties.  A sad and somewhat sickening exception is Florida.

by ACSR 2006-09-06 02:56PM | 0 recs
Hispanic registaration

The democratic party should put more effort into Hispanic registration.Althought Hispanic are conservatives on social issues, most of them wont vote republicans because of the GOP hostility toward hispanic.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-09-06 11:29AM | 0 recs
Hispanic registaration

The democratic party needs to understand that the only reason California is "hard" blue, is because of the latinoe strangle-hold on the state neck...Look at whats happening in Cali,the state house and senate are prepare to pass a bill that would grant undocumented children, the right to get college funding etc etc..This could have never happened anywhere in the U.S , but because of the latinoe power grab on the state, it is possible to pass such a law.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-09-06 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Hispanic registaration

Undocumented? You mean they misplaced them somehow? Or they broke the LAW and jumped the LINE over law-abiding immigrants. Let's not make saints out of them.

by antiHyde 2006-09-06 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Hispanic registaration

the state house and senate are prepare to pass a bill that would grant undocumented children, the right to get college funding etc etc..

That would make them documented then, wouldn't it?

I'd like to know more. Could you provide a link to your source?

I suspect the reality is that it pertains to children born in this country to undocumented workers -- which of course makes those children US citizens and entitled to the full rights of every other citizen.

by Sitkah 2006-09-06 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware and Hispanic Voting Reg

I have worked on getting Latinos and other new citizens into the electorate since 1994 (Prop. 187) in California. It remains a very slow process. There was a major bulge in new registrations and Latino voting between 1994-1996 and many wanted to claim that this was a community response to the anti-immigrant initiative. But the subsequent leveling off suggests that it was a rather an increase resulting from the 1996 amnesty program which got a lot of CA residents into the citizenship process.

In light of this, I usually counsel that if we want more Latino registration, we have to provide assistance with getting eligible folks through the citizenship hoops as well as just registration.

Then we have to get new citizens to vote. Since the Latino community has exactly the same characteristics as white communities that don't vote (low educational attainment, low wages, youth) that's a real hurdle. It takes serious resources. I've seen recent research that it costs roughly $34 to get a new, low income voter into the process.

Lots to do. It is very much in the interests of all progressives and progressive Democrats to do this work -- these folks are our future.

by janinsanfran 2006-09-06 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware and Hispanic Voting Reg

Great post.  You hit the nail on the head.  Citizenship is way harder now than it was for my mom's Scottish/French descendants.  I think Republicans like it that way:  they get the cheap labor without the votes.  

by jgarcia 2006-09-06 02:58PM | 0 recs
Restrictive state laws

I don't know if this is related at all, but a recent segment on NOW on PBS discussed laws being passed in a number of states (including FL) that put onerous restrictions on voter registration efforts.  It was pretty upsetting.  I wonder if that's part of the problem here??

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/235/index.h tml

by mitchipd 2006-09-06 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Restrictive state laws

Don't know about FL, but in IL it's pretty easy. If you don't want to go down to your town hall or ward office to register, you just have to pick up a phone and call your local Democratic Organization and they will send a qualified registrar to your house. All you need to show is a driver's license and sign a paper that you swear that you are a citizen, 18 or older, etc. They will bring the form with them. This crap about "it's too hard to register" is just that - crap. Do you think anyone who can't be bothered to pick up a phone is going to bother to drive or walk to the polls to actually vote?

by antiHyde 2006-09-06 12:10PM | 0 recs
Hispanic registartion

The reason why Cali has become so blue is because the GOP tried to pass this very anti-hispanic bill, prop187.The democrats benefitted from this my sitting on their hands, and they expect the same with the anti-hispanic rhetoric going nationwide.

If the progressive movement were smart, they would've jump  on this opportunity to paint republicans as anti-hispanic and turn states like AZ,CO,NV, who has a strong hispanic ties, as hard blue as California.

Im surprised that the DNC or other democratic donor, didnt donate almost no money to push for hispanic registration, and now, they are whining because it seems like they wont be 1 million new hispanic registration..Well, the dems has no one but themselves to blame for that..You cant expect to take those people for granted by not doing anything to help push the immigration m0vement, then get mad about thing going badly.

How about the DNC or anyone donate $5mil to strongly push for hispanic registartion?..Its not too late, we have 2 months left and can make it happen..2 months is a lot.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-09-06 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

Lying may be a hard accusation to prove, but failing to registering people while they were all together marching in cities across the country was just foolish.

''Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote,'' they proclaimed.

Apparently not.

by Sitkah 2006-09-06 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

If they were that organized, maybe Mexico would be a better place to live. The Republicans right wingers and the neocons of all parties have been more organized than the others which is why our country has gotten worse in the last 6 years.

by Pravin 2006-09-06 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

If they were that organized, maybe Mexico would be a better place to live.

I'm saying the Democratic party should have seen to it that they were offered the opportunity to register --  if it wants their votes.

The Republicans right wingers and the neocons of all parties have been more organized than the others which is why our country has gotten worse in the last 6 years.

You should have said, "If they were that organized, maybe Democrats would be in power now."

by Sitkah 2006-09-06 01:14PM | 0 recs
Immigrants Rights?

Please, lets be honest.

Legal immigrants have rights. Instead, this movement is about rights for illegals, and about erasing our borders for the benefit of transnational investors and corporate free-traders.

Illegals should be given the boot and not the vote. Furthermore, the illegal employers who hire them and the illegal landlords who shelter them should be held accountable.

If big business and their do-gooder, open border pals on the Left don't want the law enforced against illegals, their employers, and their landlords then why enforce the laws on those who commit other crimes?

Taking this absurd reasoning by the open border lobby to its necessary conclusion means that the nation should tear down its borders and open the jail and prison doors.
 
The lack of strong, consistent enforcement is the crux of the illegal alien problem. If employers and landlords are aggressively prosecuted, illegals will have little reason to cross the border or to remain in the US without jobs or housing. Instead, most illegals will self-deport over time.

In other words, turn off the job magnet attracting illegals to come here in the first place.

Moreover, we need policy objectives that address the failures of "free-trade," and that motivate Mexico to get off the dime and use their common wealth for the common good to create sustainable employment for their citizens.

by fafnir 2006-09-06 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Immigrants Rights?

I agree. Illegal immigration does nothing to put pressure on Mexico to improve their own damn country. I really don't blame the illegal immigrants if no one is doing anything to stop them. You gotta possess a fighting spirit to make such a jump.

by Pravin 2006-09-06 12:58PM | 0 recs
Hispnic registraion

Legal or illegal, it doesn matter to the hispanic community...Those are just GOP talking point once they are attacked by hispanic for being too hostile to the community.

Being illegal or legal, never mattered to the hispanic community and here's why.

1)Every single "legal"mexican-american,"has" a family member or a close friends thats illgeal, specially if you're mexican.Therefore, fighting for comprehensive immigration reform can only help a loved one become legal.

2)Hispanic are very loyal toward each other and refers to one another as brothers and sister...There's no such war in the hispanic community where the legal hispanic, despise the illegal hispanic..Very,very very loyal to each other..I can tell you because ive lived in an hispanic community all my life.

3)If HR4437 passes into law, it would give police officers, the right to conduct immigration duties such as arresting illegal immigrants..this means that hispanic racial profiling will go up..THIS KIND OF RACIAL PROFILING IS WHAT BRINGS ALL LATINOES TOGETHER, WHETHER YOU'RE LEGAL OR NOT, YOU'RE BE RACIAL PROFILED BECAUSE YOU LOOKS HISPANIC.

Reason #3, is the reason why hispanic sticks together, legal or not.They see this fight as their fight to rage against racism and bigotery.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-09-06 11:57AM | 0 recs
Hispanic strangle hold in California

The hispanic community cant do it along, and this is why the democratic party should help push the immigrants movement garder..Right now, it seems like they are afraid to do so and i dont know why because you'd think they'd learn from prop187 and how it could swing a balanced state into their column forever..California has no chance to ever fall back into GOP hands..Even a republican governor, cant sound to hostile to hispanic in california because he knows what will happen, therefore, you have arnold passing laws for undocumeeted immigrants and refusing to send troops to guard the border LOL.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-09-06 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware

The point of this thread that has been wandered from is that a golden opportunity to register perhaps hundreds of thousands of new Democratic voters was missed. That's no way to run a political party.

by Sitkah 2006-09-06 12:50PM | 0 recs
What have the dems actually done for latinos

The rate of registration and voting is low in many lower-income and immigrant communities. You can blame some of it on non-citizens and some on a higher percentage of youth too young to vote.

To really get people excited about registering or voting, they have to believe you will make a difference in their lives. This cynicism ("they're all the same") is common enough across the board, which is shown in polling data, the fact of 1/3 non-registered, and the 1/3 of the registered choosing Independent. I'm sure that most immigrants feel that neither the Dems nor the GOP really care about their needs.

The same old republican-lite strategy has been followed by the Democrats with respect to immigration issues, with the message: "we're also against undocumented workers, just not as bad as the Republicans". The Democratic Party in Colorado were called (or blackmailed) into a special session during which they passes "some of the toughest legislation in the country" against undocumented workers.

Well, maybe if instead of feeding the Tom Tancredo talking points, the dems should stand up for vaccinations for everyone, health care for all children no matter what, driver's licenses for safety and ID purposes. If we serve the needs of immigrants, maybe they would trust us long-term.

by MetaData 2006-09-06 12:54PM | 0 recs
Registering is the issue here

We can open a new diary about illegal immigrants. I know I had one in the past where you can look up my views on this.  For the record, I am in favor of strict controls against illegal immigrants. It is idiotic to imply that illegal immigrants should have the same rights as legals. If an illegal immigrant is caught, his app should be sent back to the bottom of the pile so he won't be cheating other legal applicants of a spot in the line. Do you know Mexico is a lot less generous with their illegal immigrants? Talk about a hypocritical country.

Anyway, regardless of my opinion,  I do agree with Matt that the key issue at hand is not capitalizing on a captive crowd to register many that will hopefully vote predominantly democratic. It is a lot more cost effective to do it this way than checking people up on the phone or sending people door to door.

by Pravin 2006-09-06 12:55PM | 0 recs
Viva La Raza

The major problem within the immigrants movement is, they really dont have a leader to push them to the polls..Someone like, lets say, jesse jackson or Al sharpton,althought those guys arent really respected outside the black community, but they can push african americans to the polls.The hispanic community doesnt have anyone close to sharpton or jesse.

I was thinking, maybe they should recruit a major star hispanic MLB baseball player, to be their spokesman..Maybe someone like albert pujols or Alex Rodriguez..Those 2 are well respected, and well known latinoes in the U.S..Id rather alex because he's fluent in english and spanish and would be perfect to push young latinoes to the voting booth.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-09-06 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: On Political Vaporware and Hispanic Voting Reg

The politics of registration makes this tricky. Have a voter registration booth at an immigration-rights march, and guess what Lou Dobbs will say.

Doesn't matter that the people registering are US citizens: immigrant rights has been warped (in the public perception) into illegal immigrants marching for more illegal immigration.

by etagloh 2006-09-06 09:52PM | 0 recs

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