Hispanic / Latino

Nielsen ends separate Hispanic ratings system

According to the Miami Herald, Nielsen Media Research will no longer be using a separate system to measure the size of Hispanic TV audiences, opting to get its data instead from Nielsen's traditional "people meter." From the article:

The move to one system comes as major media companies and advertisers grow more eager to reach Hispanic consumers. There are more than 44 million Hispanics living in the United States, making up about 15 percent of the total population. Some studies have estimated the buying power of Hispanics in the United States at more than $800 billion a year.

''We are approaching a critical mass of consciousness by the industry and marketers who have discovered the enormous economic buying power of Hispanics,'' said Don Browne, president of Telemundo, the Spanish-language network owned by NBC Universal. ``They see who is moving through their stores, and who is buying their products and services -- and it's increasingly Hispanics.''

Time for progressives to stand against "the misery strategy" for resolving our immigration crisis

The Times weighs in with an excellent, though incomplete, editorial today.  Called "The Misery Strategy," it begins:

The path the country has set on since the defeat of immigration reform in the Senate in June enshrines enforcement and punishment above all else. It is narrow, shortsighted, disruptive and self-defeating. On top of that, it won’t work.

What it will do is unleash a flood of misery upon millions of illegal immigrants. For the ideologues who have pushed the nation into this position, that is more than enough reason to plunge ahead.

It then details a new program being rolled out this month whose goal is to make it much harder to employ undocumenteds.  What the editorial leaves out is a point made very clearly in a Times story yesterday - that these new efforts are creating a national climate of discrimination against all Hispanics, legal or not.  This new initiative will have the specific effect of discouraging the employment of legal Hispanics workers as employers will not want to take the risk of punishment if one of their "legal" workers turns out not to be so. 

A Sunday Times Magazine cover piece does a very good job describing how efforts to target undocumenteds can quickly become anti-Hispanic crusades.

Fixing our broken immigration system remains one of the most urgent governing challenges facing our political leaders today. Given this misery strategy described by the Times, it is also turning into one of the great moral challenges of our time, one that our leaders are simply not stepping up to meet.  It is time for our leaders, particularly the progressives, to do more than sit by and watch a new and virulent form of racism spread across our great nation.

New work rules targeting undocumenteds are going to hit legal immigrants hard

In an excellent piece in the Times today, Julia Preston shows how new federal work rules designed to crack down on the false papers of the undocumenteds will end up increasing discrimination against all Hispanics. 

The human toll of the failure to pass immigration reform mounts, and will for many be too much to bear.  "Open season" on immigrants - legal or not - continues apace.

Immigration Resources

At the Yearly Kos Convention, some people asked us to provide more information about immiogration reform.  We recommend three sites, in addition to our work on immigration reform that you can find above:

National Council of La Raza - www.nclr.org

National Immigration Forum - www.immigrationforum.org

Coalition for Comphrensive Immigration Reform - www.cirnow.org

Of course there are many other good and worthy places to go for immigration issues.  These are the ones we find most helpful.

It's becoming "open season" on immigrants, undocumented or not

The Times Magazine has a remarkable story today by Alex Koltowitz about a an Illiinois town's aggressive effort to deal with its growing immigrant population.  It is a great piece of reporting, and powerfully captures the state of play of this complex issue with real Americans in the aftermath of the collapse of the immigration bill in June. 

The bottom line is that without federal action Hispanics - undocumented or not - are going to be inreasingly targeted and discriminated against.  The situation is untenable, on many levels, and if allowed to go unadressed, will likely make this issue a major one in the Presidential campaign next year.   There is simply no way our national leaders can continue to do nothing on the immigration issue - our immigration system is terribly broken and needs to be fixed immediately.   

Please take the time to read this compelling story.

Greenberg polling shows immigration's legacy will hurt GOP

David Frum has a great blog post on his National Review diary discussing some of the indications revealed by Stan Greenberg's new poll. Greenberg's research, conducted for the Democracy Project, shows that the legacy that will damage President Bush's party is not the Iraq war but its handling of the immigration issue. Frum explains:

Read the report in full, however, and you come across an interesting nugget on page 6: White young people continue to favor Republicans by a thin but real margin of 2 points. The Democrats owe their advantage among youth to a huge lead among young African-Americans (78 points) - and a very large lead (43 points) among Hispanics.

In the past, Republicans could win elections despite their unpopularity among ethnic minorities. But with the huge surge of immigration since 1980 - and especially since 2000 - the voting map of the United States has been redrawn in ways inherently deeply unfavorable to the GOP. If Republicans face an inhospitable future after 2008, we will hear much of the dreadful legacy of George W. Bush on social issues, the war, the environment, etc. But Greenberg's own work makes clear that these issues matter relatively little.

(Only 28% of young voters would respond positively to an anti-religious-right message, for example: see page 11.)

No, the legacy that will damage his party is the legacy of immigration non-enforcement. This has imported a large new community of people who are both economically struggling (and thus open to Democratic arguments) but who lack deep attachment to the American nation (and who are thus immune to the most potent of Republican appeals). It is these voters who will sway elections in future. And thanks to this president's immigration policies, there are going to be a lot more of them than there might otherwise have been.

Latino community's response to Prince William County resolution

Over the weekend, the Washington Post detailed the Latino community's well organized response to the outrageous resolution that was approved by supervisors in Prince William County, VA. From the lede:

Latinos in Prince William County, angered and panicked by a county resolution to crack down on illegal immigrants, are swiftly banding together against what they see as an assault on their community. They vowed this week to block the resolution through a boycott, a petition drive and possibly a labor strike or lawsuit.

At packed public meetings in three towns this week, organizers signed up volunteers, circulated petitions, set up a hotline for reports of discrimination and announced a campaign of phone calls and e-mails to county officials. They also said they would organize caravans to visit Loudon County and other communities where Latinos feel targeted.

The article also touches on where the organizers are willing to go if their advocacy doesn't pay off, as well as the motivation behind their efforts:

Organizers also said that if their efforts fail, they will consider a one-day labor strike, and volunteer lawyers will prepare lawsuits to challenge the resolution as unconstitutional and discriminatory.


"There is fear in the community, but there is anger, too, because people feel they are being unjustly targeted," Contreras said. "We want to turn that anger into civic engagement and into participation in the 2008 elections. They say we are a burden, but a lot of us own houses and cars and pay taxes, and we need to stand up and be counted."

NPI Invite: The New Tools Campaign, Stage II

Last summer NPI launched a campaign to get progressives to adopt four key new tools that helped boost prospects in the 2006 campaign. Come to an event on July 27th in DC where we launch the campaign around this year’s set of four more tools and explain why they are important and how to easily get started using them.

This Stage II Campaign will expand to promote “Reimagine Video,” “Go Mobile,” “Leverage Social Networks,” and “Target Your Marketing.” We also will update our previous pitches to “Buy Cable,” “Engage the Blogs,” “Speak in Spanish,” and build on our earlier use Search Ads to become the broader “Advertise Online.”

Each Tool will have a short, practical memo to politicos about why this tool is important to leverage, and how to get started using them. The memos are written by practitioners who deeply understand the tools and how they can be used by politics. Many of these experts will be at the launch event to talk and answer questions. They include:

Jed Alpert, CEO and cofounder of Mobile Commons, which helps political people leverage mobile media, on “Go Mobile.”

Dan Manatt, CEO and Executive Producer of PoliticsTV.com, which focuses on internet TV for the Netroots, on “Reimagine Video.”

Laura Quinn, CEO of Catalist, which has built and operates a national voter database for progressives, on “Target Your Marketing.”

Henry Copeland, founder and CEO of Blogads, one of the very earliest ways to advertise on blogs, on “Advertise Online.”

Jerome Armstrong, founder of MyDD, one of the first political Blogs, and Coauthor of Crashing the Gate, on “Engage the Blogs.”

And Ali Weise, NDN Executive Director and former deputy director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on “Buy Cable.”

The New Tools Campaign, Stage II
Friday, July 27
Phoenix Park Hotel
520 N Capitol Street, NW
10am - Noon
Light refreshments will be served

Please RSVP to Tracy Leaman at tleaman@ndn.org or 202-842-7213.

Feel free to spread this announcement around. The more progressives who understand the powerful new tools and new media we now have at our disposal, the better. Thanks.

Peter Leyden
Director, New Politics Institute

The politics of immigration aren't helping the GOP

A fantastic article from the San Antonio Express-News picks up on the same argument we at NDN have been making: the politics of immigration are not helping the GOP. It even touches on our argument about the political implications of the immigration debate, relative to the Hispanic electorate:

This bodes ill for a national Republican Party seeking to keep the presidency and regain control of Congress. And the shift among Latinos could be even more disastrous for the GOP than many realize.

Latino voters are most significant in the four most populous — and most elector-rich — states: California, Texas, New York and Florida. Of these, only New York isn't expected by demographers to gain congressional seats through 2030.

In addition to increasing naturalization applications, the article also cites the Hispanic community's response to the harsh rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate, which has caused a wave of mobilization among its voters. This is grounds for serious concern among GOP politicians as to the future of their party:

But a more significant reason for the spike is that increasingly, nasty anti-immigrant rhetoric — and the collapse of the U.S. Senate's immigration reform package — is prompting many immigrants to bolster their legal protections by becoming American citizens while they still can.

And even if several Democrats voted to kill the immigration reform package, the likely beneficiaries of this new crop of highly motivated new voters will be Democrats.

While this is encouraging, this is not reason to be content. As we at NDN have said, we must move forward.

NDN in the Politico today on immigration reform

I'm quoted today in a Politico story on how the collapse of immigration reform may end up hurting the GOP in 2008.   Other examples of this story can be found by clicking on the immigration tag above and reading through previous entries in the section.   There should be little doubt that Hispanics already had blamed the GOP for the tone of the immigration debate before this year; that the Senate bill collapsed largely through the work of a handful of Republican Senators; that the already damaged GOP brand has been and will be further degraded in the Latino community, the fastest growing in the nation; and as in CA in the 1990s, the rejection of the GOP by Latinos could spell electoral doom for them nationally for a generation to come. 

You can find our statement on the collapse of the immigration bill here.

However, I'm not sure that my quotes in the final graph as are clear as I would have hoped.  What I was trying to say is that if Democrats want to take advantage of the GOP stumble it would be wise for them to do more than blame the GOP for the collapse of the immigration bill. Democrats will have to make it clear over the next two years that they will work to do more than play politics with the issue - they need to show that they can deliver on the promise to reform the immigration system.  This means spelling out, in detail, a plan, and doing everything they can to pass it, or at least make significant progress on it, now.  

What is the Democratic vision here? Do Democratic leaders want to return to the framework of McCain-Kennedy, rejecting the point sytem, the nutty guest worker plan and "touchback?" What about H1Bs and other programs for highly educated workers? Is there a set of principles that can bring together the Democrats in both chambers?

My argument in the Politico piece was that for Democrats to take full advantage of the great Republican stumble they will need to make clear what kind of immigration reform they are for, and commit to doing more than just talking about it in the months to come.  Just saying that Democrats are less bad than the Republicans is not a strong message to take to any community.  

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