Hispanic / Latino

America's Mayor on Immigration

According to the New York Times, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani is switching his once pro-immigration stance as he navigates his way as a Presidential candidate. As the article explains how this could harm him:

But now he is running for president, and the politics of immigration in the post-9/11 world is vastly different, with the issue splitting the Republican Party and voters peppering Mr. Giuliani on the campaign trail with questions about his current thinking. Perhaps more than any other candidate, Mr. Giuliani has a record on immigration with the potential to complicate his bid for the nomination.

In contrast to his years as mayor, when he fought federal efforts to curtail public hospital or educational services to illegal immigrants, he now talks of penalties for people here illegally and requirements for them to wait at the back of the line. And while he once pushed policies like providing schooling for the children of illegal immigrants by saying, “The reality is that they are here, and they’re going to remain here,” now he emphasizes denying amnesty.

Articles like these probably make Rudy wish YouTube didn't exist:

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

 

Hispanics are becoming increasingly secular

The Times has a fascinating piece on the increasing secularization of Hispanics in the U.S.  It starts, of course, with the Hispanic immigrant's passion for soccer:

RICHMOND, Va. — On Sunday afternoons, when the local Roman Catholic church holds Mass for Spanish-speaking Catholics, Edgar Chilín is playing soccer in a league with hundreds of Hispanic players.

“Church is not very popular,” said Francisco Hernandez, a pastor for a Pentecostal congregation in Richmond, Va.

As a child in Guatemala, Mr. Chilín attended Mass every Sunday. But after immigrating to the United States 25 years ago, he and his family lost the churchgoing habit. “We pray to God when we feel the need to,” he said, “but when we come here to America we don’t feel the need.”

A wave of research shows that increasing percentages of Hispanics are abandoning church, suggesting to researchers that along with assimilation comes a measure of secularization.

Several studies show that Hispanics are just as likely as other Americans to identify themselves as having “no religion,” and to not affiliate with a church. Those who describe themselves as secular are, without question, a small minority among Hispanics — as they are among Americans at large. But, in contrast to many of the non-Hispanic Americans who identify themselves as secular, most of the Hispanics say they were once religious.

The Roman Catholic Church, the religious home for most Hispanics, is experiencing the greatest exodus. While many former Catholics join evangelical or Pentecostal churches, the recent research shows that many of them leave church altogether.

“Migrating to the U.S. means you have the freedom to create your own identity,” said Keo Cavalcanti, a sociologist at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and a co-author of a recent study that found a trend toward secularization among Hispanics in Richmond. “When people get here they realize that maintaining that pro forma display of religiosity is not essential to doing well.”

A separate study of 4,000 Hispanics to be released this month by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Hispanic Center found that 8 percent of them said they had “no religion” — similar to the 11 percent in the general public. Of the Hispanics who claimed no religion, two-thirds said they had once been religious. Thirty-nine percent of the Hispanics who said they had no religion were former Catholics.

Hispanics from Cuba were the most secular national group, at 14 percent, followed by Central Americans at 12 percent, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans at 9 percent, and South Americans at 8 percent, the Pew poll found. Mexicans in this country were the least likely to say they had no religion, at 7 percent.

A larger survey, called the American Religious Identification Survey, a study of 50,000 adults, including 3,000 Hispanics, found that the percentage of Hispanics who identified themselves as having no religion more than doubled from 1990 to 2001, to 13 percent from 6 percent....

NDN Press Release: On immigration, Mr. President, we need more than words

Earlier today I released the following statement to the media:

"In this time of deep partisanship in Washington, there has been one issue on which the President, Senator McCain, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Catholic Church, the Chamber of Commerce, numerous labor unions and many other grassroots groups were able to find common cause and work together: the McCain-Kennedy approach to comprehensive immigration reform that passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support in 2006.

Based on various news accounts, the President and his Party appear to be walking away from this broad and deep coalition, abandoning a smart, tough and sensible approach to immigration reform. Floating a brand new approach to immigration reform, the President and his Party have stepped backward and devised a new path that will do much more to please their partisans than solve this important problem. 

We hope that on this vital national issue of immigration, the President doesn't follow the lead of his Party, but rather leads it and the nation to a comprehensive solution this year. While his speech today was one we welcome, the President needs to publicly distance himself from the plan being floated by Senate Republican leaders, and say right now that he intends to pick up where we left off in 2006 - with the McCain-Kennedy approach that has already passed the Republican-controlled Senate. Anything less will show that the President, despite his passionate rhetoric today, is simply not serious about passing comprehensive immigration reform this year.   

Years of work went into crafting the McCain-Kennedy approach. It has made great progress through Congress. It has a deep and broad coalition behind it. Democratic Congressional leaders in both chambers have made it clear that passing this bill this year is a very high priority (see video from our recent event with leaders from both chambers reiterating their support). The new and flawed Republican approach being floated will unravel this coalition, and deal a severe blow to those hoping to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.

The Republicans lost power in 2006 because their government did not produce the results it had promised and had left many important challenges unmet. At NDN, we believe the American people sent a clear message to Washington to stop playing politics and start focusing on solving a daunting set of 21st century challenges. On this issue of immigration reform, once again the Republicans seem to be on the verge of listening more to their partisans than the American people, and are in the process of walking away from a good and sensible bipartisan solution to a difficult national challenge."

"La Audacia de la Esperanza"

I wanted to acknowledge the Spanish release of Sen. Barack Obama's best-selling book "The Audacity of Hope." From the AP article:

Vintage Espanol, a paperback imprint of Random House Inc., will publish "La Audacia de la Esperanza" in June with a first printing of 50,000, a high number for a Spanish release.

"It will be our biggest book of the year in Spanish," Vintage spokesman Russell Perreault said Thursday.

The work of our New Politics Institute - which encourages the use of new tools like speaking in Spanish - suggests that this could bode well for Senator Obama.

Gingrich calls Spanish the language of the "ghetto"

The GOP's leaders, once again, thinking big:

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich yesterday described bilingual education as teaching "the language of living in a ghetto," and he mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages.

"The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up" to vote, Gingrich said. The former Georgia congressman, who is considering seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.

"The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. . . . We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto," Gingrich said, drawing cheers from the crowd of more than 100...

Senate GOP to Latinos: “¡no se puede!”

REPUBLICANOS DEL SENADO A LOS LATINOS: ¡NO SE PUEDE!

En el día de César Chávez, los republicanos del Senado deshonran al líder legendario de los derechos civiles

Washington, DC –El Líder de la Mayoría del Senado Harry Reid hizo las siguientes declaraciones hoy celebrando el natalicio del líder legendario de los derechos civiles y fundador de los Trabajadores Agrícolas Unidos (UFW, por sus siglas en inglés), César Chávez, el cual se celebra mañana. Reid también condenó a los republicanos del Senado por bloquear una resolución anoche que hubiese honrado el legado de Chávez, por su insistencia en añadir un lenguaje controversial relacionado a la  inmigración.

“Hoy me uno en el reconocimiento del legado y las contribuciones de César Chávez, un estadounidense que inspiró a un pueblo y quien luchó por la justicia social y económica para aquellos que trabajaban en los campos recogiendo la comida para nuestras mesas. Él se enfrentó a obstáculos grandes y siempre se destacó por su búsqueda incansable por los la justicia, la igualdad y la libertad.  Su ejemplo demuestra cómo un individuo con valentía y determinación puede lograr superar retos significativos y mejorar las vidas de los demás.

“Desgraciadamente, los republicanos del Senado se opusieron a honrar el legado verdadero de César Chávez. En vez de unirse a los demócratas para honrar a este gran estadounidense con una resolución que hubiese celebrado su vida, el liderazgo republicano del Senado decidió anoche que era mejor bloquear la resolución, porque fallaron al no poder incluir lenguaje controversial relacionado a la inmigración. Esto es un escándalo y es una falta de respeto al legado de este líder que inspiró a un pueblo.

“Mientras el Congreso considera una reforma de inmigración, necesitamos aprender del ejemplo de César Chávez, reparar lo que es incorrecto, restaurar el orden y la dignidad de nuestro sistema de inmigración que está roto. Necesitamos una reforma integral y bi-partidista de inmigración que fortalezca la seguridad en las fronteras, provea un camino hacia la ciudadanía para los inmigrantes indocumentados, reunifique a las familias y que tenga medidas fuertes e inteligentes para la aplicación de las leyes en los lugares de trabajo. Tenemos a 11 millones de personas que residen en las sombras de nuestra sociedad y ya es hora que sepamos quiénes son y proveerles una oportunidad para que puedan lograr el ‘Sueño Americano.’  

“Chávez una vez dijo que: ‘Si estas indignado con las condiciones entones no será posible que seas feliz hasta que hagas todo lo puedas para cambiarlas.’ Los demócratas del Senado seguiremos luchando por las causas que hicieron de César Chávez el gran héroe estadounidense que fue. Ya sea el proveerle los derechos que los trabajadores se merecen, mejorar la calidad de la educación pública de nuestros niños, o proveerle servicios de salud económicos y de calidad a todos los estadounidenses, el legado de César Chávez continua inspirándonos para hacer que esta gran nación viva de acuerdo a sus principios.”

The Onion's Take on Immigration

There's going to be a lot of serious and distressing news about passing comprehensive immigration reform coming out today.  All the more reason to see this light-hearted satirical take on the issue from the Onion News Network.

Immigration: The Human Cost

On immigration the GOP chooses politics over progress

In this time of deep partisanship in Washington, there has been one issue where the President, Senator McCain, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Catholic Church, the Chamber of Commerce, numerous labor unions and many other grassroots groups were able to find common cause and work together: the McCain-Kennedy approach to comprehensive immigration reform that passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support in 2006.

Unfortunately, we've now learned that once again Republican leaders have chosen politics over progress, and have walked away from this remarkable coalition and sensible approach. In news articles that have run this morning it is clear the Senate Republicans and the White House will now offer a new bill, one that abandons the smart principles of McCain-Kennedy, and that makes clear the President's support for comprehensive immigration reform has only been a spirited set of hollow promises.

Years of work went into crafting the McCain-Kennedy approach. It has made great progress through Congress. It has a deep and broad coalition behind it. Democratic Congressional leaders in both chambers have made it clear that passing this bill this year is a very high priority (see video from our recent event with leaders from both chambers reiterating their support). The new and flawed Republican approach unravels this coalition, and has dealt a severe blow to those hoping to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.

The Republicans lost power in 2006 because their government did not produced the results they had promised and had left many important challenges left unmet. At NDN, we believe the American people sent a clear message to Washington to stop playing politics and start focusing on solving a daunting set of 21st century challenges. On this issue of immigration reform, once again the Republicans have chosen to listen more to their partisans than the American people, and have walked away from a good and sensible bipartisan solution to a difficult national challenge.

White House PowerPoint on Immigration

The White House's Immigration PowerPoint presentation that outlines plans hashed out by Republican Senators was floated the other day. You can find it here.

Analyzing the details, the LA Times has this article (an interesting contrast to this one) which depicts the situation as it stands. Reactions to the presentation were alarming. From the article:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who was heavily involved in the GOP planning, called the presentation "a temperature taking." He added: "It's still very early, there will certainly be controversy."

...

Referring to those positions and his support for admission policies driven by the goal of family reunification, Kennedy emphasized that immigration policy involved special moral obligations to treat people well.

"This is unique," said Kennedy, chairman of the Senate immigration subcommittee. "You don't compromise on the morality of these issues, and we're not going to."

For someone seeking to solidify some semblance of a legacy, the President seems to have taken a step backwards.

Immigration Talks Accelerate

The title of this Roll Call article speaks for itself, as bi-partisanship seems to be defining the process for passing comprehensive immigration reform this year. Referring to the contrast between current and past discussions on immigration reform, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) noted:

“Last year was about staking out what you wouldn’t do” on immigration, while lawmakers now are aggressively working to find bipartisan common ground this session, said Graham.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) agreed, saying that he is “more hopeful than anytime in the recent past” that a comprehensive reform bill could pass.

Ever the office of optimism, an aide to House Minority Leader John Boehner said “Republicans will support an immigration bill that secures the border first and foremost, and does not grant amnesty to illegals.”

I must respectfully refer that aide to my previous post on this Washington Post editorial, which predicted comments like those from Rep. Boehner's aide and refutes them, allowing the Minority Leader (and other Republicans) to vote for the bill:

Before the bill's citizenship provisions kick in, stringent new standards on workplace enforcement and border security would have to be satisfied. They include a major build-up in personnel and technology monitoring the nation's border.

Conservatives opposed to citizenship for illegal immigrants are fond of pillorying it as "amnesty." This bill provides nothing of the sort. In addition to requiring lawful reentry to the country, it would entail immigrants paying a $2,000 fine and any back taxes they owe, clearing a security and background check, learning English and civics, compiling a felony-free record, and submitting proof of past employment. Only after six years and after satisfying those requirements could workers apply for permanent residency status, which could lead to citizenship.

Time to pass this now.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: You need a subscription to Roll Call to view the article.)

Syndicate content