Seneca’s thoughts on The Latino Agenda: First Year or Two of the Obama Administration

January 20th, 2009 · 32 Comments

As President Obama places his hand on Lincoln’s Bible to be sworn as the 44th President of The United States, history is clearly being made: it is the first African-American to occupy the office. In fact there has been no Jew, Italian, Frenchman, Southern or Eastern European descendant or Latino elected President of the U.S. The victory scored by Barack Obama was a solid and overwhelming majority in the Electoral College and a clear majority of the popular vote. The Latino/Hispanic vote is considered to have been critical in such states as Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and possibly Florida. As Obama takes up residence in the White House and becomes the most powerful leader in the world, the Latino community is beaming with pride over its role in getting Obama to prevail in last November’s electoral contest. Only four years ago, former State Senator Obama had just left the Illinois State legislature to take up his U.S. Senate seat. His political rise on the American political stage is plainly remarkable. The Latino constituency participated in a visible and vigorous way in his election. Now the time has arrived to reflect on the different agendas to be addressed and executed in the out months and years.

For Latinos, Comprehensive Immigration Reform has been bandied around as the primordial theme in the Latino agenda as noted in the Latino State of the Union yesterday, which is expected to be positively addressed by President Obama. The fact remains that during the rugged campaign, immigration was patently avoided by both candidates. Hence, there is no electoral mandate to obtain comprehensive immigration reform legislation. However, among some Latino advocacy circles like the National Council of La Raza, the LULAC and MALDEF, immigration reform is being pronounced as a top priority and signaling the Obama team that they must resolve or seek legislation to alleviate the undocumented peoples’ plight . It should be pointed out that the two other significant and somewhat empowered groups of Latinos: the Puerto Ricans and the Cuban-Americans do not have an immigration issue as such. Both groups view immigration not an immediate concern: the Puerto Ricans are born U.S. citizens and the Cubans are paroled into the U.S. once they touch dry land. Hence, both have no employment issue for their newly arrived migrants or exiles. Mexican nationals in the US, along with numerous Central Americans, are the most anxious to see some movement on the immigration reform front. Mexican-Americans also are sensitive to the issue, but no overwhelming consensus on immigration exists among these Mexican Americans. They, along with other Latinos, often fret over the immigration debate becoming an anti-immigrant and ultimately anti-Latino. The California Latinos saw this happen in 1994 with the propositions to limit or deny services to the undocumented. Thus, it can be readily concluded that the Latino community as a whole may hold different views and priorities in the Latino agenda.

Most voting Latinos appear to be more interested in Obama tackling the current economic crisis, as evidenced by the most recent Pew Hispanic Center survey. It is considered the most menacing crisis since the Great Depression. Jobs, housing, education and health services are all being affected significantly by the crisis. The immigration reform goal is also on the radar, but according to several surveys, it is not the primary issue that is viewed as indispensable for immediate consideration. There is in fact a reasonable national consensus among all sectors of American society that immigration reform must be addressed and resolved. No one who is rational in thinking about or discussing the issue can seek to ignore or obstruct reform, but it is most difficult to see it as a top national priority in the first year of the new Administration. Obama, who during the transition period after the election, has amply demonstrated his pragmatic and middle of the road approach to national problem solving will not commit the same error the Clintons did in attempting early on to pass health reform. Health care, like immigration, is indeed a fundamental goal for this administration. But both involve and require enormous political capital, which will have to be safe guarded to ensure that it is available for addressing the burgeoning budget, massive economic infrastructure programs, jobs creation, and bailing out the automotive and banking sectors. Immigration, as vividly demonstrated almost three years ago in the last round of attempts to get legislation passed, evoked a glandular reaction from the ‘racist nativists’ and an enormous discomfort in many other areas of the economy. Now with the dire economic conditions of the country it suggests that any reform effort to address effectively the almost 12 million undocumented residents in the U.S will provoke a boisterous, sectarian, anti-immigrant backlash in the country. Regularizing (granting permission to work and reside in the US) these hopeful would-be-immigrants will be tantamount to some perceptions of amnesty. Admittedly, to introduce or officially recognize several million new workers under the circumstances would be politically harrowing. This involves officially welcoming several million new workers into an economy which at best is ailing. Therefore, one would require extraordinary political bravery or recklessness if it means jeopardizing other priorities on the Obama agenda.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Latino Advocacy groups like LULAC, MALDEF and NCLR must quickly strategize and meet with the Congressional and administrative leadership to determine the timelines, evaluate the political costs, the horse-trading involved, and be certain that before launching an all out national political effort there is a preliminary nose-count to ascertain the viability of legislative approval of any reform proposal. The Obama Administration will correctly address the economic priority, simultaneously the burning foreign policy issues like extricating ourselves from Iraq and continuing the efforts in Afghanistan will require enormous blood, sweat, tears and toil. In sum, Obama and his team will be most circumspect on when and how to introduce the immigration reform proposals. It will behoove the Latino leadership to assess and gauge the immigration reform efforts. Other items in the Latino agenda like housing, education, health, job opportunity and basic human needs will be included in the overall treatment of the economy. Latin America, as a foreign policy issue and a Latino priority, does not appear to be evident. Opportunities for Latinos in federal employment (civilan or military) also are not readily perceived. It remains to be seen who among the Latinos in Congress who will bear the torch on these issues. Luis Gutierrez, a Puerto Rican legislator from Illinois, has been the standard bearer on immigration. Senator Bob Menendez (a Cuban-American Democrat) has invariably sought to ensure that the State Department recruits and promotes Latinos.

Will someone like Silvestre Reyes, Loretta Sanchez or Solomon Ortiz, all senior members of the House Armed Services Committee, seek to lead the efforts to have more Latino general officers selected and promoted? Does Nydia Velazquez, as Chairwoman of the Small Business Committee, become an all encompassing and forceful factor in driving or leading Latino efforts to guide Latino small businessmen to more attractive government help in grants and loans? Also will Nydia Velazquez, as head of the Hispanic Caucus, organize and strategize the Hispanic/Latino Agenda with other Congresspersons to ensure that the Administration does not forsake its Latino constituency? Perhaps more interesting does Congressman Jose Serrano from his perch as Chair of the Subcommittee on Financial Services of the Appropriations Committee lookout for the Latino agenda in terms of lending or mortgages? Does Loretta Sanchez, as second ranking majority member of the Homeland Security Committee, oversee and moderate the heavy-handed behavior of DHS/ICE’s persecution of illegal foreign workers in job-sites? Will Joe Baca, as chair of the Agriculture Committee’s Sub-committee on Oversight and Nutrition, use his position to advance the Latino agenda’s possible concern with adequate nutrition? Do Hinojosa, Grijalva and Linda Sanchez all members of the Committee on Education and Labor dwell on the pending Latino concerns on education and perhaps take the lead on the Dream Act? And will they regularly meet with new Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to advance Latino labor issues? Perhaps Representative Nydia Velazquez can set up periodic (monthly) meetings with both Labor Secretary Solis and Interior Secretary Salazar to review the bidding on the Latino Agenda and help identify up-and-coming young Latinos among the political and career ranks of the federal bureaucracy. Does the Congressional Hispanic Caucus schedule quarterly meetings with the Latin American diplomatic corps to learn about the region’s problems, needs and desires? Does the Caucus get an initial meeting with Secretary of State Clinton and DoD Secretary Bob Gates to raise issues of policy concern not just in Latin America? Personnel issues should be on the agenda in these meetings. Formulating talking points ahead of time by the appropriate staffers for these meetings would demonstrate seriousness of purpose. Perhaps in the spirit of bi-partisanship, the Caucus should invite and meet with the Republican Latino members like Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Lincoln Diaz-Balart, the ranking minority member on Rules Committee. Moving the over-all Latino Agenda will be challenging but focus, unity of purpose and excellent organization are imperative to success. The focus of this and several other blogs is to keep tabs and make our elected representatives more accountable.

Tags: African-Americans · Barack Obama · Congressional Hispanic Caucus · Congressman Joe Baca · health care · Hillary Clinton · Immigration · Iraq War · LULAC · MALDEF · National Council of La Raza · Rep. Hilda Solis · Rep. Jose Serrano · Rep. Lincoln Diaz Balart · Rep. Linda Sanchez · Rep. Loretta Sanchez · Rep. Luis Gutierrez · Rep. Nydia Velazquez · Rep. Raul Grijalva · Rep. Silvestre Reyes · Rep. Solomon Ortiz · Sen. Ken Salazar · Sen. Robert Menendez · Seneca

32 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // Jan 20, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Re: “The Latino/Hispanic vote is considered to have been critical in such states as Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and possibly Florida.”

    Also in North Carolina and Virginia.

    Little known, politically incorrect fact: Obama lost the white vote, and not just in the South. So yes, our high turnout was very important.

    As for immigration and the economy, you can’t really separate the two. Inner- city Latinos neighborhoods have high levels of undocumented workers. They’re competing for jobs that are becoming increasingly scarce and they’re using services. One way or another that issue needs to be resolved.

    But unless the government is willing to renegotiate NAFTA, nothing will change. They have to allow the Mexican government to charge corporations taxes, and they have to let them enforce environmental regulations. Right now corporations can move there, tax free, and pollute the soil and ground water, forcing residents to flee. We also have to stop subsidizing agribusiness like ADM. With our tax dollars they flood the Mexican market with cheap genetically modified corn and beans, which makes it impossible for independent Mexican farmers to compete. To survive, they migrate to the US and work for the agribusiness corporations that put them out of business.

    I want to see this issue resolved, and I’m tired of rhetoric that demonizes them. This issue requires our leaders to take a stand against destructive corporate policies, so I won’t hold my breath.

  • 2 Irma // Jan 20, 2009 at 10:54 am

    At the risk of being attacked by Michaelr, I have returned to make a comment.

    I was not a supporter of Barack Obama, and yet I hope that he will succeed in fulfilling all of those
    promises. I hope the economy will improve and
    that the world will be a safer place. But I am wary, especially after hearing his inauguration speech. Barak Obama seems to harbor no gratitude to the family that raised him – his mother and grandparents. His father on the other hand, a man who abandoned him as a young child and contributed nothing to his education or the man he became was mentioned twice. What does this say about Barak Obama? I wonder……….. I am so glad that his grandmother and mother were not alive to view
    such a public rejection of their nurturing.

  • 3 webmaster // Jan 20, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Anna, you make a great point about the effects of implementing NAFTA and other trade agreements without worker protections.

    There are fewer varieties of corn in Mexico today because of big agribusiness. And that’s just one obvious impact.

    Irma, welcome back! I’m glad that you share in the hope and optimism of the day. Maybe your wariness will ease by Obama’s actions instead of his words.

  • 4 Michaelr // Jan 20, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Welcome back Irma. You will probably notice that the commentary on this blog has become more aggressive and inane. Hopefully this diversity of commentary entertains you as well.

  • 5 Latino Consultant // Jan 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    This will be the most formative test of our Latino delegation ever. We have all worked hard and donated to get these folks were they are. And, of course, they have worked very hard as well.

    The problem is none of them have distinguished themselves on policy issues. A big part of that is they have been in the minority for quite a while. That is no longer the case. Now the test begins.

    Loretta Sanchez does a great job of representing the intersts of her District when it comes to securing funding. Can she in the other provide the broader leadership needed at this critcal time?

    All of Raza is going to take shots when immigration heats up quickly with the decline in the economy. Do we have voices ready for that challenge? I wish I had more confidence. I just don’t right now but, I remain optimistic because you cannot be ‘tested’ until there is a ‘test’. It is upon us now.

  • 6 Sophia // Jan 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    I too like Irma noticed the twice referenced absentee father in the new presidents speech. It is often the case with children raised in a single parent household to reflect on the absent parent because the absence is so glaring. I thought about this as I listened to Obama’s comments. Maybe the month they spent together when he was an adolscent was enough. Maybe the lessons of this father were transmitted over that short period of time. President Obama certainly had years to reflect on the significance of his fathers visit on his life. He is who he is inspite of his father’s absence and because of the unconditional love and guidance he recieved from his maternal family. I think a thank you is owed to all those who had a hand in molding this extraordinary man who is now our president. Oh happy Day!

  • 7 Reyfeo // Jan 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I too am hopeful this president delivers the goods. How he’ll pay for it is yet to be determined… But make no mistake, despite not voting for him, he is in my prayers and hopes that with his leadership things get better.

    In the future, however, I really hope a Latino Leader will emerge as a potential President hopeful, either in the next four years or eight, if indeed Obama is fortunate to get re-elected.

    I belive it’s time we started makeing our way to the top as well!

  • 8 Michaelr // Jan 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    The Mexican government is never going to charge corporations taxes and enforce environment regulations. How are they going to encourage foreign investment? Mexico has already lost 64% of the foreign corporate entities that were manufacturing products there over a decade ago, manufacturing entities that are now entrenched in China, India, and soon Vietnam. Do you actually think the Mexican government is interested in alleviating poverty? Over 62% of the population of Mexico lives in extreme poverty, and you think that will change if NAFTA is renegotiated? Felipe Calderon and the PAN party only exist to protect the status quo. And right now the status quo is only interested in eliminating those drug cartels and kidnapping groups that don’t share the wealth with them. Illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America has existed from the early 1920’s and will never stop. That’s the Third World across the border, and its political leadership is not interested in serving their masses, and eventually joining the G8. As long as there are occupations that U.S. citizens consider beneath them (agricultural, janitorial, busboy, construction labor, or unskilled labor), and as long as Fortune 500 companies operating in the United States refuse to pay livable wages to their bottom tier employees, there will be illegal immigrations there to perform those jobs. Politicians aren’t going to change this. It took nearly a century of violence to usher in the Labor Movement, and then it took one Presidential administration to unravel it. . Illegal immigration now has the resemblance of the War on Drugs. There’s all this tax money being spent to supposedly prevent it, but the results seem to be going the opposite way.

  • 9 ERocha // Jan 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    As a Latino blogger, I am truly disappointed we were left out of the Latino State of the Union discussion. At the time our Latino advocacy groups were losing their appeal among the Latino community, it was when they included Latino bloggers in the discussion our issues were beginning to be addressed.

    I agree with Seneca, we need to keep tabs on our elected representatives but I will also include our Latino advocacy groups to make sure they are not making any behind closed door deals that will undermine the Latino community.

  • 10 dfdeportation // Jan 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Until you guys start considering yourselves Americans and NOT latinos or hispanics, you are forever doomed to remain marginalized by mainstream Americans. You must have not gotten the memo about we are now officially…..POST RACIAL. I mean, the Latino Agenda? What the hell is that?????

  • 11 Anna // Jan 20, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Michaelr: Do you know anything about Plan Mexico? And haven’t things seemed to have gotten worse there under Calderon? Wasn’t he basically appointed by their Supreme Court? They were 1% away from electing a liberal, and I wonder if this crackdown is to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

  • 12 Irma // Jan 21, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Dear dfdeportation,

    We are not now officially postracial. In fact that it all the press could talk about. It was all about
    the “first black president.”. I guess his mother
    doesn’t count at all…..

    Latinos by the way are not a race,. We are a multicultural , multiracial group. Why cant we have a political agenda? The Christian right does. The political conservatives do. Latinos have a right to express their political views in a
    united front just as everyone else does.

  • 13 Seneca // Jan 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    The Latino Agenda should be basically focused on making certain that our Latino/Hispanic community in becoming the most numerous ‘minority’ must strenuously avoid becoming the country’s biggest ‘under-class’ in socio-economic terms…too many indicators point in that direction. Hence, the Latino leadership, its advocacy groups, public intellectuals , commentators,educators, professionals, and social critics must all work together to prevent this dreadful situation. We cannot just ask the ‘ establishment’ to bail us out because we are owed it because of the votes we provide in any election. We require serious introspection and discussion of our problems and seek solutions for ourselves. What we should expect from Government is a fair playing field. This means where we have been disadvantaged purposely then judicial and/or legislative remedy should be sought . But the full responsibility is ours and we must hold ourselves accountable: this includes our leadership in politics, business and in civic affairs as well as the cultural and educational world. We should be careful in measuring our progress: how many appointments we get, how many benefits we can obtain, set asides etc…these definitely are important but more importantly is how can we keep our children in school, ensure job creation, having the best health care available and be ready to battle discrimination should it arise. Again, the goal is to ensure that in the next twenty to thirty years we can look back with pride on our collective accomplishments in keeping the Latino community healthy, educated, prosperous and rigorously competitive in the work force. In sum we as a people must strive for excellence in anything we undertake. Excellence in what we expect and excellence in what we contribute to our society. These are components of the Latino Agenda. But we must assume our own rsponsibility and effort. Merely, cheerleading our size of population and electoral role is insufficient…again we must hold our leadership to account for their actions or lack thereof plus acknowledge our collective and individual role in the challenge of improving our overall condition.

  • 14 dfdeportation // Jan 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm


    The commutation of sentences for Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean and the meddling of the mexican government to KEEP these Americans in prison, do you consider this to be an American or latino/hispanic issue?

  • 15 webmaster // Jan 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm


    Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean shot an unarmed man who was smuggling marijuana.
    Really that particular issue is about an excessive use of force.

    The excessive use of force or the inconsistencies in fighting the “war on drugs” are not only Hispanic issues, they are issues for everyone.

  • 16 Michaelr // Jan 21, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    The Merida Initiative, or Plan Mexico is the Bush Administration’s attempts to force the U.S. Taxpayer to fund indefinitely the future Mexican Police State.

    The Bush Administration proposed Plan Mexico for two troubling reasons:
    1. Plan Mexico is an indispensable component of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and the expansion and militarization of NAFTA. Unlike treaties or legislative proposals, which must be ratified by Congress, the SPP is an idea hatched by a cabal of corporate CEOs and endorsed by the executive branches of Canada, the United States and Mexico. The legislative branches of these three countries will never vote on the SPP. In the name of increasing North America’s competitiveness in the global economy, the SPP calls for the standardization of the laws, policies and practices of Canada, the United States and Mexico. It seeks to expedite natural resource extraction and integrate the continental energy supply, prospects that frighten Canadians and Mexicans when considering the United States’ insatiable appetite for energy and natural resources.
    The SPP calls for the further militarization of borders against the conflated “threats” of organized crime, international terrorism, and illegal migration. In order to standardize security practices, North American countries are already coordinating cross-border police and military training and increasing cooperation among law enforcement agencies and armies.
    The Center for Economic and Political Investigation and Community Action (CIEPAC) in Chiapas opposes the SPP because “the United States is making it possible to force Mexico and Canada to change their laws, rules, and regulations in order to secure the economic (‘prosperity’) and political (‘security’) interests of its government and businesses … in order to appropriate our natural resources for themselves and to increase their profits.”

    2. Plan Mexico reflects the effort of one weak president, George Bush, to support another weak president, Felipe Calderón. Bush can sympathize with Calderón. He knows what it’s like to steal an election and then rule a country with an iron fist despite enormous unpopularity. Calderón is one of only two friends Bush has in Latin America (the other being Colombia’s President Uribe, also the recipient of mind-boggling military funding), so Bush had to act.
    When Calderón took office in 2006 despite unprecedented protests against electoral fraud, he immediately deployed an unprecedented 25,000 soldiers to drug cartel-dominated states, militarizing a large portion of Mexico without legislative approval. Plan Mexico will further militarize Mexican society by providing U.S. resources to the Calderón controlled military without Mexican congressional approval.
    Critics of Plan Mexico say it will funnel resources and U.S. training into the Mexican military and police. They point to the government’s use of paramilitaries and death squads, the rape of dozens of female detainees by police in San Salvador Atenco, and the murder of journalist Brad Will in Oaxaca by off-duty police and government officials as just some of many reasons Plan Mexico will decrease, not increase, Mexicans’ security.
    So-called “human rights safeguards” included in the Plan require the Secretary of State to certify that the Mexican military, police and judicial system have initiated U.S.-mandated reforms in the areas of human rights, anti-corruption, and molding the Mexican judicial system in the U.S. image. The bill also mandates that no police or military unit that is corrupt or engages in human rights abuses will receive aid under Plan Mexico — a laughable and unenforceable standard. If the State Department is unable to certify progress in human rights and anti-corruption, a mere 25 percent of funding will be withheld, meaning that Congress believes it’s acceptable to give 75 percent funding to military and police forces even if Condoleezza Rice believes they are corrupt and brutal.
    Despite the documented failure of similar safeguards in Plan Colombia, Amnesty International and other major human rights organizations fought for human rights measures to be included in the bill rather than opposing it outright. Their reward for this stance is a seat at the table: the Senate version of Plan Mexico mandates that the Secretary of the State “consult” with “internationally recognized human rights organizations on progress in meeting the requirements” every 120 days until 2010.

    The problem with human rights safeguards in Plan Mexico isn’t that they’re inadequate. Legislators included safeguards to make military aid from one brutal right-wing government, the United States, to another brutal right-wing government, Mexico, palatable to the U.S. public. But Plan Mexico’s human rights safeguards were never meant to be taken seriously. They allow U.S. lawmakers to sleep soundly at night despite the fact that they’ve just unleashed a nightmare on Mexico.

    This is my understanding of Plan Mexico

  • 17 theKaiser // Jan 21, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    You went off topic Michaelr, however this would be a great posting to comment about. Especially since the U.S. printed media and network television news doesn’t want to report this to the public.

  • 18 Anna // Jan 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Michaelr: Thank you for the analysis. I knew this “plan” was a nightmare.

    They’re going to turn Mexico into Columbia. I want Obama to overturn this!

  • 19 dfdeportation // Jan 21, 2009 at 10:31 pm


    Nobody in their right mind believes that Alberto Davila was an unarmed drug smuggler. Nice try! We know what was going on there. It’s hilarious listening to you OPEN BORDERS ZEALOTS agreeing with Whorehay Boooooosh on this….The question was…is the commutation an American or a latino/hispanic issue?

  • 20 JohnnyDilznik // Jan 22, 2009 at 11:02 am

    If you are concerned with turning Mexico into Columbia should we be concerned with turning the US into Mexico?

  • 21 JohnnyDilznik // Jan 22, 2009 at 11:05 am


    How do you know Davilla was unarmed? Is that what he told US Attorney Johnny Sutton when he asked him? I wonder if he was unarmed when they granted him free border crossing rights and he used that to bring more drugs into the US? It is interesting that you would forsake your own BP agents who have latino surnames in the name of this dirtbag. Sad very sad. When will you and the rest see this is about being an American?

  • 22 Michaelr // Jan 22, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Hey mister race baiter JohnnyDilznik, my family has been in Southern California for seven generations prior to my arrival. But because of our Spanish surname, we are only referred to as Americans when one of us joins the military and dies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, or Somalia. Elementary school teachers, Western Christianity promoters, local and county law-enforcement, municipal and superior court judges, retail merchants, Stater Bros, Albertson, and Ralph’s grocery store managers, In&Out store managers, hiring managers at Disneyland, Branch Managers at Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney, and plenty of WASP male and females have always referred to me as something other than an American. Your type will sleep with our wives and sisters, but will never view us equally on an intellectual, spiritual, or physical level. I am sure your outbursts are fueled by a lack of higher education, or maybe it’s your admiration of Rush Limbaugh that prevents you from looking at another man and judging him by the content of his character. Nevertheless, even in the most ethnically integrated communities in the United States, race is still the foremost basis for social class distinction in America.

  • 23 JohnnyDilznik // Jan 22, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    That chip on your shoulder must be heavy. You know nothing about me. And I have served this country and my community alongside some of the finest “latinos” to wear a uniform. I never judged them by the color of their skin. You and many others see nothing but a “gabacho” is it when you look at me? So get your story straight and answer my question or don’t. You seem to have a massive inferiortiy complex based on that rambling answer. BTW I hate Limbaugh and my education shelf is very full. Keep up your BS and I doubt you will ever be judged by anything else. Working in East LA allows me to see everyday many who have nothing but contempt for this nation. That isn’t speculation I see it everyday. My immigrant grandparents came here with nothing. Had no ACLU or MALDEF, LULAC or LA RAZA to help them. Embraced the US and made it their own country. Not an extension of a place they left. Jesus! I just read your post again and if anyone is a race baiter it is you sir. “You will sleep with our wives and sisters”? Wow! Should we all just stay with our “own kind”? Nice. You really need help.

  • 24 JohnnyDilznik // Jan 22, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I guess based on your post I can assume that the Davilla’s of the world have more of your grattitude than the Ramos and Compeons. For me I will take the two brave men who put on a uniform everyday and attempted with no support from most of the government to protect us all. You truly disgust me.

  • 25 Michaelr // Jan 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    JohnnyDilznik…then you need to go back to college and learn the rules of conveying oneself in American English. Your bigotry conveys itself thoroughly throughout your vernacular. And who says MALDEF, LULAC, or NCLR helps the Latino Community? They are a part of the Latino political community, who’s only focus throughout the last twenty years, is helping themselves. Then again, that issue and most of the other issues written about on this blog may be too complicated for you to even comprehend. But you just can’t resist spewing your racial hatred online…can’t you?

  • 26 Anna // Jan 22, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Michaelr: You’re right. I’m tired of these trolls who come in here to lecture us on what it means to be an American, never guessing that in many cases our families have been here longer than theirs. Why don’t these fools get a life?!

    And isn’t it funny how he says that nobody helped his family when they came here. They had the law to protect them. When my grandparents were growing up in Texas and Kansas in the 1920s and 1930s there were no laws protecting them. People could (and did) steal their land, inflict violence upon them, deny them access to education, employment, healthcare, voting, etc.

    And yes, Michael, they seem to discover that we’re American when it’s time to fight the wars, or when they need our votes, but when it’s time to write the history books or make the WWII documentaries, amnesia sets in. Ask Ken Burns.

    So give me a a break Johnny Dilznick You need to study some history. Back then the system was rigged in your favor, so don’t give us lectures about bootstraps. Our ancestors worked hard too, only to have other people profit from their sweat.

    And what do you care about MALDEF or NCLR? As long as discrimination exists, there will be Civil Rights organizations. Get over it.

  • 27 Johnny Dilznik // Jan 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I stand corrected Michaelr. You don’t have a chip on your shoulder you have an ego that is gigantic. You seem very impressed with yourself. You missed my point. And successfully dodged another question. And you should re-read your post before you lecture others or grammar and spelling. This blog is what I thought it was in the beginning. A waste of time. You offer up opinions and never answer any of the questions. I leave you to your racial bigotry and your ethno-centric mission. Adios!

  • 28 Johnny Dilznik // Jan 22, 2009 at 8:20 pm


    Your rant is filled with assumptions like so many of your other posts. You seem particularly moronic. Try studying a bit about the Irish and you will find a great deal of sacrifice. “Back then the system was rigged in your favor”. A prime example of studity Anna.

  • 29 Michaelr // Jan 22, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you Anna…for seeing the world through our eyes.

  • 30 webmaster // Jan 23, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Goodbye Johnny.

    It is ironic that in your last comment you bring up the Irish because they were demonized much like Latinos are today. I wonder if you complain about all of the Irish American societies and traditions that are established throughout the US, especially in places like Boston.

    They too have their own entities:

  • 31 dfdeportation // Jan 23, 2009 at 7:13 am

    I’m only talking about LEGAL and ILLEGAL. And that we should limit our incoming immigrants (LEGAL) to one million per year. Any others, when discovered, should be deported along with their kids so as to keep the families together. But then, I can’t imagine a parent leaving a kid behind and then cry they’re being persecuted. And that includes the Irish and others as well.

  • 32 Janeiro // Jan 28, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Why not just the DREAM Act then? These kids and young adults, who are American in the truest sense of the word, don’t deserve this. It’s less than a 100,000 people we’re talking about. It should be done as quickly as possible considering there’s an age cap.

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