Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s DREAM Act Keynote Address (or rather her story about getting into Congress)

March 29th, 2011 · 16 Comments

As I mentioned a few days ago, Representative Loretta Sanchez was scheduled to give a keynote address on the DREAM Act at Pomona College on Monday, but instead of talking about the DREAM Act, she gave the students an overview of her life story and the story of how she got into Congress.

As you can see from the attached photo/flier, the title of the talk was supposed to be “The DREAM Act: The Status of Immigration Reform”. Listen to the clip below (I apologize for the shaky camera, as I did not have a tripod with me):


Untitled from LatinoPolitics on Vimeo.

The speech was very light on policy and very heavy on self-promotion. Yes, we know that there are few Latinos in Congress, and yes, Bob Dornan (the incumbent Sanchez defeated) was not a very nice guy. She was preaching to the choir — a room filled with mostly Latino Claremont Colleges students. But Representative Sanchez was not addressing grade school or middle school students; she was delivering this talk at the elite Pomona College (consistently ranked in the top ten liberal arts colleges in the country with only 16% of all applicants accepted). It’s disappointing that she chose to avoid addressing the DREAM Act and the current status of immigration reform and instead chose to self-promote.

I was able to ask Sanchez a question about the DREAM Act and what she is doing to advocate for immigration reform and the DREAM Act (starting at 23:00), and she provided an interesting answer. Most notably, Sanchez said that immigration reform is not dead, but that it is now harder to do. Then she gave the normal spiel about being an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform instead of piecemeal legislation, along with the usual talking points about securing the borders and the number of visas awarded. Congresswoman Sanchez did talk about separating families in deportation and how un-American those situations are, but she did not say that she would advocate for a deportation moratorium or ask Secretary Napolitano or the President to stop deporting DREAMers, which is what I asked and what some organizations like the Fair Immigration Reform Movement are proposing.

Basically, this speech was a Loretta Sanchez infomercial. So after the Congresswoman was finished, I spoke with two Latina students who viewed the speech, and they too expressed disappointment in the Congresswoman’s remarks. Mayte Sanchez, a second year student at Pitzer said, “I was expecting her to tie in the DREAM Act, but she didn’t do it until asked.” Another student, a senior at Pomona College, added, “She kept this talk very personal to avoid addressing political issues.” I sensed that other students felt that Congresswoman Sanchez condescended to them by not covering the DREAM Act or the status of immigration reform more thoroughly. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Sanchez has treated her audience this way or avoided answering questions about immigration related issues.

What are your thoughts? Should Congresswoman Sanchez speak more about immigration reform or continue to share her life story with us?

Tags: community organizing and activism · Immigration · Rep. Loretta Sanchez

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 IE // Mar 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    If this video isn’t a testament of how “stupid” politicians really are, then I don’t know what is. Granted, she’s serving her 8th term, but she sounds like she is not only dumb, but that she has nothing important to say about anything “EVER”…No one cares that you were an investment banker, “miss sanchez!”…What your constituents probably care more about is that you’re the 3rd highest ranking democrat, but yet, you have no “juevos” to do anything substantial with your position of power. What a waste of a vote for the people of the 47th district of California.

  • 2 irma // Mar 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Your article highlights an often overlooked problem with some Latinos/blacks who have ” made it.” They seem to think that being the first Latino/black this or that is an accomplishment. This is how the US got the disaster of a president, known as Barak Obama. Ms. Sanchez sounds like she is full of herself too.

  • 3 Anna // Mar 30, 2011 at 11:30 am

    What is Sanchez supposed to say? If she tells you the truth–that immigration reform is dead–you’ll have a fit. So she tells you what you wan to hear–that it still has a chance– and then you get angry at her for it. That’s probably why she changed the subject of her speech. No matter wat she says, you will have an problem, because you don’t like her.

    Everybody knows that Obama has no intention of passing immigration reform. The Dream Act lost by five votes, and five Democrats voted against it. I don’t know how much clearer it can be than that. But you won’t say anything about Obama even though he’s the reason it didn’t pass.

    Yesterday Huff Post had an article that said that the Justice Department has prosecuted more people for immigration offenses than for drug offenses, or financial fraud.

    Bankers who stole trillions get off free. Poor people working to support their families get thrown in jail. But you won’t criticize Obama.

    To IE:
    Sanchez brings money back to her district, so she is not incompetent.

  • 4 webmaster // Mar 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Irma — You are correct that many people of color who assume positions of power think that being the first Latina or ___ is an accomplishment.

    Anna — I won’t have a fit if someone said that immigration reform is dead (I implied that very notion with my question)…I don’t see it moving forward in the current climate. I would actually find it refreshing for someone to be “honest”. It’s odd that you think Sanchez is telling me what I want to hear…as if I want to hear her platitudes and exaggerations “golly gee, I’m in congress!”

    Obama has been the subject of criticism on this blog, but let’s think back to why DREAM did not pass…hmmm…you said it yourself, five Democrats voted against the DREAM Act. Obama didn’t vote against it — five Democrats did! Do you think that all Democrats walk in lockstep with the party establishment and the President?

    And then you go back to the bankers in your comment. Didn’t you hear Loretta Sanchez wax poetic about being a “banker”? She was one of them, and I think she has no intention of holding any of them accountable. Remember she was making all that money as a banker, having fun, and then she decided to run for congress.

  • 5 Gustavo Arellano // Mar 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Anna is still around? GAG…

  • 6 Michaelr // Mar 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    The Latino Apologist will always be around…Double GAG!

  • 7 Anna // Mar 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Webmaster: The President has a bully pulpit with which to pressure Congress to pass the bills that he wants passed. He can withold campaign funds, etc. He rammed Obamacare through Congress despite massive opposition. You know this, so quit playing dumb.

    And don’t lump Sanchez in with the bankers who caused the financial crisis. She’s not Alan Greenspan or Robert Rubin. Anything to insult Congresswoman Sanchez.

    And I do think that becoming the first minority to break down a barrier is an accomplishment. It doesn’t mean that the person doens’t have to perform in office, but just getting into that position is difficult enough. How quickly we forget…

    Gustavo, GAG is what your girlfriend(boyfriend?) does…hehheh

  • 8 FormerStaffer // Mar 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    You have to be pretty dense to believe Loretta Sanchez knows the meaning of public service. Her performance in Congress has been all about self-service. You would think in this day of YouTube, and C-SPAN, Loretta would be smart enough to taper off all those lies she repeats over and over about her family, her financial career, her campaign funding issues, her staffers turnover, her legislative obligations, those relationships with Lobbyists, those stupid holiday cards, the contents of her purse, and those fundraisers at the Playboy mansion. Loretta is a moron at best, and she conveys that every time she opens her mouth. That fact that she’s continually elected in that particular Congressional district proves that there’s low voter turnout, and the voters that do vote don’t follow political issues, and like to be condescended too. I’m sure those students at Pomona College figured her out in thirty seconds. This Anna person, who writes these idiotic praises about Loretta must be her mother.

  • 9 Anna // Mar 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Former Staffer: I never said she was a genius, only that the attacks against her seem to be personal. For some reason the webmaster holds Sanchez responsible for the failure of CIR and the Dream Act, even though those items never had any chance of passing. Is Sanchez any less effective than Roybal-Allard? Than Joe Baca? No, but I don’t see the webmaster holding them accountable, or criticizing them in any way. When education levels among voters increase, then we will see better quality representatives.

    And people here drool all over Hilda Solis, but why hasn’t she openly supported the protestors in Wisconsin?!

  • 10 irma // Mar 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    In response to :
    “And I do think that becoming the first minority to break down a barrier is an accomplishment. It doesn’t mean that the person doens’t have to perform in office, but just getting into that position is difficult enough. How quickly we forget…”

    It is not enough just to get there. Remember that minorities stick out, if we fail in our position – and simply are there like Clarence Thomas, Barak Obama and others, then it becomes even harder for those competent minorities to succeed. The first minority could also be the last minority.
    In the end, I want competence in the politicians that represent me, the doctors that treat me, and the teachers of my children. Their being the first minority or whatever, is not good enough unless it is accompanied by competency.

  • 11 Anna // Mar 30, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I said that the person has to be qualified. That’s a given. But breaking the barrier is also an accomplishment, and once that barrier has been broken that person will not be the last minority. No matter how bad Obama is, he broke a huge barrier (500 years), and he will have made it easier for another minority to become President.

    I think part of the problem is that to get that high a minority has to be accommodationist, and that’s the antithesis of leadership. They say jump, you say how high… Obama is treading water, trying to get through.

    Maybe you have it backwards. Maybe George Bush’s incompetence made it harder for another white man to be elected President!

  • 12 New Data Released Today on Latinos in the Workforce // Mar 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    […] Archives Select Month March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 ← Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s DREAM Act Keynote Address (or rather her story about getting into Congr… […]

  • 13 FormerStaffer // Apr 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Anna…you resemble Loretta in so many ways (writing lies about the webmaster and the others that post opinions on this blog, that you can’t remember, or don’t choose to remember what you wrote the day before even when there’s an ongoing written record of your comments).
    I worked for Loretta, and could only tolerate six months of her incompetence, self-service, and mindless public activity. Maybe the word “Character, “doesn’t resonate with you, but Loretta Sanchez is a person of such lowly character it shines whenever she publicly condescends to the Latino community, her horrible record writing meaningful legislation, and the way she abuses public monies. In contrast, Hilda Solis is a person of character. And that is reflected in the way she publicly interacts with the Latino and the community at large, her work ethic in the past writing meaningful legislation, adhering and enforcing policies established by the US Labor department, and the fact she doesn’t feel the necessity to spend nearly 400K annually in public monies to send out obscene holiday cards picturing a dead cat. Roybal-Allard has a similar work ethic to Loretta, but she is not publicly condescending to the Latino community and manages to not humiliate herself when it comes to telling her story. Joe Baca suffers from different problems related to his perception of what is public service altogether, and how he should treat his office. As a taxpayer, you should be concerned with your representation at the federal, state, and local level. Clearly, you seem to be more obsessed with celebrity, and that’s the limit you hold your public officials too.

  • 14 theKaiser // Apr 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    This is another example of how condescending Loretta Sanchez is publicly. Didn’t someone on her merry-go round staff tell her that Pomona College is an elite private college and that these students can distinguish between self-promotion and total bullshit? Nobody in that room was five years old. I guess if you tell enough people you were an investment banker, rather than a financial planner at the retail level at Dean Witter and Company, the lie will eventually become the truth. Maybe someone should tell Cesar Chavez’s family how much time he spent in Sacramento with Loretta and Linda Sanchez. Suddenly Loretta Sanchez is Mexican? She’s been telling the public she’s Spanish. How did that happen? Did she put on her ruby slippers and click three times? How convenient for this moment? I want to apologize to all those Pomona College students who sat through this. I am sure based on this event, you are now going to register as Republicans.

  • 15 webmaster // Apr 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    “Maybe you have it backwards. Maybe George Bush’s incompetence made it harder for another white man to be elected President!”

    This is not the case. GWB was not the first white man to become President, nor will he be the last. GWB also benefitted from his familial (and “white”) privilege (something Obama & Loretta Sanchez really don’t have). The point Irma is trying to make is that many people of color are subsequently excluded even if they are the first FILL IN THE BLANK if they don’t do an outstanding job. Loretta Sanchez has not done anything to distinguish herself legislatively. She’s known more for her holiday cards than she is any piece of meaningful legislation.

  • 16 LeslieM // Apr 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I am sure this is Loretta Sanchez’s last visit to Pomona College. No intelligent young adult needs to be spoken to like this, or hear so many lies in one evening. What an ugly person. What a horrible person.

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