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Need to Know: The Hispanic Vote


Participation in a Univision sponsored debate might not be enough to solve the GOP's Hispanic vote problem. Republican immigration rhetoric, which can have an us-against-them tone, has seemed to reverse the inroads George W. Bush made with the fastest-growing segment of the population. In 2004, Bush captured 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.

Currently, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, 57 percent of Hispanic voters call themselves democrats, while just 23 percent identify as republicans. Hispanic voters rank immigration below other issues such as education and health care. Yet, it is the only issue that sharply rose in importance.

Hispanic voters loom as potential swing voters, as they are located strategically on the electoral-college map. If the GOP does not find a way to reconcile the concerns of Hispanics with the more native wing of the party, it may lose votes from Hispanics who are in line with the party on most other issues.

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ebgirl ebgirl 8 years
I am Mexican-American; born here in the U.S. (to an American and a legal resident from Mexico). I agree that immigrants need to be documented and given certain rights, such as drivers licenses, ID cards, etc. I don't believe that someone should be allowed citizenship simply because they are born here. That kind of law encourages behavior that places a burden on our system. But I do believe that immigrants face tough and unfair challenges in this country and that the majority of citizens do not want to examine the fact that many U.S.=imposed policies in Mexico, particularly under NAFTA, have displaced Mexican citizens from their land and eliminated jobs for them (take a look at the Farm Bills/subsidies they keep renewing here in the U.S.). Then, when they are desperate for money to support their families and after they endure terrible conditions to make it to the U.S. in search of some low-skilled, low-wage jobs, people here start crying foul. Many of these immigrants our essentially subsidizing our low food prices, cleaning our houses, beautifying our landscapes, and taking care of our children, but then they're treated like criminals. So yes, for the dignity and protection of the immigrants, as well as for the necessary tax base to support the services they may need while they're here, I do believe we need some kind of immigration reform that would ensure these immigrants are documented.
seimosiev seimosiev 8 years
The United States has immigration laws, and they would work just fine if they were enforced. Illegals have no rights in this country, as they are not citizens and they are not legal residents. I do not feel sorry for people that have broken federal law by being here and then find it a hard life. I happen to work in a hospital and we get plenty of illegals in our ER, and they never pay, they just give us a fake name and address and phone number so we can't collect on them. Businesses that want to use cheap labor instead of hiring Americans and paying the appropriate wages are a big cause of this problem, and people saying that "you want to pay $8 for an orange?" Yes, yes I do. If that means that I am providing legal wages for legal American citizens, then yes.
onabanana onabanana 8 years
Oh! And I'm sure people might take this the wrong way, but I am so glad to live in place where people are trying to get into and not out of. I think its a very good indicator of whether or not the country is doing OK. It's not perfect but it's not Kenya, Burma or Iraq...etc. Take moment and consider it a complement that people want to live here.
onabanana onabanana 8 years
It's not that easy to come here legally. Each foreign country is essentially given a quota beyond the usual work/travel/student visa. A person can only petition to immigrate here under three categories: Family reunification, Work sponsorship, and humanitarian cases. Many people who apply for legal immigration, wait for years and are often denied. Even for political refugees such as the Vietnamese were denied as late as 1992. In 1992 thousands of Vietnamese refugees were sent back to Vietnam after years in refugee camps. Many feared for their lives, some were tortured when they returned.
Powerpuffgirl Powerpuffgirl 8 years
The comments being posted demonstrate just how multi-dimensional and divisive this issue is in our country. I am Hispanic (American born Mexican). I identify as democrat, but typically vote for candidates based on issue, not along party lines. The Hispanic vote is challenging to gain because view and values vary widely according to acculturation levels, nation of origin, etc. Many of us are bicultural...we are closely tied to traditional values while living a more "modern" American life. Bush successfully won the Hispanic vote in 2004 because many believed in his plan for addressing immigration, preserving family values, etc. I don't agree with 98% of Bush's views, but he was the governor of TX, and understood the immigration issue. I believe he had a workable solution that congress voted down, and many Hispanics feel the system has failed them. This may be why the republican party is struggling to gain their support. Voting for a president that has similar views to yours is only one part of the equation...having a congress that can carry out those views is also critically important.
redegg redegg 8 years
It very well may be natural for them to want to migrate to where they can enjoy the very same goods that their countries produce for the US. And they can do that legally if they wish to!I would love to migrate to France and live the good life eating fresh cheese and drinking wine and having the entire month of August off every year. But guess what? They won't let me move there! It is very difficult to move to any country in Europe, even though I really, really want to because it seems like it would be SO great. They will give you a temporary pass but it it almost impossible to move there permanently. Most countries have laws that prohibit people from just running across the border and setting up camp because they feel like it.And yes there is "illegal" immigration because it is against the law to come here "undocumented".
redegg redegg 8 years
It very well may be natural for them to want to migrate to where they can enjoy the very same goods that their countries produce for the US. And they can do that legally if they wish to! I would love to migrate to France and live the good life eating fresh cheese and drinking wine and having the entire month of August off every year. But guess what? They won't let me move there! It is very difficult to move to any country in Europe, even though I really, really want to because it seems like it would be SO great. They will give you a temporary pass but it it almost impossible to move there permanently. Most countries have laws that prohibit people from just running across the border and setting up camp because they feel like it. And yes there is "illegal" immigration because it is against the law to come here "undocumented".
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
to call someone a racist for wanting to do something about illegal immigration but not calling employers racist for thinking its okay to pay migrant workers less than mininum wage is just silly.I don't think anyone called anyone a racist directly. And no one said that the treatment illegals receive from employers (who pay them less than minimum wage) isn't racist. Also, some would argue that there is no such thing as "illegal" immigration, more like *undocumented* And I don't just think that's semantics...the US imports a lot of goods and labor from other people (the whole buying American vs. not buying American) but then ppl in their own country suffer as a result. Is not natural for them to want to migrate to where they can also enjoy the very same goods (foods, clothes, and so forth) that their own countries produce for the US?The US is 4% of the world's population and yet uses 25% of it resources. That says a lot.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
to call someone a racist for wanting to do something about illegal immigration but not calling employers racist for thinking its okay to pay migrant workers less than mininum wage is just silly. I don't think anyone called anyone a racist directly. And no one said that the treatment illegals receive from employers (who pay them less than minimum wage) isn't racist. Also, some would argue that there is no such thing as "illegal" immigration, more like *undocumented* And I don't just think that's semantics...the US imports a lot of goods and labor from other people (the whole buying American vs. not buying American) but then ppl in their own country suffer as a result. Is not natural for them to want to migrate to where they can also enjoy the very same goods (foods, clothes, and so forth) that their own countries produce for the US? The US is 4% of the world's population and yet uses 25% of it resources. That says a lot.
flutterpie flutterpie 8 years
does anyone remember that people can come here legally if they so desire? nobody says that they cannot come here but they should be documented if for anything then so they cannot be abused by the people they work for, to call someone a racist for wanting to do something about illegal immigration but not calling employers racist for thinking its okay to pay migrant workers less than mininum wage is just silly.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
"I just hope everyone keeps in mind that this country was built on the backs of immigrants. I don't know what the answers are, but it feels wrong that a piece of paper and being born on one side arbitrary line suddenly gives you more rights. Forget the politics, how do you look at a fellow man and say "no I'm sorry, you don't deserve this...better luck next time." "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."I completely agree, well said. :)
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
"I just hope everyone keeps in mind that this country was built on the backs of immigrants. I don't know what the answers are, but it feels wrong that a piece of paper and being born on one side arbitrary line suddenly gives you more rights. Forget the politics, how do you look at a fellow man and say "no I'm sorry, you don't deserve this...better luck next time." "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I completely agree, well said. :)
onabanana onabanana 8 years
I just hope everyone keeps in mind that this country was built on the backs of immigrants. I don't know what the answers are, but it feels wrong that a piece of paper and being born on one side arbitrary line suddenly gives you more rights. Forget the politics, how do you look at a fellow man and say "no I'm sorry, you don't deserve this...better luck next time." "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
onabanana onabanana 8 years
I just hope everyone keeps in mind that this country was built on the backs of immigrants. I don't know what the answers are, but it feels wrong that a piece of paper and being born on one side arbitrary line suddenly gives you more rights. Forget the politics, how do you look at a fellow man and say "no I'm sorry, you don't deserve this...better luck next time." "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
vikingprin vikingprin 8 years
I live in a primarily hispanic neighborhood in LA. Like most. I can say that the vast majority of my neighbors are legal, but I see the conflict with the illegals. We are about 3 blocks from a Home Depot, and there are literally hundreds of day laborers looking for under the table work there every day. And we have new legislation passing that the big stores have to provide "rest areas" for these workers. And let's not forget the neighborhood WIC office - always within walking distance. Those babies are American if they are born on our soil!!! The fact that they are primarily catholic and pop out 6 or 8 kids on welfare doesn't seem to bother them, why should it bother me?Why should I have to look hard for a public school that has lessons in English for my 8th generation American children?I don't have the answers... I just know that things are not right.
vikingprin vikingprin 8 years
I live in a primarily hispanic neighborhood in LA. Like most. I can say that the vast majority of my neighbors are legal, but I see the conflict with the illegals. We are about 3 blocks from a Home Depot, and there are literally hundreds of day laborers looking for under the table work there every day. And we have new legislation passing that the big stores have to provide "rest areas" for these workers. And let's not forget the neighborhood WIC office - always within walking distance. Those babies are American if they are born on our soil!!! The fact that they are primarily catholic and pop out 6 or 8 kids on welfare doesn't seem to bother them, why should it bother me? Why should I have to look hard for a public school that has lessons in English for my 8th generation American children? I don't have the answers... I just know that things are not right.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
"There are so many ways that illegal immigration hurts both the workers, themselves, and Americans. The immigrants are hurt because they have no workers rights, and the American hospital system is really hampered by illegal immigrants (2 hospitals in my town closed, and sent out newsletters explaining that they could not turn people away, but they also couldn't afford to operate like that)."I disagree with the comment about the hospitals. In actuality very few illegal immigrants show up to ERs and the like. Some opt to go to to small local clinics and get free care. I don't know about your town, but this misinformation is perpetuated by some as a means of scapegoating. If a hospital closes down that "easily" than they must have had some other BIG problems to begin with.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
"There are so many ways that illegal immigration hurts both the workers, themselves, and Americans. The immigrants are hurt because they have no workers rights, and the American hospital system is really hampered by illegal immigrants (2 hospitals in my town closed, and sent out newsletters explaining that they could not turn people away, but they also couldn't afford to operate like that)." I disagree with the comment about the hospitals. In actuality very few illegal immigrants show up to ERs and the like. Some opt to go to to small local clinics and get free care. I don't know about your town, but this misinformation is perpetuated by some as a means of scapegoating. If a hospital closes down that "easily" than they must have had some other BIG problems to begin with.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
There is also a great number of people who have permission to be here (via green cards and work visas, etc), - I meant to say *stay or to take up residence in the short term* not "be here". Sorry.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
There is also a great number of people who have permission to be here (via green cards and work visas, etc), - I meant to say *stay or to take up residence in the short term* not "be here". Sorry.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
There is also a great number of people who have permission to be here (via green cards and work visas, etc), regardless of what country, and just stay once the visa card is expired. I don't think that everyone who is against "illegal immigration" is racist. But generally, there is a good number of people that are. But that's just a personal opinion.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
There is also a great number of people who have permission to be here (via green cards and work visas, etc), regardless of what country, and just stay once the visa card is expired. I don't think that everyone who is against "illegal immigration" is racist. But generally, there is a good number of people that are.But that's just a personal opinion.
Zahara-Pitt Zahara-Pitt 8 years
no kidding Mexico isn't a race, oh my i thought it was...its funy have we have adiffenet immigration policy when it comes to Cuba...the same rules should aplly to everyone... i can never called anyone racist
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Yes, there are all sorts of ways to get here illegally. But the vast majority of illegal aliens come from Mexico, overwhelmingly so. It isn't racism, it is just fact. (FYI-Mexico isn't a race, it is a nation). There are very specific reasons why people come here and how. American companies recruit through Mexico. They pull a lot of people from Guatemala and other Central American countries, but the recruiting ground is in Mexico because we share a border. I think there are a lot of racist people out there that don't like illegal immigrants, which is sad. I don't think it is fair to say people are racist if they can admit that our issues right now are in regards to illegal immigrants from Mexico, not Europe.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Yes, there are all sorts of ways to get here illegally. But the vast majority of illegal aliens come from Mexico, overwhelmingly so. It isn't racism, it is just fact. (FYI-Mexico isn't a race, it is a nation). There are very specific reasons why people come here and how. American companies recruit through Mexico. They pull a lot of people from Guatemala and other Central American countries, but the recruiting ground is in Mexico because we share a border. I think there are a lot of racist people out there that don't like illegal immigrants, which is sad. I don't think it is fair to say people are racist if they can admit that our issues right now are in regards to illegal immigrants from Mexico, not Europe.
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