The GOP is playing Russian roulette with the Mexican-American / Hispanic vote again.
“Senate Bill 1070 – represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix …”
Yet, three years later it remains unfixed and Speaker Boehner is to blame.
A trip to memory lane will recall when Republican Senate Candidate Sharron Angle (pro life politician) took a very bad risk when she demonized Latinos in her infamous political advertisements that reeked of bigotry. According to Latino Decisions, Senate Candidate Sharron Angle of Nevada only received 8% of the burgeoning Hispanic vote vs. Senator Harry Reid's 90%. Despite multiple lessons and warnings given to the GOP, it appears conservative Republicans still want to demonize Latino communities. Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith said the bipartisan legal comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill is worse than we thought, when in fact, Republican President George W. Bush pushed for a more lenient reform bill. This Gang of Eight bill is not 'worse' as Rep. Smith claims, in fact, it proves how much we have compromised since the Bush years.
But the real insult to our intelligence are with those Republican leaders who want the Hispanic pro life voters to support their pro life agenda while pro life organizations support organizations that profit from throwing Mexican-American and/or Hispanics in jail. Catholic Cardinal Dolan sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner with regard to the urgency of immigration reform and it is getting ignored. He warned the GOP House of Representatives to get their act together on immigration reform and it is getting ignored. Yet come 2014, we will see the Republican Party and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus try to trick Hispanic and Women voters with regard to caring about immigration, pro life, Hispanics and women. Fixing the broken immigration system is a pro life issue when thousands of Mexicans die crossing the harsh desert to achieve the American dream. They don't build Mayflower boats to get here.
It does not help when we see some of the oldest pro life organizations affiliating themselves with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Pro life leaders and organizations lose credibility when their fingerprints are found on organizations like ALEC who appear to embrace a culture of death, and their pro life efforts targeting Hispanic and women voters in key races will have little merit until they do away with those fingerprints.
If one is going to call themselves pro life, perhaps they ought to essentially support it from a womb to the tomb standpoint. Billions of our American tax payer dollars are being spent on detaining immigrants who get caught for working in agricultural fields, car washes, fast food restaurants and etc. We are well aware the private prison industry would take a huge hit if immigration reform passes – private prison systems who receive government subsidies where millions of our tax payer money is wasted. Millions of our taxpayer dollars are wasted because of lawsuits, and I believe we ought to reconsider private prison systems because the incentive to make more profit dollars seem to outweigh basic and humane treatment of human beings.
But these disturbing stories do not only affect immigrants – they affect American women, too. I am especially disturbed in hearing stories about women in private prisons owned by Corrections Corporation of American refusing Autumn Miller’s cries for medical attention. She says the guards gave her a menstrual pad and locked her in a cell. As a result, Miller says in a lawsuit filed in Dallas federal court, on June 14, 2012, “She looked down and watched, in horror, as she delivered baby Gracie into the toilet.” The infant lived for four days and died in her mother’s arms.
According the the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Speaker Boehner is an alumnus. The Nation’s Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor reveal their role in expanding prison systems. According to their report,prison labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid unfair competition with private companies. But this has changed thanks to the ALEC, its Prison Industries Act, and a little-known federal program known as PIE (thePrison Industries Enhancement Certification Program). An In These Times investigation revealed that ALEC arranged secret meetings between Arizona’s state legislators and CCA to draft what became SB 1070, Arizona’s notorious immigration law, to keep CCA prisons flush with immigrant detainees. ALEC has proven expertly capable of devising endless ways to help private corporations benefit from the country’s massive prison population.
Lack of leadership within pro life organizations may have fueled the culture of death, and I know this because few stepped up to the plate when our 14th amendment rights were being attacked by the Republicans they endorsed via Birthright Citizenship. Informed Hispanic voters remember how Tom Tancredo (memorable anti-immigrant politician) received a a 100% rating from National Right to Life.
To conclude, Mexican American Chicano Latino voters are exactly where we need to be for 2014 an 2016. We are the key swing voters, and many of us are registered independent voters. Republicans like Sharron Angle wanted the public to believe we were all Democratic voters, thereby trying to get Anglos to believe we were a ‘lost cause’. We are not a lost cause. We’re more powerful placing ourselves in a position of leverage because we know we are the fastest rising demographic in the Nation, and we want both sides of the aisle to work harder for our vote.