[I apologize, but my limited WordPress skills prevent me from posting the previous Obama video here. If you know how to post a video and actually blog, let me know. -LG]
According to Obama’s remarks to the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in San Diego on July 13, 2008, he is overseeing and perpetuating a broken system. Not exactly what he said last May in El Paso when he vowed only to deport “violent offenders and people convicted of crimes; not families, not folks who are just looking to scrape together an income.”
When the administration’s Secure Communities goes in and breaks up families, deporting parents for traffic violations, for witnessing a crime, for reporting a crime, it undermines the relationship between communities and law enforcement, and it sows seeds of hate. Many undocumented parents have American-born children, US citizens who will grow up without a parent, and all the psychological damage that results from a family torn apart. What will these kids think about the government and law enforcement? Will they trust and support law enforcement? Is this really what’s best for our country?
As Frontline’s “Lost in Detention” pointed out, while the plight of immigrants may be invisible to most voters, it is played out all the time on Spanish-language tv. Most Latinos see immigration reform as a matter close to our hearts and homes. According the Pew Research Center, one half of all Latinos know someone who is undocumented. They are our relatives and friends, “who are just looking to scrape together an income.” One quarter of all Latinos know someone who has been deported.
We don’t like what’s going on, and we are voting in increasing numbers. In fact, over 500,000 Latino youth turn 18 every year. My goal as a community activist is to turn those kids into voters. Like it or not, Latinos are a large and important segment of our society, and we’re not going away.
Latinos aren’t going to run over to the Republican side, because that would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. However, disaffected Latino voters might sit out the election in November. Democrats can’t afford to continue to ignore us.