El Presidente Obama y el candidato Obama necesitan ponerse de acuerdo

Presidente Barack Obama, Gobernador Luis Fortuño y el Diputado Pedro Pierluisi (Foto: White House, fotografiados por Pete Souza)

El ataque de los mensajes presidenciales y electorales bipolares ha empezado. Esto se está poniendo interesante.

Por un lado tenemos al Presidente Obama, tres años después y sin haber cumplido con las promesas electorales de reforma migratoria, y más bien mostrando una tendencia anti-inmigrante con el aumento en las deportaciones en un setenta por ciento, en comparación con el Gobierno de George W. Bush.

Por otro lado, el candidato Obama, cortejando a las comunidades latinas con visitas y discursos en los que no faltan unas cuantas palabras en español.

El Presidente Barack Obama estuvo en El Paso hace unas semanas hablando de la reforma en las leyes de inmigración y acusó a los Republicanos en el Congreso de obstaculizarlo. Esa misma semana, utilizó un mensaje a favor de pasar el DREAM Act en la página del candidato Obama, 2012. El DREAM Act ya va para su undécimo año de esperanzas fallidas en propuestas de ley que aparecen y desaparecen sin ser aprobadas. La maniobra fue denunciada abiertamente por una variedad de organizaciones.

Hace poco el candidato Obama me empezó a enviar invitaciones para donar a su campaña. Le he escrito repetidas veces acerca de la resolución a los asuntos de inmigración, pero al parecer esta no es una conversación sino solamente un pedido de contribuciones.

El congresista Lamar Smith (R-TX) presentó ayer, 14 de junio, una propuesta de ley para hacer que el e-verify, el sistema computarizado que verifica la elegibilidad para trabajar en los Estados Unidos, sea mandatorio para todos los empleadores.

Mientras eso sucedía, el candidato Barack Obama estaba en la isla de Puerto Rico, guiñándole el ojo a los puertorriqueños que viven en los Estados Unidos y que constituyen una porción interesante de los 50 millones de latinos en la nación.

Los puertorriqueños que viven en la isla son ciudadanos americanos pero no pueden votar; sus paisanos sí lo pueden hacer. Y el equipo de Obama 2012 considera que los casi 5 millones de puertorriqueños que viven en el país son lo suficientemente importantes como para ser el primer presidente estadounidense que visita la isla desde John F. Kennedy. De especial importancia para la reelección son los casi un millón de puertorriqueños en Florida y que se dice podrían contrarrestar la influencia Republicana sobre los cubanos.

Durante su visita de solo cinco horas, el presidente expresó su apoyo al referéndum para convertir a Puerto Rico en un Estado. Mientras tanto, el candidato Obama recaudó casi un millón de dólares en donaciones durante una actividad organizada por el Partido Demócrata de Puerto Rico en el hotel Caribe Hilton.

Mientras el presidente y el candidato Obama finalizaban su corta visita, en tierra firme el Senado de Texas aprobaba una ley que permitiría que la policía verifique el estatus migratorio de cualquier persona que detenga por cualquier motivo. Una más de las muchas leyes que se han promulgado ya en Arizona, Indiana, Alabama y Georgia; y que están convirtiendo a muchos de esos Estados en zonas anti-inmigrantes y especialmente anti-latinas, sin importar su estatus migratorio.

Líderes latinos reclaman que el Presidente Obama podría dar una orden ejecutiva para detener las deportaciones, aprobar el DREAM Act y contener la marejada de leyes estatales que estrangulan a las comunidades inmigrantes, costándole millones a los Estados y forzando migración masiva a ciudades que se presenten más tolerantes de la diversidad. Mientras tanto, el candidato Obama se contenta con mantener a los Republicanos en el Congreso a gusto, invitar comitivas de cantantes y otras celebridades a la Casa Blanca para “conversar” del tema de inmigración, dar discursos cargados de emotividad y seguidos de inacción, y otorgar reconocimiento a unos pocos que están haciendo un excelente trabajo a través del programa “Champions of Change”.

De acuerdo a resultados a boca de urna, 67 por ciento del electorado latino votó por Obama en el 2008. Su aprobación en este momento ha disminuido al 49 por ciento, según un sondeo de opinión de ImpreMedia y Latino Decisions (hace un año estuvo en 57 por ciento y hace unos meses en el 41 por ciento). La pregunta es si el Presidente Obama le dará una manito al candidato Obama o si seguirá el mismo camino, cortejándonos por un lado y castigándonos por el otro, menguando en los próximos meses su popularidad con los electores que con tanta expectativa y entusiasmo lo ayudaron a llegar hasta la Casa Blanca.

 

 

Tequila Party launches… will it be taken seriously?

On April 20, the day of the first anniversary of SB1070, the harsh and controversial anti-immigrant law, DeeDee García Blasé, the leader of Somos Republicans launched her Tequila Party. In a column in the Voice of Tucson she wrote about her disappointment with current laws and leaders, her frustration with the Obama administration and the surge in deportations and the economic disaster that SB1070 is for Arizona.

“I have been called a RINO (Republican in Name Only) several times because of my stance on immigration,” García Blasé wrote, “yet I know these individuals would have called Ronald Reagan one if he were still alive because he gave amnesty. Dozens of Republican leaders attacked me for being vocal against Republican lawmakers when they embraced harsh anti-immigrant laws. What do they expect? I’m Latina. My people are suffering and it is no different than when Moses pled for mercy with regard to his own Israelites.”

The movement was received with mixed emotions and much disbelief. Much has been said about the stereotypical name and the appeal to just certain populations. However, boiling frustration among Latinos regarding immigration and racial profiling issues may help bring unity and a sense of urgency that will favor a rebel movement that resonates with the Hispanic community as much as the Tea Party has with mainstream America.

Recently, García Blasé went further in her quest to send a message to the GOP. She stepped down from the leadership of Somos Republicans and switched political affiliation.

“The Republicans cannot be anti-immigrant and expect to grow the Latino vote to their benefit. I had it with the Republican Party. I am not doing their work any longer. I’m done. The only way I could go back is if they correct themselves. Right now it’s embarrassing. I feel liberated. I’m switching to the Independent Party to send a message to the GOP,” said García Blasé.

“We cannot afford to stay home. We have to support Obama. He has asked for a grassroots movement, bipartisan support to pass comprehensive immigration reform and we are here to give it to him,” she states. “There are no other options, if we don’t vote for Obama in 2012; we’ll see a Palin as a president. Sarah Palin, for example,  endorses Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the worst anti-immigrant Republican. Is that what we want?”

The National Tequila Party Movement is a national tour of concerts, events, dinners and rallies that will encourage a massive Latino Get Out The Vote. This movement is non-partisan and although is not about tequila, its first sponsor is Tequila Don Abraham. “We like that the name is controversial, it’s helped us out there,” said García Blasé, who also explained that her team has people from different national origins, including recent immigrants. To appeal to Latinos other than the Mexican community, the events will be headlined as Tequila Party/Café con Leche in cities like Miami and New York.

The first rally took place June 4 in Tucson, Arizona, headquarters of the party and ground zero for immigration advocates. About 50 people gathered to hear their leader. “The siesta is over, amigos. Now is time for fiesta,” she said to the small crowd. The Tequila Party’s slogan is “Your shot for Change.”

The man who inspired García Blasé and others to initiate the Tequila Party is Fernando Romero, a long time Democratic Latino activist in the state of Nevada. “He swirled the idea but nothing really came into fruition. As the 2012 Presidential Elections are underway, we decided to launch the Tequila Party Movement on Cinco de Mayo 2011. We reached out to Fernando Romero and told him he was our inspiration, and he is flattered we acknowledge him as our inspiration,” said García Blasé.

“Tequila Party is about motivating Latinos to participate in the early ballot system and to vote in the primary elections as well as the general elections. All are welcome, regardless of Party affiliation. Move over Tea Party people, the Tequila Party Movement is here. This time you won’t see a bunch of “angry at Obama” people in a rally. Nay, this time you will see fiestas, celebration of cultura and a massive Latino Get Out the Vote Drive,” the Tequila Party leader said.

According to a recent report by the Pew Hispanic Center more than 6.6 million Latinos voted in last year’s election-a record for a midterm-according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center. Fueled by their rapid population growth, Latinos also were a larger share of the electorate in 2010 than in any previous midterm election, representing 6.9% of all voters, up from 5.8% in 2006. At the same time, however, the number of Latino non-voters among those who are eligible to vote has also increased. This increase contributed to a decline in the voter turnout rate among Latinos-down from 32.3% in 2006 to 31.2% in 2010.

Latino Decisions, a political blog, estimates that 21.5 million Latino citizen adults will be eligible to vote in November 2012, up from 19.5 million in 2008. If registration rates remain constant, that will leave over 8 million Latino eligible voters who are not registered in 2012.

Tequila Party’s objective is to bring 20 million voters to the next election.

“We need to be better voters. This is why we believe the Tequila Party Tour is a critical movement to work towards a massive 2012 National Latino Get Out the Vote Initiative. We have leaders in place in all high Latino populated states and we are strengthening our ties with all organizations who want to participate in this important crusade,” indicated García Blasé, who has made this her full-time job. She expressed that the difference between her movement and other voter registration organizations is that Tequila Party is creating events with voter registration booths and educating voters.

The leader says that the Tequila Party has more than 50 grassroots leaders throughout the country working to get sponsors to support their Latino Get Out The Vote rallies. She also assures the skeptical that the Tequila Party is not funded by the Republican Party and that is not a ploy to get Latinos to vote Republican.

While she has no political ambitions, García Blasé highlights Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) as a great leader and even a potential presidential candidate she would support in the future. The Tequila Party has requested Gutierrez to be their national spokesperson. He is “considering it.”

“It’s overwhelming, but the tears of the children becoming orphans and of the DREAMers not achieving their dreams, that’s what keeps me up. Those of us who are legal in this country are pissed at the current state of things. We need to push for immigration reform, send a message to Republicans such as Lamar Smith (R-TX) who are now pushing for enforcement only laws, and let them know that we will be there in droves. People are scared of Tea Party, well, here comes the Tequila Party,” finalized García Blasé.

Cities that the Tequila Party tour will visit have been announced but not the dates; and the leadership promises live streaming video of the gatherings. For more, visit http://tequilapartytour.com

 

 

 

Guide for undocumented youth fighting deportation published

“Education Not Deportation: A Guide for Undocumented Youth in Removal Proceedings” has been written and published by the Asian Law Caucus, Educators for Fair Consideration, DREAMactivist.org and National Immigrant Youth Alliance. This guide is intended to aid certain undocumented students and their lawyers to fight effectively throughout a removal (deportation) proceeding.

The organizations involved in the creation of this guide stated that they wrote it specifically for students who have already sought all other options to avoid deportation. They also believe the information in the guide should be valuable to all undocumented students and their attorneys.

“Although this process can seem daunting, we want to ensure students that hope is not lost. As reference points, we use previous cases where students and their attorneys have successfully maneuvered through their removal proceedings. Using these victories, this removal manual provides important instructions that can aid in this complicated process.  Throughout the manual, we briefly describe the current and past struggles to change immigration policy, explain the different remedies that might be available to certain undocumented students, and include templates that students and attorneys can use to gain community and public support. While we try to include as much information as possible, this process will undoubtedly require tremendous dedication from the student and his/her attorney. In fact, being placed in a removal proceeding will likely challenge students in numerous ways. Nevertheless, we hope that students and their attorneys exhaust all possibilities and realize that hope is far from lost,” stated the organizations on a written message.

The guide was produced by the Asian Law Caucus staff (Lisa Chen, Anoop Prasad and Sin Yen Ling), E4FC staff (Krsna Avila and Katharine Gin), and DreamActivist.org/NIYA staff (Mohammad Abdollahi). Also aknowledged as contributors were: Shoba Wadhia Sivaprasad, Nancy Morawetz, David Bennion, Dan Berger, Mark Silverman, Greg Chen, Holly Cooper, Bill Ong Hing, Jayashri Srikantiah, Melissa Crow, Marilia Zellner, Francisco Gonzalez, Barbara Hines, Paromita Shah, Jon Rodney, and Tiffany Long.

To read online or download a free copy visit http://e4fc.org/legalservices/deportationguide.html

La HB87 explicada & HB 87 explained

The Latin American Association and the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia will present a seminar to the community regarding House Bill 87,  what it means and how can it affect the community, individuals and families. The seminar will be presented by advocates and experts. It will take place June 25th from 2 to 4pm at the auditorium of the Latin American Association: 2750 Buford HwyAtlanta, GA 30324 (second floor).  There will be interpreters available and information translated to Chinese, Korean and Spanish.