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Both parties out of touch with Hispanics on immigration reform

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

In examining immigration policy, those interested in the topic are apt to first look to traditional, English speaking media covering the matter.  For Californians, this means reading the LA Times, The Daily News, The Sac Bee, The San Francisco Chronicle, etc.

In becoming preoccupied with English speaking outlets, the immigration issue from the “other perspective” gets shoved into a blind spot.  A disclaimer: This isn’t a call to put on the suit of multiculturalism or to adopt the “other perspective” as one’s own.

Instead, it’s essentially a call similar to the wise maxim for watching cable political pundits: Consider more than one perspective to see an argument from the big picture.  Looking to only one perspective risks turning one into a mindless, partisan cheerleader.

To be aware of what the other side has to say about current immigration issues aids in more effectively assessing the immigration situation.  In this awareness, there’s still a need to read with a critical eye, considering whether certain concerns are fair ones.

In a fascinating angle of examining immigration, the Hispanic community voice raises a legitimate concern. Namely, it notes that both parties are solidly out of touch with proposing a solution to the immigration problem.

The Hispanic publication La Opinion recently reported about the split within the Republican Party over immigration reform. Steve Poizner, running for the gubernatorial nomination against Meg Whitman, takes a hard stance on the immigration issue.  Poizner, according to La Opinion, said that "illegal immigrants are overwhelming our education, health care and public benefits systems.”   Meanwhile, his counterpart, Whitman, advocates a more moderate approach to immigration reform, according to the same publication.

The implication is that the Republican Party lacks consensus on immigration reform, a more than accurate assessment highlighted at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).  This lack of consensus in the Republican Party is certainly a factor continuing to plague it, despite an effort by conservatives to push more Hispanic conservative candidates.

As much as the the Hispanic community gives grief to Republicans for lack of vision, Democrats aren’t exempted from Hispanic ire.  The liberal organization, the National Council of La Raza (NCLA), called out President Obama for his unkept promise to implement immigration reform in a timely manner.

NCLA recently released a video of President Obama addressing a Hispanic crowd earlier last year, showering them with immigration reform promises.  Agree or disagree with NCLA in terms of their ultimate vision for an immigration reform bill, they too make an overall valid criticism of current political party structure.

Their point? Democratic leadership has labeled itself as the party of minorities and of diversity.  But when it comes to actually delivering the goods, there are more politically expedient measures to focus on (i.e. Healthcare reform).  It’s actually worse to promise something and not deliver it.  It ultimately begs the question, do the Democratic elites really care for minorities?

The biggest implication is that both parties seem to be out of touch with minorities, being more concerned with pandering to their base and courting special interest money.  In a sense, independents and Hispanics share a commonality.  Both parties are ignoring their concerns and needs.

This isn’t necessarily a call for instituting a third party, but a call for a better class of candidates to come forward in future elections. Citizens need candidates who are actually interested in the well-being of their constituents and in making the American dream available to those willing to work within the system in a fair manner.

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