Tag: McCain

After Arpaio is Stripped of Immigration Powers, Conservatives Counter With A New Anti-Immigrant Bill

Workers are marched out of a carwash during Sheriff Arpaio's latest immigration raid - Photo: José Muñoz.

Workers are marched out of a carwash during Sheriff Arpaio's latest immigration raid. (Photo: www.PhotosByJoseMunoz.com)

PHOENIX, Arizona — After the recent decision by federal authorities to limit the power of Maricopa County sheriff ‘s deputies to enforce U.S. immigration laws, Arizona lawmakers are renewing a push to grant local police the ability to detain and question suspected undocumented immigrants.

A campaign in favor of the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” was launched after last week’s announcement that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had his powers limited by federal immigration authorities.

Arpaio had one of the largest forces in the nation deputized to enforce immigration laws on the streets and in county jails under an agreement known as 287 (g). But John Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security, said Arpaio’s sweeps were not consistent with the program’s new priorities. Under a revised 287 (g) agreement Arpaio’s enforcement powers are limited to the county jails. He can no longer conduct traffic stops in search of undocumented immigrants under the program.


Satisfied With Clinton's Message, Mexicans Find Other Reasons To Gripe: News Analysis from Feet in Two Worlds

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

MEXICO CITY — As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton departed Monterrey, Mexico for Dallas Thursday the consensus among Mexican officials seemed to be that finally the United States has decided to acknowledge its share of blame in the growth of the drug cartels –and the violence they cause.

Thursday's El Universal cover

Thursday's El Universal cover

Mexican politicians greeted with approval and even delight Clinton’s statement that Americans’ “insatiable demand” for narcotics fuels the drug trade from south of the border. “Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians,” she had said Wednesday. (Of course the reaction in the U.S. was quite different.)

“A self-critical discourse which has never before been heard from a high-level American official,” said an editorial in El Universal, perhaps Mexico’s most influential newspaper, which ran Clinton’s quotation across its cover yesterday, above the headline:

“Hillary: Unfair To Blame Mexico for Narco

But Mexicans’ elation was not complete, as two other newspapers highlighted on their covers: while Clinton made the statements Felipe Calderón’s government wanted to hear, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano continued a recent trend of statements about the Mexican situation that are offensive to Mexican ears.



Podcast: Michael Steele, a Republican Chairman Who Understands the Challenge of Reaching Minorities

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

Steele. (Photo: ABC News)

The election of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele to the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee has been hailed by some as yet another effect of Barack Obama’s ascent to the presidency.

“It took the election of the nation’s first African-American president, one who won landslide margins among blacks, Latinos and Asians, to convince the GOP of its need to expand its appeal beyond its overwhelmingly white base,” Charles Mathesian writes in Politico.

It remains to be seen if Steele’s designation is the first step, or a false start, in GOP efforts to expand its tent to try to include a majority of minorities in the nation. It is clear, at least, that Steele is well aware of his party’s need to reach out to those voters it has left mostly unattended for generations.

Last September, Feet In 2 Worlds executive producer John Rudolph interviewed Steele at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, where he was one of the few African Americans to address the GOP delegates. (Still, it was Steele who came up with the convention’s likely most memorable phrase: “Drill, baby, drill.”)

In that interview, Steele acknowledged that the McCain campaign made “no effort” to counterbalance the surge of support for Obama among African Americans and that Republicans had “literally, dropped the ball” when it came to going after the black vote.

You can listen to the whole interview by pressing Play below.


New Attack On Hispanic Immigrants In New York Is Again Felt In Ecuador

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

For the second time in less than a month, an Ecuadorean immigrant was savagely attacked in New York by men shouting anti-Hispanic slurs. Once again, as with the death a month ago of Marcelo Lucero, the pain was felt among Hispanics in the United States and in faraway South America. The attack that left José Sucuzhañay brain-dead seems to confirm the rise in hate crimes pro-immigration advocates have been warning about since Lucero’s passing.

Daily News

José Sucuzhañay – Photo: Daily News

José and his brother Romel Sucuzhañay were attacked on a Brooklyn street last weekend by three men who allegedly shouted anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs while beating them with a bottle and a baseball bat. The brothers had been walking with their arms around each other.

José, 31, was declared brain-dead Tuesday at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, although his family was keeping him on life support until his parents and two children arrived from Ecuador.

“Today my brother is the victim, but tomorrow it could be your brother, your mother, your father,” another sibling, Diego Sucuzhañay, said Tuesday at a press conference outside the hospital.

According to the New York Daily News,

Diego said he had been talking with his parents in Ecuador by phone, telling them Jose “was okay.” But, he said, now “it’s time to tell them the truth.”

Thousands of miles away, Mercedes Quintuña, the Sucuzhañays’ mother, also spoke to the press.


First-Ever Vietnamese-American Congressman Is Republicans’ New Ethnic Hope

The Times-Picayune

Cao celebrates - Photo: The Times-Picayune

If you were surprised when the first-ever Vietnamese American was elected to Congress a few days ago, you’re not alone.

Many Vietnamese immigrants across the U.S. were also unaware of Republican Anh “Joseph” Cao until his victory this Saturday in a special election in New Orleans. Cao defeated the tainted nine-term Democratic incumbent, William Jefferson, an African American from an overwhelmingly black congressional district.

Not even his fellow Republicans knew that much about Cao, an immigration lawyer from East New Orleans. According to The Washington Post, D.C. party aides had to look up his ads on YouTube to learn how to pronounce his last name. [Here’s one of the ads; the pronunciation is close to “gow.”]

Unknown or not, Cao’s victory seems to have earned him the right to carry the hopes and expectations of both Vietnamese-Americans and Republicans on his shoulders.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Renews Hopes for Immigration Reform

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In their hands: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In a little-noticed interview last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) renewed pro-immigrant advocates’ hopes for comprehensive reform of the nation’s immigrations laws under the next administration.

Talking to the Gannett News Service, Reid said immigration reform will be passed because President-elect Barack Obama and his former rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) agree on the matter.

“On immigration, there’s been an agreement between Obama and McCain to move forward on that. …We’ll do that,” Reid said.

The reporter then asked whether there will be “as much of a fight on immigration as last time” in Congress. Reid answered,

We’ve got McCain and we’ve got a few others. I don’t expect much of a fight at all. Now health care is going to be difficult. That’s a very complicated issue. We debated at great length immigration. People understand the issues very well. We have not debated health care, so that’s going to take a lot more time to do.


Bad Sign for Republicans: One of McCain's Main Hispanic Supporters in Florida Not Happy With the Campaign

Fighting to keep Florida Red (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Fighting to keep Florida red (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Both presidential candidates spent time in Florida in the past couple of days, fighting hard for the battleground state’s coveted 27 electoral votes. Hispanics –especially those living in Central Florida– are considered an important voting population to achieving that goal. But in a troubling sign for John McCain, one of his key Hispanic supporters in Florida is apparently unhappy with how the campaign is being run.

“They have completely ignored the Hispanic vote” in the central region of the state, Bill Negron, a member of the McCain steering committee in that area, told correspondent Maribel Hastings of the ImpreMedia Spanish-language newspaper chain.

Negron expressed bewilderment over the way the Republican campaign has been conducted in central Florida. As we’ve said before, that part of the state is considered crucial because of its high numbers of swing voters. Hispanics in the area –mostly Puerto Ricans– tend to counterbalance the heavily conservative south Florida Latino voters, who are mainly Cuban American.

“People ask me where McCain’s people are, where McCain is,” Negron told Hastings. “And it’s not only the Hispanic vote, but the vote in general. I don’t know if they took it for granted, or it’s just that they don’t know what they are doing, or that they don’t have the funds. But there was no work with churches, nor with civic groups and organizations here.”


As North Carolina Becomes Yet Another Swing State, Could Latinos Have an Impact?

North Carolina is now considered a swing state, and the Obama campaign has been targeting Latinos there. But the state’s Latino voting population is still relatively small. Could Hispanic voters have an influence on the allocation of the state’s fifteen electoral votes? Feet in 2 Worlds interviewed Gregory B. Weeks, an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, to talk about this.
North Carolina at Pollster.com on Tuesday Oct. 21

North Carolina at Pollster.com on Tuesday Oct. 21

It seems these days political news junkies can’t get their eyes off the electoral map predictions at CNN, Real Clear Politics or Pollster.com: whenever you look away, another state becomes a swing state.

Take, for example, North Carolina, a once-solid red state that now seems to be turning blue. The three websites were calling it a tossup earlier this week — and The New York Times described it as “a raging battleground.” If Barack Obama indeed wins the Tar Heel state, he will be the first Democratic presidential candidate to do so since Southerner Jimmy Carter did it in 1976.

Like a number of other states that voted for President Bush in the last two elections, the Obama campaign has jumped at the opportunity to try to “steal” North Carolina from the Republican column. Last weekend, Barack Obama campaigned in Fayeteville on his sixth visit to the state since the primaries, according to the Times. (John McCain was in Concord, near Charlotte, trying to defend Republican turf.) On Thursday, Obama’s running mate Joe Biden will make three stops in the state: Charlotte, Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, and Meredith College in Raleigh.


More Endorsements for Obama: Spanish-Language Newspapers Announce Support in New York and L.A.

Maybe not unprecedented like the Chicago Tribune‘s nor unexpected like Colin Powell‘s, but there were two other important endorsements for Barack Obama in the last few days.

Los Angeles’ La Opinión and New York’s El Diario/La Prensa, two of the nation’s oldest Spanish-language dailies, made public their endorsements of the Democratic candidate on Friday.

El Diario/La Prensa endorses Obama.

Both newspapers are owned by ImpreMedia which bills itself as, “The No. 1 Hispanic News and Information Company in the U.S. in Online and Print.” [In the interest of full disclosure, Feet in Two Worlds has worked with editors and reporters at both papers.] The two dailies carry considerable weight in the Hispanic communities in Los Angeles and New York, and beyond.

El Diario ran its endorsement on the cover, under the headline: “Necessary Change. A vote for Obama.” [The full text is available in Spanish and English.]

“Our country is perched on the edge of a cliff,” the newspaper said. “We are staring down a growing economic crisis.”

It added the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have “no end in sight,” and in the U.S., families have suffered from “stagnant wages, and the rising costs of everything from gasoline to food to health care.


Obama, McCain and Joe The Plumber: Attack and Defense In The Last Presidential Debate

Barack Obama, John McCain – and Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher – took center stage at Hofstra University on Long Island last night, making the final presidential debate in this campaign the best of the general election season. Finally, the much-anticipated “YouTube moments” arrived, and both campaigns can claim to have scored points. Whether voters make up their minds based on debate scorecards is another matter.

McCain came out on the offense early, and as boxing-minded commentators will probably say, he landed a few jabs.

The Republican’s change of attitude was clear from the start. He purposely looked at his rival across the table and addressed him directly through the night. Among his early good moments was his much-awaited chance to differentiate himself from President George W. Bush. After Obama resorted to his usual “history lesson” and mentioned the current administration had greatly increased the national deficit, McCain quickly retorted, “If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago. I’m going to give a new direction to this economy and this country.”

Obama seemed a bit taken aback by McCain’s aggressive start, but sticking to his usual lines and playing a conservative defense game, he seemed to avoid committing any serious mistakes.

Then came Joe — a name that will probably stay in our Google and YouTube searches for a while. By one count, he got at least thirteen mentions in the first part of the debate. Soon enough, a Twitter user named PlumberJoe had been created. [Here’s a video of Joe with Obama and on the phone with Fox News.]

McCain brought up Joe, an Ohio plumber that had met Obama a few days ago.

Barack Obama answering a question from Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher
in Holland, Ohio last Sunday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong.)

According to McCain, Joe -no relation to Joe Sixpack- would fall into a higher tax bracket under his rival’s proposals. The Republican promised to keep the plumber’s taxes low and provide him with affordable health care for him and his employees. McCain also said Obama would take Joe’s money to “spread the wealth around,” which he deemed “class warfare.”

Those early attacks seem to fluster the usually-cool Democratic candidate, but he came back at McCain on the “Joe” situation later on. After McCain repeated his standard line about the Democrat’s plan to fine companies which don’t provide health coverage to their employees, Obama looked at the camera and told Joe: “Here’s your fine: zero,” going on to explain that his plan exempts small businesses.

McCain looked stunned for a few seconds after that, and responded “Hey Joe, you’re rich, congratulations.” (more…)