Tag: Republican Party and Latinos

De Leon: The ARMS Act Does Not Make Sense

The Adjusted Residency for Military Service Act – the ARMS Act – is a pruned version of the DREAM Act. It gives undocumented youth a chance to legalize their status if they join the military, but there are no benefits for pursuing higher education.

Block on Payroll Tax Cut Means GOP Hands Latino Vote to Dems. (Again.)


A paycheck for zero dollars. (Photo: Jima/flickr)

Stalled in Congress is a bill which extends the payroll tax cut for two months, thanks to the intransigence of a handful of House GOP freshmen.  If the measure is not passed by the end of the year, 160 million of us will see our paychecks cut by an average of $40. Those among us who access Medicare and unemployment benefits will also suffer greatly.

Among the millions who will have less money to survive on are Latinos and other immigrants who are here legally or are naturalized citizens.  Many will be voting come November and rest assured, they will have immigration and bread and butter issues on their minds.

Latinos are the poorest according to the Census’ Supplemental Poverty Measure. Over six million Latino children, more than any other group, are living in poverty.  The net worth of Latino families shrank the most during the Great Recession. The payroll tax cut, which may seem paltry to wealthy lawmakers, makes a huge difference to struggling families.

Rational conservatives are lambasting their mulish comrades. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board warns that if this impasse is not breached, Republicans might as well gird themselves for a second Obama term. Even some GOP senators who fear losing their seats next November have spoken out against their counterparts in the lower chamber.

If they’d like a chance of winning any Latino votes in 2012, House Republicans should heed these warnings.

More than 6.6 million Latinos – about seven percent of all voters – voted in last year’s midterm elections. Many more are expected to turn out for next year’s presidential and general elections. Who do you think they will vote for?

You can follow Erwin de Leon on Twitter or read his blog.

Feet in Two Worlds is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Sirus Fund.  Feet in Two Worlds podcasts are supported in part by WNYC, New York Public Radio.

De Leon: Both Parties Propose Immigration Bills But Pass None

Amid rumors that Congressional Democrats will introduce an immigration bill before the year’s end, an update on Republican bills on the hill.

Arizona Senate Race Could Be First Test of Republicans’ New Approach to Latinos

The Arizona Senatorial primary pitting incumbent John McCain and right-wing challenger J.D. Hayworth could become a test for the Republican Party’s future relationship with Latino voters.

Conservatives Try to Woo Latinos to GOP and Republicans to Immigration Reform Camp

CPAC 2010 illustrated the conundrum the immigration issue presents Republicans on the face of a growing Hispanic electorate.

Mel Martinez's Decision To Leave Senate May Add to Growing Gulf Between Latinos and GOP

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
The New York Times

Sen. Mel Martinez - Photo: The New York Times

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) announced Tuesday he will not be seeking reelection to a second term in 2010.

Coming after dismal results for his party among Hispanic voters both in Florida and nationwide, his decision bolsters the sense of a growing gulf between Latinos and the Republican Party.

Martinez “was seen as vulnerable in a state that has been tilting Democratic, particularly among Latinos,” The New York Times said. After decades of staunch Hispanic support for Republicans in Florida, this year 57 percent of them chose Democrat Barack Obama over John McCain.

“The GOP should find the Hispanic defection in Florida particularly troubling,” wrote Sun Sentinel columnist Kingsley Guy. “Historically, Republican presidential candidates have carried the Hispanic electorate, for years dominated by Cuban-Americans who supported the GOP’s tough-on-Castro policies. Attitudes are changing, however.” The main reason for the low level of Hispanic support, he added, was the virulent debate on immigration reform, which “soured Hispanic voters on the GOP.”

Paradoxically, despite having supported comprehensive reform of immigration laws, Martinez — a Cuban who arrived in the U.S. at age fifteen — appears to have been at least partly a victim of that souring.