1 - LATINOS, ELECTIONS AND IMMIGRATION REFORM
2 - MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION CALLS "DRUG WAR" INTO QUESTION
1 - LATINOS, ELECTIONS, AND IMMIGRATION REFORM
Some Republicans are worried. Only 27% of Latino voters supported Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy, and that number includes all the wealthy and historically Republican Cuban-Americans in southern Florida and New Jersey. Latinos accounted for 10% of presidential ballots and are the fastest growing segment of the electorate, leaving Republicans scratching their heads over their newly recognized "demographic problem." Suddenly, the party of "self-deportation," increased border security, and overt racism is trying to "reposition." Even right wing acolyte Sean Hannity of Fox News has "evolved" on immigration reform - only two days after the stinging national defeat. Republicans and Democrats alike are rushing to see who can roll out the welcome mat for 12 million undocumented workers living in the shadows, though always with their own political fortunes in mind.
Within hours of the election, the "demographic problem" captured the attention of commentators and party hacks across the spectrum, but the mainstream analysis of this phenomenon is wrong on two accounts. First, the immigrant rights movement didn't suddenly become a force with Romney's election defeat, nor as a result of Obama's political machine. In 2006, immigrants organized the largest public demonstrations in the history of this country. About 12 million people took to the streets protesting the draconian Sensenbrenner Bill that would have made undocumented status a felony. In 2009, a small but growing group of DREAMers began to come out of the shadows. Risking deportation to countries they hadn't known since they were small children, the DREAMers put a human face on undocumented status. This courageous group of youth deserves front row seats at the negotiating table, if comprehensive immigration reform is truly on the agenda. Their moral authority made this issue a subject of dinner table conversations, and a bunch of "Johnny-come-lately" politicians interested only in their own political hides should not be allowed to hijack it.