Archive for the ‘La Raza’ Category

Obama Believers Thought They’d Hear More On Immigration By Now

March 23, 2009

Obama is willing to spend.  He’s working on the econoy.  And in every second breathe he mentions health care, education, energy and climate change.

What happened to immigration reform?

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Gregory Rodriguez
Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2009

Ithought U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. was a little over the top last month when he called us “a nation of cowards” for our collective failure to adequately discuss our troubled racial past.

Less than a month later, officials at his Justice Department are believed to have pulled the plug on the nomination of Thomas Saenz, chief counsel to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to head the department’s civil rights division. Why? Apparently because of Saenz’s past advocacy on behalf of immigrant rights.

You read that correctly. Saenz’s past professional civil rights activism has evidently disqualified him from being the nation’s top civil rights enforcer. If it’s true, it’s a decision that may be a troubling sign for those hoping President Obama is committed to comprehensive immigration reform.

Don’t go looking for public griping from Latino members of Congress on the Saenz incident. On Wednesday, in what from all accounts was a love-fest between Obama and the entire Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the president reaffirmed his commitment to … comprehensive immigration reform. In a breathless news release, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) cooed that “the American people are fortunate to have a president ready and willing to tackle the big issues of the day.” In a telephone media briefing, leaders from some of the nation’s most prominent immigrant rights organizations practically held hands and sang “Our Guy.”

But just below the buzz of news releases and sound bites, some officials and advocates who care most about immigration reform are worried. True to form, irascible Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina was the only high-profile elected official to speak out. She was quoted as saying Saenz had been offered the nomination and accepted it. That the administration canceled the deal, she told the blog of the Legal Times, “speaks volumes of the lack of courage of the administration.” Ouch. Several other activists expressed their own concerns to me off the record.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/c
ommentary/la-oe-rodriguez23-2009ma
r23,0,1356.column

Related:
 Immigration embers could turn into political fire for Obama

La Raza has a new best friend at Justice

Immigration embers could turn into political fire for Obama

March 22, 2009

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, already burdened with pushing through the president’s massive agenda, seem to be sidestepping the issue of illegal immigration.

But with Hispanics expecting big things from the party they helped put in control of Washington last year, fancy footwork won¹t be enough. Hispanic lawmakers went to the White House last week to find out why Obama’s overflowing agenda left out the immigration reform he promised during his campaign.

By Susan Ferrechio
The Examiner

Days before, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had drawn criticism when she told an audience in San Francisco that some raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency are “un-American” because they separate illegal immigrant parents from their U.S.-born children.

The remarks brought quick denunciations from opponents of illegal immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

But putting a halt to such raids has been one of the top priorities for Hispanic leaders. At their meeting with Obama last week, the Hispanic lawmakers managed to get the president to pledge that he is “pursuing ways”
to end such raids.

That may be the closest Obama gets to reforming immigration anytime soon.

“Immigration reform makes Social Security reform look like a walk in the park,” said former Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas., who chaired the House Democratic Caucus from 1999-2003. “It is the single toughest, meanest subject Congress has to deal with. Given the scope of the problems they are facing right now it would be very hard to put immigration reform into the mix.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/
politics/Immigration-embers-could-tu
rn-into-political-fire-41631172.html

Related:
 La Raza has a new best friend at Justice

immigrants protest INS raids
“Stop the racist raids” signs are held by Latino activists as they protest recent immigration raids across the country at a demonstration and news conference in front of the downtown Federal Building December 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (File photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

La Raza has a new best friend at Justice

March 22, 2009

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Maryland Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was met with “profound disappointment” by the National Council of La Raza. The Latino advocacy group would have preferred another candidate.

But La Raza will get over its disappointment once they learn more about Perez. Maryland is one of three states that gives driver’s licenses to people without worrying if they recently snuck across the border. Perez, a former Clinton administration official, lives in Takoma Park, Md., a “sanctuary city” that allows illegal immigrants to vote in local elections. He’s also a former president and board member of Casa de Maryland, a nonprofit group that receives millions of tax dollars — in addition to a $1.5 million donation from Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

Casa is suing Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, the first Maryland sheriff to participate in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) program, which deputizes local police forces to enforce federal immigration laws. In just 10 months, 309 of 337 illegal immigrants arrested in Frederick have been slated for deportation — including MS-13 gang members, a Nicaraguan sniper, and others with drug, child abuse, rape and burglary convictions.

On March 4, Sheriff Jenkins told the House Committee on Homeland Security that his first 287(g) case involved a man caught driving drunk in a school zone. For doing his job and protecting his community, Jenkins now stands accused by Casa of breaking the law.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa, Ariz., is also under investigation — by the same Justice Dept. office that Perez will soon head — for alleged racial profiling in dealing with illegal immigrants. His accusers include Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, whose city has become America’s kidnapping capital — where drug cartel thugs intimidate terrified Mexican nationals. Ten Republican congressmen warn that targeting Arpaio will have a chilling effect on other law enforcement agencies battling Baghdad-like levels of drug violence now spilling over our southern border.

James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation says only a three-pronged approach will quell this ongoing invasion: Beef up law enforcement in Mexico, promote strong community policing in border states, and follow up with integrated prosecution efforts at the federal, state and local levels. “Without those three things, you don’t have a strategy,” Carafano says. With Perez at Justice, La Raza will be pleased to learn, at least two of these essentials will go by the boards during the Obama administration.

The Examiner
http://www.sfexaminer.com/opin
ion/41604157.html