Archive for the ‘Latinos’ 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?


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:

 Immigration embers could turn into political fire for Obama

La Raza has a new best friend at Justice


Why Has Obama Ignored Latinos for Top Jobs?

December 5, 2008

About four years ago, I wrote a column praising President Bush for appointing Latinos to the Cabinet as he began his second term. The most obvious example was Bush’s decision to nominate Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, which many liberals would insist was a big mistake.

Alberto Gonzales

I disagree. But that’s an argument for another time.

This much can’t be argued: Gonzales represented a major breakthrough. You see, all Cabinet posts are not created equal and, before Bush broke the barrier, no Latino had ever been nominated for one of the top four jobs — defense, state, treasury, or attorney general.

A whole succession of presidents — including Democrats such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton — who had munched nachos and posed with mariachis on the campaign trail, and enjoyed substantial support from Latinos, had somehow missed the opportunity to seat a Latino at the grown-ups’ table. Imagine that.

In that column, I also mentioned Bush’s decision to nominate Cuban-born Carlos Gutierrez to be commerce secretary. I had a line that read something like: “Commerce secretary isn’t chopped liver.”

A liberal reader who was obviously intent on denying Bush credit for anything positive wrote back, “Sorry, but commerce secretary is chopped liver.”

I stand corrected.

By Ruben Navarrette Jr.
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Read the rest:

New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson arrives to the University ... 
New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson arrives to the University of the Americas in Cholula, Mexico, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008. Richardson, who grew up in Mexico, visited Mexico one day after he was chosen as the next commerce secretary by President-elect Barack Obama, amid concerns in Mexico about whether Obama will try to renegotiate parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)