Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkdin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Hide Buttons

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Latino USA Community Weighs in on Trump vs. Ramos

Unless you are literally not on social media, you must already know about last night’s press conference confrontation between Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. After Ramos was escorted from the room and before he returned to the press conference, a video of a Trump supporter telling Ramos to “get out of my country” has also emerged. Our team shared all these videos and links in the last 12 hours, and we asked our community: What do you think? What follows are comments from our Facebook page and Twitter account. In short, the vast majority of followers sided with Ramos and supported him.

From Jennifer Duronio: “I too hope Univision doesn’t let this go. Jorge Ramos is an esteemed journalist deserving of all due respect, even if Trump doesn’t want to answer his questions.”

From Rachel Garcia: “Where are all the other journalists standing up for our guy Jorge????? He’s a very established and respected journalist for decades and no one even blinks!”

From Roberto Icon:“THIS will trigger a war between Trump and Univision. Univision has the power to move masses against Trump of course. He seemed to forget how Obama won the past two elections.”

From Angel Partida: “Did any other members of the so called media even ask the same question? Or were scared they would also be ejected? I’m curious…”

From Stella Stella Bobella: It’s almost surreal the way it really deeply offends some people, to have to face & accept ‘foreigners’ who are US citizens. It must be easier for them to justify hate on someone undocumented, but those who have the audacity to be legal citizens??! I find them greedy, ignorant, and without class (to put it mildly). I know many agree, yet the socially conscious, the compassionate, progressive minds are not as loud as these others. That is all people who support Trump have: loudness. It will be an utter tragedy (for lack of a better word), if the rest of us let something so weak and ridiculous, as terror screams and tantrums, lead to the damage OUR country beyond repair. We *must* get out to vote. Some things do work themselves out- this, is not one of those things. Regardless of how bored w/politics, politicians, or the news in general we may be, pretending it’s not our problem, will lead us deeper into far worse problems we won’t be able to escape. Vote!”

You can read additional comments at this Facebook post, as well as this one.

Twitter was no different, as many expressed the same support for Ramos:

@TesaChambers tweeted this:

This is what @quinteroclan said:

Finally, @librotraficante shared this meme:

Maria Hinojosa also tweeted several times last night:

Maria’s tweets generated several responses:

I shared a quote Ramos gave in Spanish during the Univision broadcast, which I loosely translated into English:

That tweet also many responses, as expected. Here is just a sample of those responses:

What do you think of last night’s press conference? Tweet @LatinoUSA or me @julito77.

‘Anchor Babies’ Dominating Presidential Politics

The last 24 hours have seen the immigration debate quickly shift from questions of birthright citizenship to the semantic debate of how one should describe those children born in the United States to noncitizens.

With Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush using the term “anchor babies” in a radio interview he gave yesterday (“If there’s abuse, if people are bringing — pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be greater enforcement. That’s [the] legitimate side of this. Better enforcement so that you don’t have these, you know, ‘anchor babies’, as they’re described, coming into the country.”), political opponents and those who believe that “anchor babies” is a derogatory term have been calling out the Florida governor, who last year said that those undocumented parents who come to this country do it as an act of love for their families.

The same day Bush said “anchor babies,” fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump also used the term, when he said, “There’s a very big question to the anchor babies,” and repeated the term several times after that.

This afternoon, Bush told reporters in New Hampshire he didn’t regret using “anchor babies” in his interview. This is what The Hill reported:

“Do you regret using the term ‘anchor babies’ yesterday on the radio?” one reporter asked.

“No, I didn’t — I don’t, I don’t regret it. No, do you have a better term?” Bush retorted.

“I’m asking you…” the reporter began to respond.

“You give me a better term and I’ll use it, I’m serious,” Bush said.

“Is that not bombastic language, ‘anchor baby?’ Is that not bombastic?” another reporter questioned.

“No, it isn’t. Give me another word,” Bush replied.

“Here’s the deal, what I said was it’s commonly referred to that, that’s what I said, I didn’t use it as my own language,” he added.

“What we ought to do is protect the poor kid. You want to get to the policy for a second? I think that people born in this country ought to be American citizens.”

CNN also published a video of Bush’s comments to reporters:

When news of Bush’s exchange started making the rounds, the Twitter profile of Hillary Clinton tweeted this:

In addition, Trump was challenged today by ABC News’ ABC’s Tom Llamas when asked if the candidate thought the term was offensive:

Last year, CNN’s Chris Cuomo used the same term several times on live TV and eventually had to issue an apology.

What do you think of this debate? Add your comments below or tweet me @julito77.

Gallup’s Latest Immigration Poll May Surprise You

Earlier today, Gallup released the latest results of an ongoing poll about immigration—a topic GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush described as a “wedge issue” during last week’s Republican debate.

Bush’s “wedge issue” characterization is not that far off, if you take into account what Gallup shared as part of its Minority Rights and Relations survey. Here is the topline:

“The U.S. public demonstrates no clear preference on what U.S. immigration levels should be. On this contentious issue, 40% say levels should remain where they are, but only slightly fewer (34%) advocate a decrease in the stream of immigrants. One-quarter of the country prefers an increase in immigration levels, the sole response of the three to see a general increase in support over the past 15 years.”


If you look back to the beginning of when this poll started, the push for less immigration peaked at 58% in 2002 a few months after the 9/11 attacks. Support for more immigration was only at about 8% around the same time. Why the changes 13 years later?

Could it be that this country has is getting more and more Latino? More from Gallup:

“Preferences for changes in immigration levels vary considerably by the respondents’ race or ethnicity. Hispanics —half of whom say they are immigrants themselves— are most likely to say immigration levels should be increased (36%), while non-Hispanic whites offer the least amount of support for that proposition (21%). Blacks fall in between the two, at 30%. Despite these differences, the overall trend is similar for all three groups. Support for allowing increased immigration levels hit a low ebb for all races/ethnicities in the years immediately after 9/11, and climbed to new or nearly new highs in 2015.”


Nonetheless, does this mean that immigration and the politics surrounding this very contentious topic will begin to show some signs of alignment? It is too early to tell, but a Pew poll from late spring would suggest that the “wedge issue” will still remain a “wedge issue” for the 2016 elections, especially when the topic of immigration focuses on the issue of the country’s undocumented population. A few things to note about the Pew findings:

“…most Americans (72%) continue to say undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. should be allowed to stay in the country legally, if certain requirements are met.”

“About half (51%) say immigrants today strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents, while 41% say immigrants are a burden because they take jobs, housing and health care. The share saying that immigrants strengthen the country has declined six percentage points since last year.”

“A majority of Republicans (56%) support a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. At the same time, far more Republicans say immigrants are a burden on the country (63%) than say they strengthen the country (27%).”


So the question remains: where does this country stand on immigration? Depending on who you support and how the immigration picture is presented, this “wedge issue” is just as partisan as it has ever been.

What do you think of the Gallup and Pew polls? Tweet me @julito77 with your thoughts or add your comments below.

Main photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images. Charts via Gallup and Pew.

Rubio Calls for Three Steps to Immigration Reform

Last night during the New Hampshire 2016 Republican Candidates “Voters First Forum,” Florida senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio was asked about immigration. Here is a clip of what he said via C-SPAN:

Breitbart posted a full transcript of Rubio’s response. What follows is an excerpt of Rubio’s initial comments:

“[Immigration] cannot be fixed in one massive comprehensive piece of legislation. There is only one way forward, and it will require three steps, and they have to happen in the following sequence. First, we have to prove to the American people that illegal immigration is under control. It’s not good enough to just say, ‘We’re going to pass a law that will bring it under control.’ People demand to see it. They want to see the fence. They want to see more border agents. They want to see more drones and cameras and ground sensors. But they also recognize that over 40% of the people in this country illegally entered legally, and overstayed a visa. And that’s why we need an electronic verification system that employers must comply with, or they will be heavily fined. And that’s why we need an entry/exit biometric system at our seaports and airports. So that we know when people are overstaying visas and we can identify them. That is the key that unlocks the ability to make progress on anything else when it comes to immigration.”

Although Rubio was one of the senators who pushed for a bipartisan Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill which passed the Senate in the summer of 2013, he also kept asking that more changes be made to the bill before a formal vote. For example, in the spring of 2013, Rubio issued a statement about the bill. In that statement, he said this:

We have made substantial progress, and I believe we will be able to agree on a legislative proposal that modernizes our legal immigration system, improves border security and enforcement and allows those here illegally to earn the chance to one day apply for permanent residency contingent upon certain triggers being met. However, that legislation will only be a starting point.

Has Rubio (who has seen his poll numbers slipping) changed his views on immigration reform from the days of the Gang of Eight or are his words from New Hampshire last night a refinement of what he was saying in 2013?

Latino USA reached out twice to the Rubio campaign to see if it could elaborate on the senator’s most recent comments, but as of this posting, the campaign has not responded. (If the campaign does respond, we will share any updates.)


Daniel Garza, Executive Director of the LIBRE Initiative, a right-leaning Latino empowerment and voter outreach organization, shared the following with Latino USA about Rubio’s immigration stance:


“I think it’s good for the Latino community to have one of their own, as a top-tier candidate, bringing pragmatic ideas. Much of what he has expressed and his narrative, is one that is common to us. Senator Rubio spoke out on the issue of immigration, and showed leadership, even when it was unpopular for those in his own party.  And while the passage of the Senate bill was a step in the right direction, many understood the bill was not perfect and that improvements were needed.

While Senator Rubio has expressed mistrust over the Administration’s ability to honor the legislation as passed, he has also made his sentiments clear—the need for reform has not diminished. Regrettably, when House leadership began to advance ideals, with the release of their principles, they were met with threats and eventual Administration action by the President, which ended the debate in Congress.  It was an outcome many predicted.  Congress must act to provide the legal avenues necessary to absorb the current undocumented population, accommodate for future immigrant flows, and address the issues on the border. Each part is essential.”

Nonetheless, Democrats are using Rubio’s New Hampshire comments to claim that Rubio has always been out of touch with U.S. Latino voters, even though the Florida senator is of Cuban descent. Pablo Manriquez, the Democatic National Committee’s Hispanic Media Director, told Latino USA the following:


“Last night in New Hampshire, Marco Rubio proved just how far he’s run from the reform bill he once supported by giving a lengthy response to an immigration question in which he used the word ‘citizenship’ exactly zero times. Before that he called for ‘less Sotomayors’ on the Supreme Court. Sadly, Marco Rubio’s 21st Century agenda is a comprehensive push backwards on everything from marriage equality, on the Affordable Care Act, on women’s rights, and more. Latino voters deserve better.”

Writer and political observer Adriana Maestas indicated to Latino USA that Rubio has indeed moved away from his initial Gang of Eight efforts:


“Marco Rubio is trying to distance himself from the work that he did with the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill that he voted for in 2013 and that did have a path to citizenship, albeit a long and arduous road. Rubio is essentially pandering to the Donald Trump wing of his party asking for more border agents, drones and ground sensors at a time when the border is already heavily monitored.  

The Border Patrol is already the largest law enforcement agency in the country and has been plagued with criticisms of misconduct. Instead of asking for accountability and showing fiscal  restraint, Rubio’s rhetoric falls in line with the priorities of his donors in the private prison industry.”

Immigrant reform advocate Frank Sharry of America’s Voice has followed the immigration politics of Washington for years. When asked about what Rubio said last night, this is what Sharry said to Latino USA:


“Rubio championed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis. It combined three elements – enforcement, legal immigration reforms and a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million. Then, when his polls in early primary states seemed to take a hit, he came out against a comprehensive approach. 

Now he says we have to do the three elements in sequence, when he knows full well that such an approach would never, ever pass the Congress. The Republicans are too divided and the Democrats are too united. The only thing that can pass is comprehensive immigration reform —with all Democrats and some Republicans— but only if Republican leaders step up and lead rather than turn tail and run. Rubio was a champion of the cause. Now he’s a traitor to it.”

Stephen A. Nuño, associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University and a contributor at NBCNews-Latino, explained to Latino USA that Rubio “failed miserably” last night:


“Marco Rubio failed miserably last night in his discussion on immigration. His message was the same throwback message of the GOP since the Prop 187 debate in California 25 years ago. The GOP lost that debate already. He’s essentially Donald Trump with good hair.”

What do you think of Rubio’s immigration position? Tweet me @julito77 with your thoughts or add your comments below.

Three Takeaways About Florida Latino Voters

Last Friday, the Pew Research Center released its latest findings about Florida’s Latino voters. The headline read, “Democratic edge in Hispanic voter registration grows in Florida,” and although that conclusion was not surprising (President Obama won Florida both in 2008 and 2012), I spent a bit more time examining Pew’s latest numbers and also discussing the data with Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew’s director of Hispanic research. Here are three takeaways about the Latino vote in Florida from the Pew information that I think are important to discuss:

Latinos with no party affiliation outpace Latinos who are registered Republicans. Most people who follow politics might not know this, but it is worth repeating: according to a 2012 Gallup poll, 51% of U.S. Latino voters identify themselves as political independents. However, Gallup noted, “once [Latino voters’] partisan leanings are taken into account, most Hispanics affiliate with the Democratic Party (52%) rather than the Republican Party (23%).”

Interestingly enough, a similar pattern has evolved in Florida when it comes to U.S. Latino voters. Here is what Pew said about the period between 2006 and 2014: “…the number of Hispanic registered voters increased by 56%, while the number of Hispanics identifying as Democrats or having no party affiliation each increased by about 80%.” It also added this graphic to emphasize the point:


Another way to look at it is via pure raw numbers: If there were 313,000 Florida Latinos who registered with no party affiliation in 2006, that number almost doubled (575,000) in eight years. That’s a net number increase of 262,000. Conversely, there were 414,000 Florida Latinos who registered as Republican in 2006. In 2014, that number is at 471,000: an increase of just 57,000. Why the sudden increase? How “independent” are these voters: are they Democrats in disguise or are they Republicans in hiding?

“Perhaps this information about the rise of voters who have registered with no party affiliation presents an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to actively reach out to these voters, especially in a close presidential election in Florida,” Lopez said.

And you wonder why Florida is a swing state.

Another point Lopez made about this rise of non-affiliated voters might have to do with young voters in Florida who haven’t chosen a party yet. Nonetheless, Lopez reiterated that these latest numbers can signal to both Democrats and Republicans that there are plenty of Latino votes up for grabs in the Sunshine State.

Miami might be more “independent” than you think. Pew also focused on three big counties in the state: Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade. As Pew stated: “…In Miami-Dade County –home to 46% of the nation’s Cuban-American population– Republicans still outnumber Democrats among Hispanic registered voters. In 2014, there were 265,000 Republicans and 218,000 Democrats.” Furthermore (based on the graphs below, see Miami-Dade on the right), is that the number of Latino voters in Miami-Dade who claim “no party affiliation” is greater than those who registered as Democrats:

Puerto Ricans moving to Florida are tipping the scales. It’s no secret: Puerto Ricans are leaving the island in record numbers (see reasons here) and moving to the mainland. Not surprisingly, Florida has become a top destination. It is estimated that about 300,000 Puerto Ricans live in Central Florida, while the overall population of Puerto Ricans in Florida is now at about 900,000 boricuas and growing. In this latest report, Pew noted the following: “In 2013, Cubans made up a smaller share (31%) of Hispanic eligible voters –adult U.S. citizens– in Florida than they did in 1990 (46%). Meanwhile, over the same period, Puerto Ricans made up a larger share of the state’s Hispanic eligible voters, rising from 25% to 29%.”


Another tidbit from Pew about this takeaway: “The share of Hispanic eligible voters of other ancestry (such as Mexico and South America) has also increased, from 29% then to 40% today.”

“This other group is everyone from Mexicans to South Americans who have become U.S. citizens,” Lopez said. “It is a very diverse of other groups, but by far Cubans and Puerto Ricans are the largest groups of Hispanic voters in Florida, and they are the ones driving the most Hispanic voter registration and outcomes.”

Pundits who continue to focus the conservative side of Miami as being the only source of political influence in the state when it comes to national presidential politics, might need to start looking past that. In fact, Pew noted, “Cuban Americans and their politics are also changing. This group increasingly leans toward the Democratic Party as more are born in the U.S. In addition, due to an influx of Cuban immigrants since 1990, a sizable majority of Cuban Americans today say they have at least some common values with people living in Cuba.”

“Miami-Dade is a Hispanic-rich district, the largest in the state,” Lopez said. “But even in Miami-Dade, we are seeing political partisanship in registered voters changing. Democrats have made inroads in registrations and there has been very little growth for Republicans in the same period of time.”

Let me know what you think of these takeaways or what Pew said in the full report. You can tweet me @julito77.


The ‘Must Read’ Pieces About Puerto Rico’s Crisis

If you have been following what is happening in Puerto Rico the last few months (or maybe you haven’t), I thought I would provide with a series of recent links and MUST READ pieces that will give you a better perspective on the current economic crisis down on the island. Curating this list of recent op-eds, news articles and even a few videos will hopefully leave you a bit more informed about Puerto Rico—my place of birth, the place I was raised (with a future stop in the Bronx) and a topic I have been studying/covering as a student/blogger/journalist since the late 1980s.

puerto rico flag

So what is the latest from San Juan? Here is what Bloomberg reported this past Friday:

Puerto Rico said it won’t make a bond payment due Saturday, putting the commonwealth on a path to default and promising to initiate a clash with creditors as it seeks to renegotiate its $72 billion of debt.

The government doesn’t have the money for the $58 million of principal and interest due on Public Finance Corp. bonds, Victor Suarez, the chief of staff for Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said during a press conference Friday in San Juan.

“We cannot make the payment tomorrow because we do not have the funds available,” Suarez told reporters. “This payment will be made as we address how to restructure the government’s debt prospectively.”

In short, Puerto Rico cannot pay its debt. What this means is still open for discussion, but that is where we are at right now. (FYI: Of all the U.S. English-language news outlets out there, Bloomberg’s coverage has been pretty stellar in the area of financial reporting. If you go to this link, you will see almost daily stories about Puerto Rico. So, to get a strong sense of the financial implications of this crisis, read Bloomberg or follow @business on Twitter.)

Puerto Rico Struggles With Impending Debt Crisis

Right now, a lot is being written and produced by U.S. English-language media about the crisis. Most of the stories are very informative, like this piece in last week’s Guardian, which breaks down what the hedge funds involved in Puerto Rico are recommending for the island. These are the same hedge funds who have been visiting the island and meeting with elected leaders, former politicians and government officials for a while now. Other good stories include a July 3 news article in The New York Times, a front-page Times article from June 28 and a July 17 article from AJ Vicens of Mother Jones. In addition, I just saw this digital video from NBC News, which gives you a Puerto Rico 101 take on it all.

Puerto Rico is indeed getting more coverage and attention, especially in light of the 2016 presidential race. The political press now understands that Puerto Rican voters in Florida matter. Just yesterday, Martin O’Malley became the first Democratic presidential candidate to visit the island, and even though Republican candidate Jeb Bush was technically not a candidate when he visited Puerto Rico in April, he was the first candidate from either party to say that the island’s public agencies should be allowed to seek bankruptcy. Last week, Bush said this to Telemundo’s José Díaz-Balart about Puerto Rico: “I believe that since [Puerto Rico is] a territory for U.S. citizens, they should receive the respect first for self-determination, and then we should assist them as much as we can in their economic crisis.”

Which leads me to my main point and why I decided to write this post in the first place. For the best information about how to understand the crisis in Puerto Rico, read what actual Puerto Ricans are writing and saying, too. When I tweeted this in early July, I meant it and I still do:

So, if I could choose five essential pieces that you should read right now, here they are. (One thing to note: I am presenting these five pieces because they offer a variety of opinions about the topic. This necessarily doesn’t imply that I am fully endorsing all the views of the writers here, just that I do think that these five links will give you a very good picture of the situation and the challenges involved.)

Puerto Rico’s Symbolic Power by Maritza Stanchich: This July 31 piece published in HuffPost Politics is one comprehensive op-ed. (Full disclosure: Maritza and I are friends). This well-researched and well-argued piece rests on the one very simple question that Maritza poses near the end of her essay: “Now that Puerto Rico is no longer important as a capitalist showcase and U.S. military and intelligence outpost of the Cold War era, are its U.S. citizens expendable?” 

Statehood Is the Only Antidote for What Ails Puerto Rico by Pedro Pierluisi: The island’s Resident Commissioner (a non-voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the leader of Puerto Rico’s statehood party) wrote a July 10 op-ed in the Times where he makes this an issue of equality: “Puerto Rico’s illness is a chronic condition. The unemployment rate, poverty rate and median household income have always been far worse than any state’s. The main cause is inequality. Residents cannot vote for president or senators, and have one nonvoting delegate in the House. It is disheartening to see many self-styled progressives, who otherwise speak eloquently about the importance of voting rights, go silent on this subject when it comes to Puerto Rico.”

Puerto Rico in crisis: weighed down by $73bn debt as unemployment hits 14% by Ed Morales: Morales, who has written a few pieces this summer for The Guardian about Puerto Rico, filed this June 28 article from San Juan. Here is a part of his central thesis: “The current debt crisis is largely assumed to have resulted from years of irresponsible borrowing by the Puerto Rican government, as if it were a consumer using one credit card to pay off another. But the US government deserves a considerable share of the blame. The Jones Act that gave Puerto Ricans US citizenship in 1917 in effect made Puerto Rico a US dependent. Puerto Rico’s government cannot make trade agreements with other countries. No trading ships can dock in its ports without flying the American flag.”

What a federal financial control board means to Puerto Rico by Gretchen Sierra-Zorita: The Hill published this op-ed on July 25 (yes, Gretchen is a friend, too and also contributed this earlier article for Latino Rebels). It focuses on what few are talking about: what if the federal government formed a control board for Puerto Rico? The article basically says that politicians must begin to put Puerto Rico first: “But the most important condition for Puerto Rico to succeed is for all its elected officials to show commitment to economic reform even if means losing the next election. This is what Washington and Wall Street expect. This is what the people of Puerto Rico deserve.”

What Exactly Is Going on in Puerto Rico? by Luis Gallardo: This July 21 essay, published in La Respuesta, includes detailed commentary and analysis. I even quoted Gallardo in my own July 23 Guardian op-ed: “Government inefficiencies, paternalist politics, clientelism, and short-term politicking are the primary causes of Puerto Rico’s public debt; characteristics that would persist no matter the island’s political status.” 

If you want to get into deeper historical conversations and discussions about this topic, I will also share the two recent media appearances I made about Puerto Rico. The first one is of me rambling on for 20+ minutes on Houston’s Pacifica Radio (yes, I did say Spanish Civil War and not Spanish American War at one point) from about two weeks ago:

Last Thursday, I was also part of a Nerding Out show on MSNBC Shift:

In addition, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez spoke twice on the floor of Congress last week about the issue. This is the first video.

This is the second one.

Let me know what you think by tweeting me @julito77.

Maria Hinojosa: ‘The Latino Vote Can Be Energized’

This morning on Up with Steve Kornacki, Maria Hinojosa discussed the 2016 presidential race with the panel. Besides saying that the next election could be a defining moment for U.S. Latino voters (“The Latino vote can be energized”), Maria discussed Jeb Bush’s candidacy as well as pointing out an issue few are discussing in the political media: Hillary Clinton’s current strategy with the U.S. Latino electorate and whether the current Democratic front-runner has had a “watershed moment” with a group estimated to be about 8% of the nation’s voters. Here is the full clip (about seven minutes long):

What do you think of what Maria had to say? Tweet me @julito77 with your thoughts.

Maria Hinojosa on Melissa Harris Perry #Nerdland

In case you missed Maria Hinojosa today on Melissa Harris Perry, no te preocupes, don’t you worry. Our team gathered all the six clips from this morning’s show where Maria was part of the #nerdland table. The panel talked about Barack Obama’s “4th quarter surge,” prison reform and immigration. Here are the clips, in order of appearance.






Maria Hinojosa Talks Trump on Meet the Press

Earlier this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press, Maria Hinojosa, host and executive producer of Latino USA, was part of the show’s weekly panel. Our team gathered the clips from the show, and we wanted to share them with our listeners. Here they are.

In this first clip, MTP’s Chuck Todd asked Maria about Donald Trump, who made an presidential campaign appearance in Phoenix, Arizona, yesterday.

Later in the show, Maria talked about why elected officials and presidential candidates, both Republicans like Scott Walker and Democrats like Hillary Clinton, are staying relatively quiet about Trump’s controversial statements about Mexicans. (Update: Clinton gave a new interview later today with CNN, where she addressed Trump’s comments.)

Maria and the panel also discussed their reactions to South Carolina’s decision to take down the Confederate flag from its state capitol. Even in that conversation (which had occurred at the top of the show), it was hard to avoid the topic of Trump, given that South Carolina governor Nikki Haley was talking about healing and unity in a previous interview.

Finally, Maria also talked about the New South, after historian Doris Kearns Goodwin shared her views about South Carolina’s historic moment.


Chuy and the battle for Chicago

Latino USA visits the Windy City for a behind-the-scenes look at Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s campaign for Mayor of Chicago. Chuy has represented Mexican neighborhoods in Chicago in local government for over three decades, and on April 7th, he’s going up against national political star Rahm Emanuel in an election that has been electrifying Chicago.

Chuy Garcia is out-gunned, outspent and down in the polls, but a grassroots movement to elect him is growing, and if he can get his message out to enough voters in time, he just might have a chance.

In this episode: we follow Chuy and his staff on the campaign trail in the lead-up to the election as we ask the question: what does it look like when a Latino runs for mayor in one of America’s greatest cities?


Breaking: Queergyztan Declares Independence

For our fiction edition, Latino USA producer Camilo Vargas takes a shot at news parody by reporting on the foundation of a gay state:

Representatives from gay districts of the world’s capitals have announced the foundation of the gay nation of Queergyztan after a brunch near UN Headquarters in New York. The announcement comes after a sweeping wave of anti-gay legislation in Central Africa, Australia and several US states.  The queer founders initially vetted buying islands from troubled economies like Puerto Rico, Spain or Greece. But Western powers decided the new gay nation will be located at the heart of the Persian Gulf, where permitted homosexual activity was first documented in ancient Assyrian-Mesopotamian territories. The new rainbow shaped nation will form a tri-national border with Kuwait, Iraq and Iran. Newscaster Satireus Temple-Arcton reports the historic declaration and the responses from world leaders. Latino USA producer Camilo Vargas gets reactions from the streets of New York.


Frank Garcia Hejl

Our “newscaster” is Frank Garcia Hejl, a writer and actor in the New York sketch group Onassis. He is also a member of the UCB weekend team Bucky. His favorite film of all time is a tie between Ghostbusters and Gremlins. Seriously. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in Sociology and English.






C4_CamiloVargasHeadShotCamilo Vargas went from his native Colombia to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He joined Latino USA after a fellowship with Univision Noticias and Univision’s Investigative Unit. Before coming to the US, Camilo was a researcher in conflict studies and US-Latin America relations for the Colombian government and the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota.




Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images



Latinas Represent: Putting Latinas In Power

There have been over 12,000 members of Congress in U.S. history, only 10 of them Latinas. Currently, only one percent of Latinas living in the U.S. hold political office. This year, a national group called Latinas Represent is setting out to change that–to help elect more Latinas to office and to support those women that make it there successfully. Lesley McClurg reports

 Photy By Tony Fernandez/AFP/Getty Images


McClurgLesley McClurg is a reporter and producer for Colorado Public Radio’s daily interview program, “Colorado Matters.” She came to CPR after getting her start in public radio as a freelance reporter and producer for KUOW in Seattle, Washington.In addition to her work as a journalist, Lesley also has extensive experience in documentary filmmaking and writing. A seven-time Emmy Award nominee, she won an Emmy Award in 2009 for the documentary, “Green Prison Reform.” Lesley holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Louisiana State University

Photo by Wikimedia user Vcelloho

The Drop In Deportations

The Latino vote helped re-elect President Obama in 2012. Yet despite Latino support, the Obama administration has been responsible for a record number of deportations, on track to reach the 2 million mark sometime this year.

However, deportations fell slightly in 2013.

So…should advocates renew their faith in Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of immigration reform?




Disappointment across the aisle


Graca Martinez, an organizer with United We Dream, says she’s upset with President Obama’s deportation policy.


“He promised the first year of his presidency to give us immigration reform and here we are in his second term and he’s given us nothing,” says Martinez.”


In fact, the president’s immigration policies displease people across the political spectrum.


Raul Grijalva was one of 29 democratic congressmen who signed a letter asking for the deportations of non-criminals to be halted. He says the administration has fallen into a Catch-22.


“Now they find themselves with no political response on the other side and owning a policy that’s deported more people than in the history of the country,” says Grijalva.


Republican congressman Mario Diaz Balart is critical of the president’s deportation policy.


“He said that he was not going to deport folks that didn’t have serious criminal records, he is deporting record numbers of people, many of which have families in the United States and have not committed serious crimes,” says Balart.


Looking ahead


There could be movement on immigration reform this year.


House Speaker John Boehner continues to support tackling immigration reform in a piece meal fashion.


In the meantime, democratic congressman Luis Gutierrez argues the president should stop breaking immigrant families apart through deportations.


“This isn’t amnesty, this isn’t a permanent solution,” says Gutierrez, “this is a temporary solution that allows you to say, ‘I’m going to protect you in the place you’re at right now, you don’t get to travel, you don’t get to vote, you just get to stay with your family in a safe place.”


The immigration reform effort is further complicated by this year’s midterm elections.


Some reform advocates hope Hope Republicans will be more open to compromise after primary season.


Now it’s a waiting game to see whether President Obama is remembered as the president who tackled immigration reform or the one who carried out a record number of deportations.


Blogging from Cuba

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo is a Cuban blogger, activist, and editor of Cuba’s first digital magazine Voces. Maria Hinojosa talks to Pardo Lazo about blogging and writing in Cuba, the democratic potential of the Internet, and Pardo Lazo’s impressions during his first trip to the United States.

00570032Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana. He graduated with a degree in biochemistry and later became a writer, photographer and blogger. He founded the independent literary digital magazine Voces, Cuba’s first digital magazine. He is the other of numerous works of short fiction and manages the blog Lunes de Post-Revolución (in English – Post Revolution Mondays) as well as his photoblog Boring Home Utopics.

Does Immigration Reform Still Have A Pulse?

Is immigration reform alive and well in Congress? Or is it walking dead? Host Maria Hinojosa talks with Bob Naerebout, executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, about the business and moral reasons he went to Washington to keep reform alive.

 Photo courtesy of Rob Crawley.

Bob-photoBob Naerebout is the executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association.


THIS WEEK'S SHOW: In this week's show,…

This Week's Captions: Money...

THIS WEEK'S SHOW: From Puerto Rico to…


Audio visual notes for the hearing impaired.

Join the conversation

© 2015 Futuro Media Group

Contact /

Your privacy is important to us. We do not share your information.

[bwp-recaptcha bwp-recaptcha-913]

Tel /

+1 646-571-1220

Fax /

+1 646-571-1221

Mailing Address /

361 West 125st Street
Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10027