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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

NPR’s Latino USA Wants YOU for Our Politics Show

In a few weeks, NPR’s Latino USA will produce its first politics show of the 2016 election cycle. Our focus will be on the U.S. Latino vote, and we are asking our listeners to help. Producer Fernanda Echávarri explains in this video:

Send your voices memos to We want to hear from you!

Featured image: David McNew / Getty

Conservative Latinos Draw Line on Immigration

Saying that certain immigration proposals “are not in line with [their] principles” or “in the best interest of the country,” the executive director of one of the country’s top Latino conservative political organizations published an open letter today, explaining that his group will reject any immigration reform proposal that includes “an end to the longstanding practice of birthright citizenship in the United States” and “the mass deportation of millions of immigrants and U.S. citizens, particularly those who have obeyed U.S. laws and contributed to society since arriving in the country.”

Daniel Garza, executive director of the LIBRE Initiative, released a “An open letter to all Americans,”  via an email press release and on LIBRE’s site. NPR also reported the news of Garza’s letter earlier this morning. The letter begins: “In recent days there has been public attention to America’s immigration system, and many proposals to amend the system have been discussed.”  The complete letter is available on LIBRE’s main site:

In a conversation with NPR, Garza said: “If you’re somebody who’s proposing bad policies, we’re going to call you out. Period, without regard to political consequences, what the political winds are. We are going to stand on sound ideas and sound policy.”


Latino USA connected with LIBRE with the hopes of talking directly with Garza. His schedule wouldn’t allow for a phone call, but he did provide answers to two questions sent to LIBRE  via email:

Latino USA: The letter does not mention any specific candidates, but it does seem to address the current comments made by candidates such as Donald Trump and other GOP candidates who have spoken about birthright citizenship and deportation. Is this letter a direct rejection of Trump’s comments?

Daniel Garza: This letter is about immigration reform. It’s about ideas and policy proposals. The letter is a direct rejection of any policy approach that may be overly costly to taxpayers, and goes against the sentiment of the majority in the U.S. who support the integration of undocumented immigrants to our country. The LIBRE Initiative has and continues to support efforts to achieve immigration reform that benefits our country, economy and population.

LUSA: What does LIBRE plan to do so that such policy suggestions do not become part of a national GOP platform? Will it be spending money to educate voters about LIBRE’s specific position?

DG: The LIBRE Initiative’s main focus has always been to promote the ideals of a free society, thus we intend to continue our work in educating our community on economic freedom and limited government—regardless of the policy stances elected officials may take. We’ll continue to drive ideas in a variety of ways, including through our events and a host of other outreach efforts.

The organization’s Facebook page, which has more than 382,000 likes, also posted news of the open letter, eliciting over 70 comments. Reaction to the open letter was mixed:

“Then we will keep on getting the disaster we have now. This was the biggest incentive for foreign females to get into the USA, have the child, and get immunity from deportation. What a stupid concept, how did the American people ever allow this to get started.”

“Señor LIBRE, por favor, the issue of “mass deportation” is a fallacy. Let’s face this with honesty. It is a stigmatizing slogan meant to appoint bigotry onto the Republican Party. More specifically, the Caucasian contingent of the conservatively principled, and TEA Party supportive Americans. The Leftist contrived mantras of ’round em up’, ‘put them in boxcars’, and ‘mass deport them all’ were conjured up to distract and conceal the realities of the federal government intentionally and willfully appropriating themselves justification to continue facilitating illegal immigration – and all for its own purpose. Attrition through enforcement (mass enforcement of American immigration law) will begin the processes of migrants voluntarily leaving to reconsider their re-entry into the US. The undocumented immigrant foreigner will experience and understand for himself the significance, the impotence and the need to enter the United States through the available legal means. The US immigration system is not broken. What is broken is the federal will to enforce the laws. It is the only factor in the system that has been intentionally damaged (to a halt) by the DC Establishment Cartel. The national focus should be placed there, to have it become the impetus toward a primary correction that would then lead to addressing other needs.”

“The American taxpayer cannot be everything for everybody. We need to put America and Americans first.”

“Really disappointed with the amount of outrage and personal attacks on this comment thread. So many people claim to be for free markets but then indulge in knee-jerk support of big government solutions that are impractical—like mass deportations that would cost in the hundreds of billions.

LIBRE is considered by many political observers as an influential group, having gained the attention of Democrats due to highly-publicized reports that LIBRE receives funding from the Koch brothers and is making inroads with U.S. Latinos. According to its website, “LIBRE is dedicated to informing the U.S. Hispanic community about the benefits of a constitutionally limited government, property rights, rule of law, sound money supply and free enterprise through a variety of community events, research and policy initiatives that protect our economic freedom.”

Garza’s letter comes at a time when Trump’s net unfavorable with U.S. Latinos is at –51%, according to a recent Gallup poll.

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.



Governor Mitt Romney has often mentioned his family connections to Mexico—which earned him criticism for either not highlighting his heritage or for using it to simply score political points. Host Maria Hinojosa explores the Mexico issue by talking to a satirical twitter incarnation of the candidate called Mexican Mitt.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Check out Mexican Mitt’s video debut below:

Noticiando: RNC, Recapped

This year’s Republican National Convention was one day shorter and the party’s presidential candidate was officially nominated during the first 24 hours. So what’s the point of all the spectacle and symbols? And what kind of message is the GOP crafting for and about Latinos? Univision News political editor Jordan Fabian tells us his impressions.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Jordan Fabian is the political editor for Univision News’s English-language portal. Prior to joining Univision in 2011, he worked as a staff writer at The Hill newspaper in Washington, DC where he covered Congress and the 2012 presidential campaign. Jordan has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News and C-SPAN, and has contributed to a number of nationally-syndicated radio programs. He also freelanced for Hispanic Business magazine. Jordan hails from Olney, MD and is a lifelong resident of the Washington area. He graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor of arts in history.

The Miseducation of Ana Tijoux

French-Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux talks to Latino USA producer Nadia Reiman about how politics and books have influenced her music, and about what she wants to contribute to the South American hip hop music scene.

Click here to download this week’s show. See below for Ana Tijoux’s video, “Shock,” for Puente Arizona.

Nadia Reiman has been a radio producer since 2005. Before joining the Latino USA team, Nadia produced for StoryCorps for almost five years, and her work there on 9/11 stories earned her a Peabody. She has also mixed audio for animations, assisted on podcasts for magazines, and program managed translations for Canon Latin America. Nadia has also produced for on None on Record editing and mixing stories of queer Africans, and worked on a Spanish language radio show called Epicentro based out of Washington DC. She graduated from Kenyon College with a double major in International Studies and Spanish Literature.


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