The Texas Standard – Wet Foot/Dry Foot Policy for Cubans

By DrVMDS on January 13, 2017

Latino Pulse: Obama Bids Adiós With Optimism, Warning on Race

By DrVMDS on January 11, 2017

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Class was in session. In his farewell address to the nation President Obama was the consummate professor — reviewing what the basis of our Democracy is and what we have accomplished in the span of 240 years, while reminding us that change is painful, slow, and even sometimes regressive.

The history lesson was interesting. But it just wasn’t wonkiness for wonkiness sake. President Obama’s deliberate review of the bones of our democratic system and our genesis as a country provided a big picture. And this broad overview was targeted to a very specific group of Americans – all of the ones that voted against President Elect Donald Trump.

President Obama’s take home message was “it’s going to be OK”—our political system can be shaken but its foundations are strong.

For the first several minutes of President Obama’s speech we were planted into a seat of American History 101. He reminded us that the birth of our country is the triumph of a republic over a tyranny and the drive to achieve a more perfect union. At the same time the President highlighted that our democracy does not guarantee uniformity and that while it can take two steps forward it also takes steps back. Continue Reading

Lack of Latino Nominees in Trump’s Cabinet Is Not Surprising

By DrVMDS on December 29, 2016

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet is almost complete. And there’s no denying its diversity — that is of the billionaires and just plain multi-millionaires, as former Obama adviser David Axelrod pointed out.

The incoming Cabinet is set to be the least racially and ethnically diverse in close to three decades. And as far as Latinos — zero — not one has been named. To put things in perspective, Latinos constitute over 17 percent of the population. Multimillionaires and beyond constitute a fraction of 1 percent of the population.

Recently there’s been some half-hearted flirtation with former California Lt. Gov. Abe Maldonado and former Texas A&M President Elsa Murano for agriculture secretary but I’m not holding my breath.

Since 1988, a Latino has had a seat at one of the most powerful tables — the American presidential Cabinet. President Ronald Reagan was the first to appoint a Latino, Lauro Cavazos as secretary of education. In all, 12 Latinos have served in presidential Cabinets. With seven appointments, the Democrats edge out the GOP’s five appointments. The highest-ranking Latino in a Cabinet position, in terms of line of succession, was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who served in the George W. Bush administration. Continue Reading

The Businessman President Should Leave Sanctuary Cities Alone

By DrVMDS on December 5, 2016

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com

President-elect Trump’s immigration enforcement is about to come to a city near you, well, at least if you find yourself in one of the 300 sanctuary cities across the country.

What is a sanctuary city? There’s not one official definition but it’s basically municipalities that don’t alert federal authorities about people in their city who lack legal status or go out of their way to find them.

Beyond the shorthand of what side of the immigration debate you’re on—if you want to build the wall or prefer comprehensive immigration reform—most of us aren’t versed in the policy technicalities of how extensively local and federal immigration law enforcement authorities work together. It’s not a one-size-fits all concept.

Nevertheless, President-elect Trump on his first day in office will cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities. Just to name two of the biggies, there’s Los Angeles receiving half a billion and New York with $10 billion in federal funding.

President-elect Trump’s punishment to sanctuary cities is both steep and nonsensical.

To begin, sanctuary cities are not a shield against deportation. If a person is undocumented and resides in one of the 300 sanctuary entities, they do not get a “pass.” Federal immigration law enforcement can come to a person’s home, work, you name it, and execute a deportation order anywhere in the United States. Continue Reading

MSNBC’S Alex Witt: Sanctuary Cities

By DrVMDS on November 27, 2016

These 3 Swing States Show the Diversity of ‘The Latinos’

By DrVMDS on November 3, 2016

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Donald Trump might refer to the Latino community as “The Hispanics,” but the more than 57 million people and 27 million eligible voters are hardly a monolith.

So if we really want to understand “The Latinos” or the Latino vote, let’s look at three states – Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina. They’re swing states where their different Latino populations will play a pivotal role on Election Night. Continue Reading

MSNBC’S Tamron Hall – Latino Turnout

By DrVMDS on October 25, 2016

MSNBC’s Morning Joe – Trump Chooses Bad Hombres Over Big Tent

By DrVMDS on

Too Bad Trump Chose ‘Bad Hombres’ Over ‘Big Tent’

By DrVMDS on October 21, 2016

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com

As a child of the 1990s I appreciated the Three Amigosesque reference to the bad hombres Trump made in the final presidential debate.

The famous (or infamous) Donald Trump has come full circle. He launched his campaign over a year ago railing against Mexico sending immigrant “rapists” and drug dealers. More than a year later his closing pitch to the American public is his insistence he’ll keep out the bad hombres.

That’s too bad, and it’s too bad for his party. Continue Reading

The Real Meaning Behind “That Mexican Thing”

By DrVMDS on October 6, 2016

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

There were numerous memorable moments in the first and only vice presidential debate. But one phrase stole the show and will live in perpetuity in the annals of political memes -”That Mexican Thing” or the complete version – “Whipping out that Mexican thing again.”

After more than 20 years in politics Democratic vice presidential candidateTim Kaine has surely been accused of many things, but “whipping out that Mexican thing” was not one of them, at least until the vice presidential debate.

Kaine, a U.S. senator from Virginia and former governor, was recounting offensive statements made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, to which Indiana Gov. Mike Pence responded with the now infamous meme.

The double entendre of “whipping out that Mexican thing” is irresistible and really quite funny. After the silly giggle moment, then there’s the realization that this is a platter of red meat for the base that thinks that Democrats are whiners and obsessed with multi-culti kumbaya fuzziness.

But scratch below the surface and Pence’s remark is a profound statement about the foundational aspect of the Trump-Pence campaign. The GOP presidential campaign is one that has been built upon “otherization” — driving a wedge among people. Continue Reading

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