Why Supreme Court Immigration Decision Is Best Possible Outcome

By DrVMDS on June 27, 2016

This post originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Heartbreaking, was how President Obama described the Supreme Court decision that keeps his immigration executive orders blocked. It is indeed a heartbreaking outcome but politically it was the best possible outcome for undocumented immigrants and supporters of immigration reform.

Politics is a long, slow, iterative game. Last week’s decision keeping in place an injunction on deferred deportation action for childhood arrivals and for the parents of citizen children allowed immigration reform to dodge a potentially lethal bullet and to see a more permanent solution develop.

On the surface it seems that the lifting of the injunction would have been the best outcome. This would have been the worst. Continue Reading

Is This a Second Chance for Rubio?

By DrVMDS on June 25, 2016

This post originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Marco Rubio has thrown his hat in the ring for the Senate race that just a couple of days ago he shunned. He enters the race a front-runner, but just barely. The obstacles that face him are not just numerous but messy.

The fact that Rubio has changed his mind and decided to run for the Senate instead of becoming a private citizen is not surprising. He is a political animal with the highest of political ambitions — his run for the presidency a case in point. And add to that a hard sell by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and fellow GOP colleagues to stay on.

There’s no question as to the motivation for Rubio to seek out a second chance. The question is whether Florida voters are willing to give him a do-over. And in deciding that, here are a couple of questions Floridians will have to ask themselves:

Are we just a consolation prize? Continue Reading

Latino Democratic VP Pick? Betting Odds Are On…

By DrVMDS on June 17, 2016

This post originally appeared on NBCNews.com

First things first. Vice presidential picks don’t make or break the election for the top of the ticket.

Research shows that there is no home state advantage and that the percentage of people who cross party lines because of a vice presidential pick is well below one percent. Yet vice presidential picks are important because of the defense they can provide. That is especially the case this year where it is going to get very ugly very quick.

Hillary Clinton will need a seasoned, suave, and ruthless attack dog. So far about two-dozen names seem to fit that bill. Though Sen. Elizabeth Warren is often mentioned, most of the possible picks are men. Three of them—Julian Castro, Thomas Perez, and Xavier Becerra—are Latino.

The likelihood of Clinton choosing a Latino are as good if not slightly higher than her choosing a white male, female or African-American running mate. There are pros and cons for choosing someone from each of these groups.

However, what I am willing to put money on is who the Latino nominee is if she goes with a Latino VP pick. Continue Reading

Latino California and a Look Into the Nation’s Future

By DrVMDS on June 4, 2016

This post originally appeared on NBCnews.com

In the last two years Latinos in California surpassed non-Latino whites. Demographics may not be destiny, but California sure gives us a big clue of what Latino politics nationally will mature into. So as the Golden State comes into the spotlight for it’s June 7 primary, it is useful to look a little deeper into its Latino political dynamics. Continue Reading

MSNBC’S Morning Joe: Can Latinos Look Past Trump’s Tone?

By DrVMDS on June 3, 2016

Think Trump Won’t Get Latino Voters? Not So Fast

By DrVMDS on May 26, 2016

This post originally appeared on NBCnews.com

There is no more hoping and dreaming by the GOP establishment that they can grab a big chunk of the Latino vote in 2016.

Building on George W. Bush’s 2004 Latino vote share of 44 percent will have to wait, again.

But not all hope is gone. While most Latinos don’t love Trump as he asserts – let’s be very clear about that – he’ll be likable enough. I think he’ll at least get a quarter of the Latino vote—what Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney received. In fact, he may just surpass Romney and flirt with thirty percent.

The most recent NBC News/WSJ poll has Trump with 20 percent of registered Latino voters. The most recent Fox News Latino poll has him with 23 percent of the Latino vote.

At first blush it doesn’t make sense that someone who characterizes Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists and who leads supporters to chant about building a nonsensical wall on the U.S.-Mexico border could garner any Latino support.

However there are a couple of interrelated reasons that explain why Trump will get around the same amount of Latino love as the last GOP presidential candidate.

Latinos are not homogeneous Continue Reading

Susana Martinez, the Yin to Donald Trump’s Yang?

By DrVMDS on April 25, 2016

This post originally appeared on NBCnews.com

If Trump clinches the Republican nomination and names Gov. Susana Martinez as his running mate it would be sheer genius. According to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly there is only one choice for Trump’s running mate – and that is the New Mexico Latina governor.

Easier said than done. Following O’Reilly’s comments the Governor’s Press Secretary said she had no intention of entering the fray as a vice presidential candidate. Not surprising given Martinez endorsed fellow Latino Republican Marco Rubio and denounced Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants even leaving open the possibility that she wouldn’t vote for him.

While it would be a heavy lift to get Martinez to say “I do,” she would do wonders for Trump, but not exactly for the reasons that O’Reilly cited, such as her ability to “cut across all ethnic boundaries…” Continue Reading

On Immigration, Remittances and Walls Miss the Point

By DrVMDS on April 14, 2016

This post originally appeared on NBCnews.com

Trump’s plan to pay for the border wall is seductively simple. He proposes holding hostage remittances – the money immigrants in the U.S. send back to their countries. The idea is that Mexico is forced to pay the ransom by footing the bill for the border wall. This may sound good to some, but if something seems too easy or too good to be true, it probably is. More importantly, it misses the point of why immigrants are willing to overstay a visa or cross the border in the first place.

But first, about Trump’s plan. If border fence advocates scratch half a millimeter below the surface what they’ll find is a plan that completely ignores macroeconomic theory and turns a blind eye to logistical nuts and bolts.

Let’s start with the logistics. What Trump calls for is for every cent that is wired out of the United States to be tracked by companies such as Western Union. More specifically he stipulates that the blockage of remittances be policed by these companies where they would have to determine who was in the country legally and illegally.

We’re talking about $25 billion. And as President Obama responded to the idea of tracking remittances, “good luck with that.” Continue Reading

MSNBC’S Alex Witt: Trump’s Plan to Pay for the Wall

By DrVMDS on April 9, 2016

From Arizona’s Immigration Legacy to Trump

By DrVMDS on March 26, 2016

This post first appeared on NBCnews.com

Arizona is the birthplace of the Trump phenomenon.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then Governor Jan Brewer, and former state senator Russell Pearce, the author of SB 1070, all lovingly nurtured a babe born of anti-immigrant sentiment. Now that baby is all grown up and his name is Donald Trump.

Donald Trump burst onto the political scene last summer claiming thatimmigrants were rapists, drug dealers and all around bad people. Trump doesn’t limit his discourse to immigration but the issue has become the core of his political brand.

The upcoming primary in Arizona reminds us that Trump’s immigration rhetoric isn’t coming out of the blue. The most recent incarnation of anti-immigrant rhetoric targeted at Latinos stems from the 2010 Arizona law spearheaded by the then GOP governor and legislature. Senate bill 1070 sought to do exactly what the GOP presidential frontrunner is extolling – get rid of all “the illegals.”

Arizona’s Senate bill 1070 had various parts all aimed at driving out undocumented persons. There were a number of state penalties related to federal immigration law. Then there was the “show me your papers” provision where local and state law enforcement were required to act as immigration agents if an individual was suspected of illegally being in the country.

The unintended (or intended) consequences of racial profiling are not to be missed. There was a lot going on in this anti-immigrant omnibus bill but the bottom line was that the state wanted to make the enforcement climate so unbearable that immigrants would ultimately self-deport.

Republican-led copycat bills soon followed—Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah. And trailing these mega anti-immigrant bills, smaller-scale ones followed. In the wake of the Tea Party revolution anti-immigrant sentiment was red-hot.

The streak of anti-immigrant legislation started to cool in 2012 in wait of the Supreme Court’s SB 1070 decision. That summer the core components of SB1070 were struck down. However the “show me your papers” provision was upheld in that a person could be asked for resident documentation during a lawful stop.

Arizona kicked off a bold anti-immigrant rhetoric which tamped down to an inside voice after the Supreme Court decision. Today, Trump has blasted the anti-immigrant volume back up to 11.

Sheriff Arpaio and Governor Brewer are both back in the national spotlight after having endorsed Trump. And it now looks like state level anti-immigrant legislation is getting a second wind with a visible uptick of immigration bills since Trump announced his candidacy.

The resurgence of Trump’s anti-immigration platform was inevitable. Trump, just as Arizona’s SB 1070 is the result of our elected officials not passing comprehensive immigration reform. Until a holistic solution is found to our broken immigration system we will continue to see the offspring of Arizona’s SB 1070 long after Trump has come and gone.

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