Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto


Victoria is a political scientist that got the political nerd bug in middle school student council. Today she hangs her hat at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and engages in political wonkiness on MSNBC, NBCNews.com, and Telemundo among others. more→


Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding the politics, policies and people that shape our fascinating yet frustrating political landscape. Her areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women, political psych, & elections.

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Recent Media

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Freedom of speech. It’s a pretty big deal; that’s why it’s the First Amendment of our Constitution. But according to one Texas legislator the First Amendment doesn’t apply to you if you look Latino.

On the last day of the Texas legislative session hundreds of protesters filled the Capitol to protest the recent signing into law of SB4, a measure that goes into effect this fall. Activists were dressed in red, waved banners and chanted their opposition to theĀ law. It was boisterous, but nothing that the Legislature hadn’t seen before. It was, pure and simple, an exercise of free speech.

But Dallas County Republican state Rep. Matt Rinaldi seems to have an uninformed view of the Constitution. Rinaldi, a supporter of SB4, didn’t like what he was hearing from the protesters so he called immigration authorities.

Rinaldi sent out a statement saying he made the call.

Several members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus recounted that Rinaldi, “came up to us and said, I’m glad I just called ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to have all these people deported.”

On Tuesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an e-mailed statement “ICE is not aware of receiving any calls related to this matter.”

There was no way for Rinaldi, or anyone else, to know who was undocumented or not. The crowd was overwhelmingly Latino and that was enough for the lawmaker to assume the need for a round up and mass deportation. (more…)