October 19, 2010

true latinos don’t vote for fake gringos

Latinos, Don’t be Taken for Granted.
This November, DON’T VOTE.

Latinos for Reform logo

It’s an election year, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to hear promises about immigration reform. What is surprising, however, is that these politicians really believe that they can continue to make these promises during every campaign season without delivering on them – and that we continue to allow it.

During the 2008 elections, President Obama and the Democratic leadership made a commitment that mmigration reform would be passed within a year. Convinced by these promises, Latinos voted for the Democratic presidential and Congressional ticket in droves. Two years later, these lawmakers have not only failed to deliver on this promise; they intentionally undermined even the smallest of reform efforts.

Senate Democrats were successful in their efforts to sabotage Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) by tying the DREAM Act to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the Senate. Rather than present a stand-alone bill, Senate Democrats used a procedural vote that they knew would be defeated. That now allows the Democrats to hide behind “Republican opposition” as an excuse to avoid CIR while allowing them to continue to demagogue the immigration issue. Once again Democrats tried to pull the wool over our eyes.

One has to wonder: Why do the same lawmakers who decided to “go it alone” on health care reform and the economic stimulus refuse to do the same on comprehensive immigration reform? Why do these lawmakers believe that they can simply blame a lack of bipartisan support for not passing CIR when they have not needed bipartisan support to pass their other political priorities? Do these lawmakers really believe that their “key” voting block for the upcoming elections will support them without taking action?

Clearly, we have been betrayed by the democratic leadership. And now, when they need our votes, they are at it again with more empty promises. We need to be asking ourselves: Are we tired of politicians playing games with our future? Do we really think it will be different this time? Do we want Congress’ attention and respect on the issue that many of us care about the most? How many times will we sit idly by and allow this to happen? If we have any chance of making our voice heard, then we must be willing to take dramatic action.

Democratic leaders had two years to push for comprehensive immigration. It turned out that their efforts were scant: all talk and no action. The saddest part of all is that we are acting like we have no choice but to continue supporting the same politicians that will continue to tell us what we want to hear during campaign season and then ignore us once they are in office. But we do have a choice.

This November we can send a message to all politicians: If they didn’t keep their promise on immigration reform, then they can’t count on our vote.

If we just go on supporting them again this November after their betrayal, they will keep playing games with our future and taking our vote for granted. If our votes really matter to them, then we must teach them that they will have to deliver on their promises. We will no longer support them if they are going to ignore us once they get our votes.

When you cast your vote for Governor, Mayor, school board, etc., be counted – but do not vote for Congress this November. This is the only way to make sure they understand that we will no longer vote for them when we get nothing in return.

You have heard the old idiom: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Now is the time for Latinos to decide what role they will play in America’s future and what we want politically. If we sit idly by and vote for the same lawmakers that ignore us once in office, we will just get more of the same. If, however, we don’t vote for these politicians, then we will command the attention and respect of both sides of the aisle.

This is the only way to make them stop taking us for granted.

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