Tag Archives: New American Voters

White House contradicts Senator Reid on Immigration, Common Sense

white house

Yesterday, Roll Call broke the story of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs saying that immigration reform in 2009 was “unlikely” and remarking that there weren’t the votes necessary to pass legislation. The truth is, however, that this flies in the face of common sense and the momentum that has been built since the failed attempt at reform in 2007.

Senator Harry Reid recently acknowledged that comprehensive immigration reform was, in fact,  likely in 2009. Although skepticism over the number of votes has dogged the legislation, Reid knows that the votes are gettable – but we have to push.

He added that although the legislation does not have the backing of all Democrats, the bill will overcome the obstacles that stymied the failed 2007 reform.

The majority leader said he has “no doubt” he could find as many as a dozen Republicans who support the measure to make up for defections in Democratic ranks.

“We can’t deport 11 million undocumented people, we can’t do it physically and financially, as some would want,” Reid said. “Immigration is the strength of our country, we bring waves of people to our country who excel in education and the workforce, and that’s good.”

With Reid working from within Congress, and the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign building momentum on the ground, there is little reason to doubt that we will have the votes necessary when legislation hits Congress.

Not to mention that the politics of the game have changed. In 2007, we didn’t have the broad, strong coalition of faith, labor and community leaders from across the country. We didn’t have the pressing economic need of bringing millions of workers out of the shadows, increasing tax revenue and raising wages across the board. We didn’t have the decisive votes of Latino and New American voters that we saw during this past election, making the constituency most supportive of immigration reform a political priority for the administration.

All of this and the GOP is in a state of disarray – launching outrageous attacks at the latest Supreme Court Justice and still reeling from their loss during the last election (how many times did we warn them that using immigration as a wedge issue was political suicide)?

As Deepak Bhargava recently said in a piece about the urgent need for immigration reform:

Opposition to reform is increasingly the lonely province of a small but vocal and powerful group of extremists whose messages becomes more and more hateful by the day

With all of these factors at play, reform is inevitable. It will be a matter of whether lawmakers are brave enough to stand up for reform this year or are unwilling to see how urgently America needs this legislation. We have the votes, we have the momentum, the time is NOW.

New American Voters: This Election’s Soccer Moms

vote-aquiReports are pouring in from all over about the impact of the immigrant and Latino vote on yesterday’s elections.

From CNN:

Latinos are responsible for Obama’s victory in New Mexico and contributed strongly to his margins in Nevada and Colorado. In New Mexico, Latinos constituted 41 percent of the electorate and voted for Obama by a 69 percent to 30 percent margin; white voters in New Mexico supported McCain 56 percent to 42 percent.

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Exit Polls: New American Voters in New York

From the Community Values Vote e-day blog:

Norman Eng with the NY Immigration Coalition shares what his organization is doing on Election Day to monitor the polls:

Exit poll data-entry teams camped out in the NYIC’s conference room.

It’s a busy day at the New York Immigration Coalition, to say the least. In addition to making a final push to get immigrant voters out to the polls today, we’re coordinating the citywide New Americans Exit Poll to track the voting behaviors and opinions of New York City voters, with an emphasis on voters in immigrant communities.

We have more than 120 exit pollsters stationed at 32 sites throughout the city, teams of runners and poll supervisors, and an army of data entry folks camped out in our conference room and cubicles to input the survey results as they roll in.

This is the fifth time we’ve run the exit poll. Past poll results have shown that, in New York City, two out of three first-time voters are foreign-born; in other words, immigrants are the driving force behind the expanding electorate here.

We expect to be here late into the evening inputing data, and we’re excited to release the findings on Thursday. Thanks to Barnard College, Columbia University, the City University of New York, and the New York Latino Research and Resources Network for sponsoring the poll!

New Immigrant Voter Story: Irma Palacios

Irma Palacios came to the United States from Mexico and last July she became a naturalized citizen of the irma1United States. Like many new citizens, she immediately registered to vote – she was eager to be a part of the democratic process.

This morning she cast her ballot for the first time. The smile on her face speaks to the empowering and joyous experience of first-time voters across the country.

Irma, like so many other immigrants, truly reflects the American Dream.

Yesterday, she marched. Today, she voted.

New American Vote Trumps Nativist Dogma

Angela Kelley has a great piece up at the Huffington Post about the New American voters and their power to overcome divisive anti-immigrant rhetoric during the upcoming election.

FBI reports don’t get a lot of attention, especially in the final days of a Presidential election season, but this week’s release reporting on a 40% increase in anti-Latino hate crimes should at least give us pause. The report’s findings are consistent with the swelling nativist movement that has become larger and more vitriolic in recent years and its impact undeniable as anti-Latino hate crime incidents reach unprecedented levels.

The nativists, ranging from skinhead extremists to your everyday politician or cable news anchor, and fueled by an administration myopic in its pursuit of deportation only proposals, are taking its toll on the immigrant and Latino community. A September survey by the Pew Hispanic Center shows half of all Latinos, immigrant and non-immigrant, say that their situation in this country is deteriorating and is worse now than it was a year ago. One-in-ten Hispanic adults–native-born U.S. citizens and immigrants alike–report that, in the past year, the police or other authorities have stopped them and asked them about their immigration status.

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New American Voters: How Immigrants will Define this Election

Last week, the Immigration Policy Center realeased their latest report, The New American Electorate: The Growing Political Power of Immigrants and their Children. Their finding have identified a new and powerful voter bloc in the United States – the “New Americans”, who are immigrants or the children of immigrants born after 1965.

According to the report, these voters are growing fast and gaining serious political power in the US – and 2008 will be their breakout year:

  • Record-Breaking Naturalization Rates. There are roughly 3 million more naturalized citizens eligible to vote now than there were during the last presidential election in 2004.
  • Turbo-Charged Registration Efforts. The 2006 immigrant mobilizations spurred this year’s ambitious voter-registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns, including the We Are America Alliance and “Ya es Hora, Ve y Vota” .
  • Record Turnouts Expected. Latino turnout may hit record highs in 2008, surmounting the 7.6 million Latino voters who turned out in 2004.

Not only will these voters be turning out in record numbers, but one of their top issues is, you guessed it, IMMIGRATION. The much-avoided topic of the 2008 season will be a major decider in how the New Americans vote on November 4th.