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  • Barack Obama Orders Immunity for Young Immigrants

    In late 2010, the House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act, so-named because it was always a complete fantasy for a far-reaching piece of legislation to make it past the dysfunctional Senate, where 60 votes are needed to shut off an opposition party filibuster. The bill would have extended conditional legal status for five years to undocumented immigrants who were younger than 16 when they entered the country, have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, and earned a degree from a U.S. high school.

    Needless to say, the DREAM Act died a quiet death in the Senate and moldered beneath America's Latino-manicured lawns until it was resurrected, today, in the form of an executive order by President Obama…

    Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official announcement.

    Unlike a legislative solution, this action offers no path to citizenship — it's neither amnesty nor legalization, but merely a semi-permanent stay of deportation — but it still represents good news for friends of Jesus.

    Firstly, because there are few things more unChristian than deporting young people to countries they may not even remember. Secondly, because Jesus has positively working his ass off, getting a GED, joining the military, and trying to start his own restaurant, despite a lack of documentation, and why would we ever want to be rid of this cool guy?

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Barack Obama, Dream Act, Hispanic, Immigration, Latino
  • Pizza Patrón's Spanish Language Promo Es Muy Controversial

    What's more American than ordering a pizza? Nothing. Not even béisbol or apple cinnamon churros. But that's not what some uptight patriots are saying after hearing about Dallas-based pizza chain Pizza Patrón's new promotion to give away a free pepperoni pizza on June 5th to anyone who orders in Spanish

    "Maybe they thought it was a cute thing to do, but I think it's discrimination," says Marcela Gomez, president of Hispanic Marketing Group, a Latino marketing firm in Nashville. "As an advertising agency, I would never recommend this to my client."

    Marcela Gomez must not watch the popular TV show Hombres Locos. If there's one thing lead character Juan Jamon says, it's that there's no such thing as bad press, especially when it annoys conservatives…

    One conservative group doesn't like it, either. "It seems to punish people who can't speak Spanish, and I resent that," says Peter Thomas, chairman of the Conservative Caucus, which advocates English as the nation's spoken language. "In public areas, people should be speaking English, and that includes pizza parlors."

    Pizza Patrón seems to love raising cejas. The restaurant also recently announced that they'd begin accepting pesos as payment. I don't know about you, but finding a peso seems a lot harder than Googling a Spanish translation of "I'd like to order one pepperoni pizza, please."

    Mr. Thomas does have one thing right, though. People should be speaking English in public areas, including pizza parlors. In fact, why are we even calling it a pizza? That's eyetalian. We should be calling them freezzas, because this is the land of the free.  Where anyone can start a business and market themselves to whomever they want, as long as they don't speak any other language.

    Photo by Dave Einsel/Stringer/Getty Images/Getty Images


    Tags: American, Conservatives, Food, Hispanic, Latino, Racism, Texas
  • Mitt Romney Dips His Toe into Marco Rubio's Immigration Plan

    Florida Senator Marco Rubio has the unenviable job of helping rally Hispanic voters for Mitt Romney. And after months of Romney trying to out-extreme his fellow candidates on the issue of illegal immigration, the two sure have their work cut out for them

    For months, Romney repeatedly sought to outflank his opponents on the issue: chiding Texas Gov. Rick Perry for favoring in-state tuition breaks for the children of illegal immigrants, vowing to veto the DREAM Act that would have allowed citizenship for certain students who joined the military or attended college, and suggesting that Arizona’s controversial approach to rooting out illegal immigrants could be "a model" for the nation.

    Romney's opposition to the DREAM Act is that it would create a special class of immigrants whose citizenship was fast-tracked, which is an uncharacteristically daring statement grounded in what appears to be an actual opinion.

    Rubio's own immigration plan, on the other hand, would decriminalize the status of illegal immigrants who join the military or enter college, and then put them on a list for citizenship behind legal immigrants. That sounds like something Romney would unequivocally support in an indeterminably vague way…

    "I’m taking a look at his proposal," he said. "It has many features to commend it, but it’s something that we’re studying."

    He said that before the November election he would lay out "a whole series of policies" on immigration, adding that "how we adjust our visa program to make it fit the needs of our country is something I’ll be speaking about down the road. But I don’t have anything for you on that at this stage."

    That was close. For a moment it looked like he was going to get behind a plan of action. It's much too soon in the game to be doing that. Even President Obama knows it takes at least one full term before you can really start to say what you think.

    Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Hispanic, Immigration, Latino, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Republicans
  • GOP's Plan to Win the Latino Vote: Ignore All Vaguely Latino Issues

    With their tough stance on illegal immigration, opposition to the DREAM Act and general disregard for lower-income families, Republicans seem like natural enemies of the Latino community.

    Despite these differences, the GOP is trying desperately to win them over. Meet Bettina Inclán, the Republican in charge of convincing Latinos to vote against their own interests

    In late January, on the eve of the Florida primary, Bettina Inclán, the 32-year-old head of Hispanic outreach for the Republican National Committee (RNC), appeared on Fox News opposite progressive activist Simon Rosenberg to discuss the Latino vote…

    Inclán's strategy during the Fox News segment seemed clear: She gamely tried to direct the conversation toward just about anything other than the GOP candidates' views on immigration. When Rosenberg brought up Romney's "anti-immigrant, anti-Latino" campaign, Inclán… smiled and responded by criticizing President Obama's record on the economy…

    [F]our of the key swing states in this election… have large Hispanic populations. But how can a party appeal to a group toward which it is directing such harsh rhetoric? That is the dilemma Bettina Inclán will have to solve. As Rosenberg told me, "She's got the hardest job in politics."

    It sounds pretty easy, actually. All the Republicans have to do to win over Latinos is avoid talking about immigration, taxes, education, the economy and pretty much any other issue that's important to Latinos.

    In any case, this wouldn't be the first time Republicans tricked an entire demographic into voting against their own interests. Despite dismantling the middle class and subsidizing multimillion-dollar corporations, Republicans manage to capture the vote of working-class white men every year. I guess blue-collar workers have been screwed so many times, they think the GOP is in love with them.



    Tags: Bettina Inclan, Fox News, Immigration, Latino, Republicans, RNC
  • Can an East New Haven Mayor Be Bigoted If Some of His Favorite Takeout Is Mexican?

    TacosThere's one foolproof remedy for cynicism about the federal government: whatever you think of the incompetence or unresponsiveness of federal elected officials, just remember that state and local politicians are much, much worse.

    Some public servants dedicate their time to protecting us against the scourge of fetus burgers and incipient Sharia law, while others oversee police departments that allegedly engage in systematic discrimination against Latinos. As the Hartford Courant points out, there's a simple explanation for the latter policy

    For those who are wondering why the East Haven Police Department is out of control, one possible answer is that Mayor Joseph Maturo is an idiot.

    [When asked by a reporter what he was doing for the Latino community after the FBI arrested four of his police officers for civil rights violations...] A moderately sentient public official in such a circumstance might say that he planned to meet with leaders of the community to apologize for the officers' behavior and ask them to join him in making changes to prevent such unacceptable conduct.

    But the likelihood of finding a moderately sentient public official in local government is pretty iffy! So, no, the East New Haven Republican did not pledge to reform his police department. Instead, he pointed out that some of his best friends meals are Mexican

    Maturo: "I might have tacos when I go home. I'm not quite sure yet. I have spent two years in Puerto Rico, um, I will probably do the same thing for the Latino community…"

    Reporter: "You realize that's not really the comment to say right now, you might have tacos tonight."

    Maturo: "I might have spaghetti tonight…Being of Italian descent, I, in this community, have been at times thought to be of an ethnic background…

    Maturo has since apologized for his comments, saying he "let the stress of the situation get the best of me and inflamed what is already a serious and unfortunate situation," but perhaps he also owes an apology to all the ethnic and religious groups he has NOT reached out to. When African-Americans are allegedly stopped and frisked without probable cause, does Maturo ever soothe communal tensions by watching a Flavor Flav marathon on TV? And what did he think of the State of the Union address (Muslim outreach, of course)? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Photo by David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Civil Rights, Connecticut, FBI, Latino, Police, Racism