December 7, 2007

Editorial:

In this Presidential race, Hispanic issues are off the table

It is a shame that when it comes down to the discussion of His panic issues it all boils down to one: The all encompassing discussion on immigration. Every day there is another news story and at every debate, be it Democratic or Republican, the Hispanic community is only mentioned in relation to immigration.

This obsessive fixation on immigration has relegated all other issues off the table, they are not discussed, and as voters we have no idea how they will lead on such issues as education, health care for the Hispanic community, small business opportunities, the protection of our civil rights, equal opportunity, issues that can help us as voters decide who we want as President to represent us and to whom we can look to for change that will better our community.

Both parties recognize the importance of the Hispanic voter but they have yet to demonstrate an understanding or concept on how to address this community and its needs.

The Democrats have and continue to take the Hispanic community for granted when it comes to the relevant issues facing this community. They are not sure how to deal with the issue of immigration as demonstrated by Senator Hillary Clinton who stumbled over the issue of drivers licenses for immigrants. Senator Barack Obama, son of an immigrant, doesn’t offer much hope either. Governor Bill Richardson and Denise Kucinich offer humanitarian, rational perspective on the issue but they are relegated to second tier status to represent the party in the election of President.

Yet, in a sense Democrats are given the opportunity to side step Hispanic issues. Republicans have painted themselves into a corner when it comes to this community making immigration the main focus of their campaigns with enforcement and punishment stance on immigration and blaming the Hispanic community for all that is wrong with the country. There is no other discussion unless it is about English only, or doing away with affirmative action. The Republicans are determined to make it an us against them issue, hunkering down with their base voters. There is no gray shading when you talk with a Republican about immigration. For the Hispanic voter they are offered very little in regards to leadership in regards to our issues, there is no conversation about these issues out fear that this may portray them as soft on immigration.

Bottom line on all this is that there will be no constructive conversation on immigration and Hispanic issues, and concerns, once again, will rarely, if it all, be addressed during these Presidential campaigns and that does not bode well for Hispanics.

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