Well, there is some anger amongst our base members. Our president promised much but wasted a lot of political capital in not delivering for some. Latinos staying home should be taken seriously.
The health care debacle was a train wreck in many eyes. It was. Political capital was wasted, more than one year on this bill. In the end, Democrats was forced to pass a horrible senate bill and then IMMEDIATELY attempt to fix it. They had to, because nothing domestically that the public can understand was passed in the past two years. The bill had to be passed in the end and the public may not like it now, the polling shows they do not, but it had to be passed.
And the Latinos?
Well, they have been patient wanting this president to tackle immigration reform for some time now and this anger has been building. While the Democrats are working on some sort of Wall Street financial reform package, hoping to get many Americans behind it, a very key demographic group is angry at being dissed, again. To tackle immigration reform, right now, you will need balls and the Democrats don't have that right now, not when they are unsure how the mid-term elections will play out.
As we saw during the final stages of the health-care debate, Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D) isn't shy about taking his complaints public (he said he was going to vote against the health bill before eventually voting for it).
And now he's taking aim at President Obama's immigration policies, suggesting that Latino voters might not participate in the upcoming midterm elections -- if the administration and Democratic congressional leaders don't move forward on a comprehensive immigration bill.
In a press conference today blasting a new anti-immigration law in Arizona, Gutierrez said, "It seems to me that is an option for people to stay home [in November]. The choices have always been framed the following way -- the Republicans are so mean-spirited and so anti-immigrant that they simply push immigrants and Latinos into the waiting arms of Democrats."
"There is a third option for those voters," he added. "They don't necessarily have to fill the ranks of the Democratic Party. They can simply stay home, and that to me is an option that is there. It is not an option that I have called for. But let me be clear: It's not an option I have ruled out... Will I rule it out in the future? Absolutely not!"
Later, when speaking Spanish to Spanish-language reporters, Gutierrez was even harsher toward the Obama administration. "Where is the Justice Department? Here is an injustice against the basic rights. Where is the administration of Barack Obama and his Justice department?"
"And this week -- where is he? On Wall Street in New York talking with bankers. Look, it's time to work on immigration reform!"
Now, no one should stay at home because November is very important, each vote will matter, but I understand the anger. The new Arizona law allows any law enforcement officer to stop any individual of Latino descent and demand they show citizenship proof. Is this racial profiling? Of course it is. What is next, to stop all African-Americans (and we have a wide ethnic variety within our ranks), Asian Americans (again, you can not take a broad brush and paint this group either), or anyone else who is non-Caucasian and demand proof of citizenship? What about demanding Caucasians in this country to produce their citizenship papers? Most will turn their noses up in appalling fashion, if that was the case for them!!!
Is this law another indication that immigration reform needs is in desperate need? Yes, but remember Barack Obama promised that he would work on immigration reform in his first year in office and it has not happened. To be frank, don't expect it until after the 2012 Election; the reality is that the Democrats can not stomach another controversial bill, not before November. And Obama must fix it with this community because they can easily just stay home, what is the point in their eyes!! They voted for this President to do something about immigration reform and he has not even started, this is a problem within this community.
Expect more speeches geared towards the Latinos very soon from President Obama.
More information with polling from Daily Kos.