The Curious Case of Latino Republicans


In light of the GOP’s nasty attacks against Latino immigrants, how can any rational Latino vote Republican during the upcoming November 2nd elections?  Worse yet, how can any Latino be a member of a political party whose national platform centers on blaming brown immigrants for most of the country’s social and economic ills?

While previous White House administrations defined their respective political agendas with catchy domestic programs, such as President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” of the mid-1960s and President Richard Nixon’s “War on Drugs” of the early 1970s, today’s GOP’s slogan can be easily coined as the “War on Immigrants.”

Instead of focusing on resolving the nation’s international wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Republican leaders have orchestrated a domestic war of words and laws against the country’s most vulnerable individuals: Latino immigrants.  Simply put, this represents a GOP ploy to galvanize the white vote, take over key state-level positions, recapture Congress and divert the public’s attention away from the shattered economy. 

Despite the bleak economic outlook for most Americans, double-digit unemployment rates and lack of credit for small businesses, Republicans maintain their vicious attacks against recent immigrants as part of their primary mission for this election cycle and overall governance strategy.

For instance, while Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer erroneously argues that immigrants are responsible for high crime rates in the desert state, including her lies about decapitated bodies near the U.S.–Mexico border, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pejoratively refer to the children of immigrants as “anchor babies.”

In a recent television interview, Graham foolishly claims that immigrants come here for the sole purpose to “drop a baby” and leave.  What ever happened to Southern hospitality, Mr. Graham?

Isn’t the “family values” mantra one of the cornerstone principles of the GOP?  If so, Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for targeting immigrant mothers and their children.  Even for conservatives, this is a new low to target Latino newborns.

Where’s former Florida Governor Jed Bush, who married a Mexican-born woman, when we need him?  Under McConnell and Graham’s logic, does this mean that Jed Bush and his wife Columba Bush (born Colubmba Garnica Gallo) have three grown “anchor babies”?  Where’s former Massachusetts Governor and potential GOP 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who can trace his family lineage to Mexico dating back to the 1800s, to condemn the hate-speech in his own party?

Straying from the official GOP agenda, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales came out of his hiding-hole and recently wrote an op-ed in support of immigrants.  As a key figure in the George W. Bush Administration and grandson of Mexican immigrants, Gonzales correctly states that immigrants represent hard working people.  He also argues against the Republicans’ plan to change the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution where individuals born in this country, regardless of the legal status of the parents, automatically become citizens.

Gonzales’ logic goes astray, however, when he blames Democrats for the GOP’s xenophobia since apparently liberals “purposefully” maintain the immigration debate alive, prompting Republicans to spew their anti-immigrant rhetoric.  This is like saying that school-yard bullies should not be held accountable for their actions, since their victims continue to show up to school, essentially “daring” the bullies to unleash their terror on them.

This is not to say that Democrats symbolize the champions of Latino immigrants.  Despite the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) supports amnesty for undocumented college students under the DREAM Act, as a strategic attempt to court the Latino vote, the Obama Administration has deported more immigrants than George W. Bush during the same time frame.  Furthermore, Democrats, similar to Republicans, favor the same old enforcement-only based approaches to the complex immigration problem without considering human rights issues, such as deporting parents of U.S.-born children.

In this season of immigrant bashing, it’s baffling to see how any Latino would support a Republican candidate in the nation’s highly contested elections.  Don’t Latino Republicans understand that anti-immigrant laws, such as Arizona’s SB 1070, also applies to them due to the color of their skin or Spanish-surname?  What about their friends, acquaintances, neighbors, workplace associates, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles who may lack legal status in this country?

It’s time to stop the racism and name-calling against Latino immigrants. From Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor in California to Marco Rubio’s candidacy for the U.S. senate in Florida, Latinos will play a key role in determining the outcome of tight elections and should differentiate between friends and foes in the voting booth.

ALVARO HUERTA is a doctoral student at UC Berkeley. He can be reached at: ahuerta@berkeley.edu

October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?
Ben Debney
Guns, Trump and Mental Illness
Pepe Escobar
The NATO-Russia Face Off in Syria
Yoav Litvin
Israeli Occupation for Dummies
Lawrence Davidson
Deep Poverty in America: the On-Going Tradition of Not Caring
Thomas Knapp
War Party’s New Line: Vladimir Putin is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Brandon Jordan
Sowing the Seeds of War in Uruguay
Binoy Kampmark
Imperilled by Unfree Trade: the TPP on Environment and Labor
John McMurtry
The Canadian Elections: Cover-Up and Steal (Again)
Anthony Papa
Coming Home: an Open Letter to 6,000 Soon-to-be-Released Drug War Prisoners From an Ex-Con
Ramzy Baroud
Listen to Syrians: The Media Jackals and the People’s Narrative
Norman Pollack
Heart of Darkness: A Two-Way Street
Gilbert Mercier
Will Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite Militias Defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq?
John Stanton
Vietnam 2.0 and California Dreamin’ in Ukraine
William John Cox
The Pornography of Hatred
October 07, 2015
Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Witness to a Troubled Saint-Making: Junipero Serra and the Theology of Failure
Luciana Bohne
The Double-Speak of American Civilian Humanitarianism
Joyce Nelson
TPP: Big Pharma’s Big Deal
Jonathan Cook
Israel Lights the Touchpaper at Al-Aqsa Again
Joseph Natoli
The Wreckage in Sight We Fail To See
Piero Gleijeses
Cuba’s Jorge Risquet: the Brother I Never Had
Andrew Stewart
Do #BlackLivesMatter to Dunkin’ Donuts?
Rajesh Makwana
#GlobalGoals? The Truth About Poverty and How to Address It
Joan Berezin
Elections 2016: A New Opening or Business as Usual?
Dave Randle
The Man Who Sold Motown to the World
Adam Bartley
“Shameless”: Hillary Clinton, Human Rights and China
Binoy Kampmark
The Killings in Oregon: Business as Usual
Harvey Wasserman
Why Bernie and Hillary Must Address America’s Dying Nuke Reactors
Tom H. Hastings
Unarmed Cops and a Can-do Culture of Nonviolence
October 06, 2015
Vijay Prashad
Afghanistan, the Terrible War: Money for Nothing
Mike Whitney
How Putin will Win in Syria
Paul Street
Yes, There is an Imperialist Ruling Class
Paul Craig Roberts
American Vice
Kathy Kelly
Bombing Hospitals: 22 People Killed by US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
Ron Jacobs
Patti Smith and the Beauty of Memory
David Macaray
Coal Executive Finally Brought Up on Criminal Charges
Norman Pollack
Cold War Rhetoric: The Kept Intelligentsia
Cecil Brown
The Firing This Time: School Shootings and James Baldwin’s Final Message
Roger Annis
The Canadian Election and the Global Climate Crisis
W. T. Whitney
Why is the US Government Persecuting IFCO/Pastors for Peace Humanitarian Organization?
Jesse Jackson
Alabama’s New Jim Crow Far From Subtle
Joe Ramsey
After Umpqua: Does America Have a Gun Problem….or a Dying Capitalist Empire Problem?
Murray Dobbin
Rise Up, Precariat! Cheap Labour is Over
October 05, 2015
Michael Hudson
Parasites in the Body Economic: the Disasters of Neoliberalism
Patrick Cockburn
Why We Should Welcome Russia’s Entry Into Syrian War