WASHINGTON, D.C. – While the next steps of the judicial and legislative battle over the new immigration policies initiated by executive action are less than clear, what is already certain is that Spanish language media reaction is so strong that it should give pause to Republicans celebrating Judge Hanen’s poorly-reasoned and politicized decision to stop undocumented immigrants from applying for long overdue relief.
After Judge Hanen’s ruling, Univision’s nightly news co-anchor Jorge Ramos tweeted, “The Texas decision clearly defines who is against immigrants in the U.S. Latino voters will remember; 2016 is not that far away.”
Meanwhile, the nation’s largest Spanish language daily newspaper, La Opinión, blasts Judge Hanen’s ruling and Republicans’ anti-immigrant obsession in a new editorial titled, “Indignation, Lest We Forget“:
“Republicans celebrate while the immigrant community feels utter disillusionment.
A Texas judge ruled in favor of 26 states led by the GOP, opening the door to deportation for hundreds of thousands of ‘Dreamers’ and preventing millions of parents living in this country from working without fear of being expelled.
This is a triumph for those who believe that exploiting and deporting undocumented people is a priority. We cannot ignore the fact that this represents a defeat in the debate on presidential power. Aside from humiliating President Obama, the ruling destroys the future of millions of people.
This is a victory for those who think — based on fear, stereotypes and ignorance, — that legalizing the status of undocumented people will drain the U.S. treasury. They think the same way California ex-governor Pete Wilson did 20 years ago. They will also suffer the same backlash.
This court decision has emboldened the Republican majority. The ruling would normally give a rest to the Department of Homeland Security’s budget dispute, since it allows Republicans to break out of the current gridlock by leaving that decision in the hands of judges. On the contrary, today more than ever they are set on tying the fate of the budget to the elimination of executive actions.
This is the time for Latino voters to take a look around them and see who is celebrating this ruling, who denounces it and who looks the other way. There is no middle ground here or room for benevolent interpretations.
The human reality cannot be hidden behind supposed legal excuses. Republican legislators and governors are the reason there will be more people deported, and that ‘Dreamers’ who have integrated to society to contribute with their labor are once again on the brink of expulsion.
The impact of this verdict is temporary, as there is still much to resolve, but the indignation it has provoked and the animosity against those who promoted it and are now celebrating will remain for a long time. We cannot forget those soulless and ignorant people who believe that they are doing the country a favor by destroying working families.”
Multiple polls have found that approximately 90 percent of Latino voters back President Obama’s immigration executive action. The reason? Immigration is a defining and personal issue for many Latino voters in America. As Ramos explained recently:
“If Republicans had their way, more than four million undocumented immigrants would lose the protections President Barack Obama granted through an executive order in November. They would face deportation again. Latinos have no choice but to take this personally…
…What Republicans don’t understand is that for us, the immigration issue is the most pressing symbolically and emotionally, and the stance a politician takes on this defines whether he is with us or against us. For us, this is not abstract: Half of all Hispanics (older than 18) are immigrants. We ask Republicans about immigration because they are the ones blocking immigration reform in Congress and because it’s an unresolved issue.
Republicans seem not to have learned anything from their electoral defeat in 2012. Their own post-election analysis stated that, ‘If Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.’ That’s absolutely right.
They are now setting themselves up to lose the 2016 presidential election – it’s not possible to win the White House without the Latino vote.”
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP