The Hispanic News Immigration Reform Proposal for Mexicans, Central and South Americans
SANTA FE, NM (By Jon Garrido, The Jon Garrido Network) March 1, 2012 ― The United States has two very different immigration policies for Hispanic immigrants.
Cubans have an expedited process for residency using the “Welcome to America” immigration policy.
Mexicans, Central and South Americans have a “No Admittance to America” immigration policy that treats Mexicans, Central and South Americans with distain as if they had leprosy.
The United States uses both policies for Hispanics yet the two immigration policies are polar opposite of each other.
Why are there two very different policies?
The United States immigration policy for Cubans is the work of the Congressional Hispanic Conference of Republican Cuban Americans sponsoring Federal legislation that provides for the “Welcome to America” ease of entry for Cubans entering the United States of America.
The lack of a “Welcome to American” immigration policy for Mexicans, Central and South Americans is because of the lack of interest of the Puerto Rican members of congress who have dominated the Congressional Hispanic Caucus made up of mostly incompetent Mexican American Democrats and a handful of domineering Puerto Ricans who have no need for immigration reform.
Puerto Ricans can travel back and forth at will from Puerto Rico to the USA because Puerto Ricans are USA citizens who do not have to comply with draconian immigration requirements as do Mexicans, Central and South Americans.
In addition, Puerto Ricans who live in the United States can vote in all elections as all other Americans.
This is why Puerto Ricans think Immigration Reform is not important but this belief is naive, stupid and selfish. When the tide rises in the harbor, all ships rise — not just some. It is through the increase of Hispanic immigrants entering from Mexico, Central and South American that leads to greater and fuller participation in the American Dream for all Hispanics living in the USA and this includes Puerto Ricans benefiting from the growth of the Mexican, Central and South America Hispanic population in the United States of America.
The Puerto Rican leadership of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus over the years has been a strong advocate for Puerto Rico as evident in obtaining $7.3 Billion for medical care benefits for Puerto Rico for delivering the votes of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (nearly all are Mexican American members of Congress) to approve the Obama Health Care legislation known as Obama Care.
The Cuban policy leads to providing opportunity for Cubans to become Americans and the Mexican policy greatly hinders Mexicans, Central and South Americans to become USA Americans because of blatant racism using euphemisms of “on welfare,” “on food stamps,” “get in the back of the line, “law breakers,” “illegal,” and many more.
The Mexican, Central and South American policy of no admittance requires a steel fence with armed guards, armed vehicles, dogs, helicopters, planes, dirigibles, and drones forbidding Mexicans, Central and South Americans to enter the United States.
Hispanic News supports security measures to prevent the entry of illegal drugs, weapons, and other contraband from entering the USA and to forbid guns and other contraband leaving the USA to enter Mexico but persons are not contraband.
The Cuban policy allows Cubans to enter freely into the USA and sharing the same values as Republicans, Cubans quickly align with the Republican Party.
The Mexican policy forbids Mexicans, Central and South Americans to enter freely into the USA and is a gigantic lost opportunity for Republicans because Mexicans, Central and South Americans have the same values as Republicans.
90% of America’s Hispanics now living in the United States are Mexicans, Central and South Americans yet the Puerto Ricans are highly influential benefiting only Puerto Rico not caring for Mexicans, Central and South Americans making Puerto Ricans selfish, self centered and Hispanic in name only.
Cuban Immigration to the United States
According to U.S. Immigration Support given the closeness of 90 miles away being the distance from Cuba to the United States — Cuba, both geographical and economic before the 1959 revolution — there has always been movement of people between the countries.
The 1910 census showed there were officially 15,133 Cubans living in the United States, and a report on immigration to Congress at the time included data on 44,211 Cubans. In 1959, an estimated 124,000 Cubans were living in the United States. In the early years of the Cuban revolutionary government, an additional 215,000 moved here, and now the Cuban community is well over a million. The center of that community is in Miami, but there are sizable communities in other cities in Florida and in New York, Illinois, and California.
The existence and size of the Cuban community in the United States is a result of both “push” and “pull” factors. The revolutionary government’s inflexible attitude toward dissent, and its imperviousness to demands dissenters make, probably constitute the greatest push factors: Cubans who are unhappy have had no reason to believe they can effect changes in their lives. Another strong push factor for the recent wave of newcomers is the economic situation and scarcity of crucially necessary goods like medicine.
The “pull” factor has been the United States’ policy with regard to Cuban immigrants which has effectively been, until recently, an unqualified welcome for both documented (Cubans entering the United States through normal immigration procedures, including legal departure from Cuba) and undocumented (Cubans arriving in the United States without immigrant visas, who have usually left Cuba illegally). Until 1985, there was no quota for Cubans entering the United States via normal immigration procedures, as required for other immigrant groups. Cuban undocumented entrants have always had special status: While entrants from other countries have been required to demonstrate they were fleeing political persecution to be granted refugee status, it was officially assumed anyone arriving in the United States from Cuba was a bona fide refugee and therefore had automatic access to the special benefits refugees are entitled to. Cuban entrants have had other special privileges as well; since 1966, for example, the Attorney General has had discretionary power to guarantee permanent residency to any Cuban who has been in the United States for a year, including those on visitor’s visas who have overstayed the period delineated in their visas.
There have been, since the revolution, three basic waves of Cubans coming to the United States. These groups tend to differ from one another in their opinions and values and have different acculturation experiences, depending partly on when and why they emigrated from Cuba, and partly on their reception in the U.S.
In the summer of 1994, there was a drastic wave of over 30,000 Cubans that tried to enter the United States. As a result, the U.S. and Cuban government tried to work out an immigration agreement. Cuba agreed to do a better job of patrolling their seas to prevent Cubans from leaving their country. If Cubans were not successful in reaching Florida soil and were intercepted by the United States Coast Guard, the Cuban government agreed there would be no reprisal against the Cubans who were returned. However, in reality, Cubans sent back to Cuba after unsuccessfully trying to immigrate to the United States usually face some kind of punishment by the Cuban government such as imprisonment. The general rule is once an individual reaches American soil and is out of American waters, they are allowed to remain in the U.S. This controversial policy is often referred to as the “wet foot, dry foot policy.” However, there are some exceptions to this rule and not all Cubans who are intercepted at sea before reaching American soil are returned to Cuba. For example, a Cuban who is fleeing from political persecution may be allowed to resettle in another country besides the United States or even possibly in the United States if their lives are at risk in Cuba.
In 1994, the U.S. set a quota of 20,000 immigrant visas annually for Cubans. Of this number, 5,000 come from a lottery system. This special lottery administered by American officials in Havana gives Cubans permanent U.S. residency. However, it has not been done on annual basis since its implementation in 1995. To gain a visa from this special lottery is highly desired by Cubans since those selected are entitled to a Green Card and work assistance in the United States. In addition, children of the winners of the lottery are allowed to enroll in the public school system. One of the biggest incentives is lottery winners may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship within five years of winning the lottery. However, there are some requirements as to who can apply for the lottery. Eligible applicants must be between 18 and 55 years old and have a minimum of a high school education. Eligible individuals must also have been employed for the past two years. After winning the lottery, applicants are required to pass an immigration visa interview as part of the screening process. The interview is conducted by the U.S. Cuban Interests Section in Havana and the applicant must also submit medical records and any criminal records. The purpose of the screening process is to ensure the applicant will not become a burden to the United States government. Lottery winners are entitled to bring their spouse and children under 21 years of age to the United States.
Why Cubans have access to immigration visas and Mexicans, Central and South Americans do not
The United States government reaches out to Cubans to enable their entry into the United States and at the very same time, the United States government puts up a border steel fence to prevent entry of Mexicans, Central and South Americans. Why?
Since President Kennedy, the Republican Presidents: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush have nurtured the Florida Cuban community in partnership with savvy Cuban American Republican congressional members of the U.S. House of Representatives instrumental in the “welcome” mat to obtain direct assistance in facilitating the ease of entry for Cuban immigrants entering the USA. Cuban American Republican congressional members sponsored Operation Pedro Pan, the Mariel boatlifts and the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy that became magnificent programs facilitating Cuban immigrants entering the United States.
It is the tenacity and diligence of the Cuban American Republican congressional members for being steadfast in advocating immigration programs and services to serve the Cuban community in Miami, Florida and surrounding areas and the payback for Republicans has been Cuban voters.
The mirror opposite is the Congressional Hispanic Caucus dominated by the Puerto Ricans and more concerned with obtaining $7.3 billion in health programs for Puerto Rico than concerned in obtaining expedited immigration processing and immigration reform.
If Mexican American congressional members instead of silence as their mantra were instead advocates for immigration reform, the dominant Mexican American community would not have to take a back seat to the needs of Puerto Ricans and Cubans.
With the 2008 presidential election, Florida Democrats did carry the state for Barack Obama but the Obama emphasis on immigration has been directed to deport undocumented Mexicans, Central and South Americans and thus services to the Mexican, Central and South American community regarding immigration services have been thwarted.
As for Obama, there is no enthusiasm from Mexican Americans and other Americans from Central and South America to vote for him in 2012. Obama promised immigration reform in the first year of his presidency and failed to make good his promise. In the second year, Obama again failed. Obama then proceeded to deport 1,200,047 undocumented Hispanics from Mexico, Central and South America then lied he had no alternative but to uphold the law. The payback for this will be Mexican Americans, and Americans from Central and South America will not vote for Obama in 2012 and without Mexican Americans, and Americans from Central and South America, Obama will not be re-elected.
The Cuban Policy Written by the Cuban American Republican Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
Before the 1980s, all refugees from Cuba were welcomed into the United States as political refugees. This changed in the 1990s so only Cubans who reach U.S. soil are granted refuge under the “wet feet, dry feet policy.”
While representing a tightening of U.S. immigration policy, the wet foot, dry foot policy still affords Cubans a privileged position relative to other immigrants to the U.S.
This privileged position is the source of a certain friction between Cuban Americans and Mexican, Central and South Americans in the United States, adding to the tension caused by the divergent foreign policy interests pursued by conservative Cuban Americans. Cuban immigration also continues with an allotted number of Cubans (20,000 per year) provided legal U.S. visas.
According to a U.S. Census 1970 report, Cuban Americans lived in all 50 states, but later Census reports demonstrated, the majority of Cuban immigrants settled in south Florida. A new trend in the late 1990s showed fewer immigrants arrived from Cuba than previously. While U.S. born Cuban Americans moved out of their enclaves, other nationalities settled there.
Hispanic Origin Distribution
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a 2010 Census brief on the nation’s Hispanic population shows the Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010 and accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population increase of 27.3 million.
Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or four times the nation’s 9.7 percent growth rate.
Of Mexican, Puerto Rican or Cuban origin in the 2010 Census, Mexican origin was the largest group, representing 63 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population — up from 58 percent in 2000. This group increased by 54 percent and saw the largest numeric change (11.2 million), growing from 20.6 million in 2000 to 31.8 million in 2010. Mexicans accounted for about three-fourths of the 15.2 million increase in the total Hispanic population between 2000 and 2010.
The Mexican origin population represented the largest Hispanic group in 40 states, with more than half of these states in the South and West regions of the country, along with two states in the Northeast and all 12 states in the Midwest.
Puerto Ricans, the second largest group, comprised 9 percent of the Hispanic population in 2010 — down from 10 percent in 2000. The Puerto Rican population grew by 36 percent, increasing from 3.4 million to 4.6 million. Puerto Ricans were the largest Hispanic group in six of the nine states in the Northeast and in one western state — Hawaii, with a population of 44,000.
The Cuban origin population increased by 44 percent, growing from 1.2 million in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2010. Cubans made up approximately 4 percent of the total Hispanic population in both the 2000 and 2010 Censuses and were the largest Hispanic origin group in Florida in 2010 with a population of 1.2 million.
Since 2000, three detailed Hispanic origin groups surpassed a population of 1 million: Salvadoran (1.6 million), Dominican (1.4 million) and Guatemalan (1.0 million).
Regional Geographic Distribution
The Hispanic population grew in every region of the United States between 2000 and 2010, and most significantly in the South and Midwest. The South saw a 57 percent increase in its Hispanic population, which was four times the growth of the total population in the South (14 percent). Significant growth also occurred in the Midwest, where the Hispanic population grew by 49 percent. This was more than 12 times the growth of the total population in the Midwest (4 percent).
While the Hispanic population grew at a slower rate in the West and Northeast, the regions still saw significant growth between 2000 and 2010. The Hispanic population grew by 34 percent in the West, which was more than twice the growth of the total population in the West (14 percent). The Northeast’s Hispanic population grew by 33 percent, or 10 times the growth of the total population in the Northeast (3 percent).
More than half of the Hispanic population in the United States resided in just three states: California, Texas and Florida. In 2010, 37.6 million, or 75 percent, of Hispanics lived in the eight states with Hispanic populations of 1 million or more: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey and Colorado. Hispanics in California accounted for 28 percent (14.0 million) of the total Hispanic population, while the Hispanic population in Texas accounted for 19 percent (9.5 million). Hispanics in Florida accounted for 8 percent (4.2 million) of the U.S. Hispanic population.
The Hispanic population experienced growth between 2000 and 2010 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In eight states in the South (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) and in South Dakota, the Hispanic population more than doubled in size between 2000 and 2010. Even with this large growth rate, the percentage of Hispanics in 2010 in each of these states remained less than 9 percent, far below the national level of 16 percent.
Hispanics in New Mexico comprised 50 percent of the total state population, the highest proportion for any state. Hispanics were 16 percent or more of the state population (matching or exceeding the national level) in eight other states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas.
The country’s Hispanic voters most of whom are Mexican American and have immigrant friends or ancestors do not have access to virtually instant legal status now granted to Cubans who make it into the United States.
Disillusionment with Obama & Puerto Rican Liberal Dominated Congressional Hispanic Caucus
In the 2008 election, we were Democrats. Today, we are disillusioned with Obama and congressional Democrats not only for the lack of Immigration Reform but also for the attack on Christian values by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that supported the nomination of a Puerto Rican woman as Ambassador to El Salvador. The woman was serving as provisional ambassador to San Salvador since September 2010 after Obama, looking to bypass Republican opposition to her nomination, made her a recess appointee. Her temporary tenure ran out because Republican lawmakers resisted a determined administration effort to secure Senate confirmation.
Though the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved her nomination on a 10-9 party-line vote, her fate in the full Senate was uncertain until the legislative session came to an end. Conservative anger toward the Puerto Rican woman was based, in part, on an op-ed she wrote June 28, 2011, in La Prensa Grafica, a daily newspaper in El Salvador promoting a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender agenda. Republican South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, a chief opponent of the Puerto Rican appointment, claimed the op-ed was an “attempt to impose a pro-gay agenda” on El Salvador.
Hispanic News agreed with Senator DeMint.
57 percent of El Salvador’s population is Roman Catholic, and several Salvadoran family and religious groups wrote to U.S. lawmakers criticizing the appointment for “abusing her diplomatic status, showing a clear disdain concerning our values and cultural identity.” They urged lawmakers to oppose her confirmation and suggested she be removed from the post.
Hispanic News contacted Senator DeMint recommending the U.S. Senate let the temporary tenure of this nomination run out ending the government career of this Puerto Rican woman advocate for a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender agenda.
It appears the Congressional Hispanic Caucus only promotes Puerto Ricans who are 9% of America’s Hispanics but Mexican Americans who are 63% of America’s Hispanics are not considered worthy for ambassadorial appointments.
The Only Hope for Immigration Reform
The idea of America as a Continent of Hope carries both privileges and responsibilities for the people of the United states. It means every person has an inherent human dignity that must be respected, including those who are in our country illegally. But it also means all of us must respect the laws that have been passed to ensure freedom and security. As Pope John Paul II recognized, ‘The Rule of Law is the necessary condition for establishing true democracy.
In fulfilling a vision of America as the Continent of Hope, two values are inextricably linked: our compassion for those who come to our country for a better life and our commitment to the Rule of Law. Just as we would betray this vision by turning our backs on the poverty and injustice suffered by our neighbors, we would also undermine the very foundation of our nation by tolerating eleven million people in our midst in open violation for our laws. If we fail to abide by either of these values, we risk becoming less of the nation our Founders and Pope John Paul II believe we could be, and which we have been for 230 years.
But how we reconcile this inspiring vision of America with the day-to-day demands of controlling our borders? To build a Continent of Hope we need a system of ‘patriotic immigration.’ Patriotic immigration means knowing all immigrants to our country are legal and accounted for, and once they’re here, they learn to be Americans.
Americans can Direct Washington Change the Rule of Law
To those outside Washington, the above is what makes us Americans but for those who are familiar with what influences Washington, all in Washington know if you want to change Federal law, a lobbyist from K Street is hired to begin to lobby a member of Congress to propose new law, repeal, or modify existing law.
This is where the nuts and bolts of Federal law has its beginning to persuade a member of Congress or a member of Congress on his/her own sponsors new Federal legislation with the intent of becoming Federal law labeled the Rule of Law.
This where the Cuban American Congressional Members of Congress have been highly successful in sponsoring and obtaining passage of Cuban Immigration programs enabling Cubans to freely enter the United States.
Unfortunately, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus controlled by Puerto Ricans because of lack of interest, has never been successful in spearheading immigration reform to facilitate ease of entry for Mexicans, Central and South Americans.
These actions or rather lack of action is why there are presently two very different United States Immigration Polices for Hispanics/Latinos. One policy is the friendly welcome initiative for Cubans and the other polar opposite is for Mexicans, Central and South American countries and is a draconian maze with the primary intent of keeping Mexicans, Central and South Americans from entering the United States.
Both policies follow the “Rule of Law” but why is there two very different policies? Newt Gingrich writes “We are a very special nation because we are founded on a revolutionary idea: That we are created equal ― citizen and non-citizen alike.”
If this premise holds true for all then why is there two very different immigration policies or rather, two Rules of Law ― One for Cubans and a vastly different policy/Rule of Law for all other Hispanics/Latinos?
To bring immigration policy back to the principle of equality for all as defined in the U.S. Constitution, the immigration policy for Mexicans, Central and South Americans must be changed by passage of new Immigration Reform mandating only one policy/Rule of Law for all Hispanics/Latinos. The highly successful immigration policy for entry into the United States for Cubans should be extended to Mexican, Central and South American Hispanics/Latinos.
Then and only then would the Rule of Law be equally applied to all and would reflect the intent of the authors of the U.S. Constitution for the Rule of Law to be equally applicable to all.
Immigration Reform for Mexican, Central and South American Hispanics/Latinos
When Immigration Reform is approved for Mexican, Central and South American Hispanics/Latinos which is one and the same presently used for Cubans, Republicans will reap the windfall of a giant constituency of Hispanic Catholic conservative Republican voters.
The Hispanic population in the USA is now 17% and increasing 1% per year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2097, the USA will be 97% Hispanic so there will be no need for a steel wall separating the USA from Mexico.
If Republicans accept and spearhead new Immigration Reform for all Mexican, Central and South American Hispanics/Latinos that is one and the same as the USA immigration policy for Cubans entering the USA and advances and protects the civil rights of all Hispanics/Latinos living in America bringing an end to all deportations, then all Hispanics/Latinos should register as Republicans and vote for a Republican for President of the United States.
What is important is Mexicans, Central and South Americans must have the same immigration policy (Welcome to America) as Cubans.
When the United States approves the same immigration policy for Mexicans, Central and South Americas as used for Cubans then the USA/Mexico border still must be secured to prevent drugs and other contraband from entering the United States. After the approval of one Immigration Policy for Cubans, Mexicans, Central and South Americans, I support any Mexican, Central and South American caught entering the USA unlawfully or smuggling anything into the United States, be deported and loose any entrance into the United States for the rest of their lives.
I also believe Mexico must be held accountable for securing the border from unlawful entry of drugs, contraband and unlawful entry of persons from entering the United States.
If Mexico does not prevent unlawful entry of persons, drugs and contraband, the United States of America should impose sanctions against Mexico until such time all unlawful acts end.
The time is long over due, Mexico take responsibility for preventing the unlawful entry of drugs, contraband and unlawful entry of persons from leaving Mexico and entering the United States.
Lastly, if Mexico does not stop drug cartels from manufacturing and smuggling these drugs into the USA and from destroying Mexico by senseless killings and violence, United States Customs and the United States military should be authorized to enter Mexico to restore order and end the manufacture and distribution of drugs entering the Unites States.
Owner and CEO of Hispanic News
- Somos Republicans: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? (blogcritics.org)
- Romney’s Cuban Vote Strategy in Florida Downplays Immigration (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Of the GOP, Luis Fortuño, Immigration, and Disneyricans: Why The HuffPost’s Political “Analysis” of Puerto Rican Voters Fails (juliorvarela.com)
- Romney is vulnerable with Hispanics (cnn.com)
- Republicans Trying To Woe Hispanics (lezgetreal.com)
- Country of Origin Profiles | Pew Hispanic Center (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Why Are Republicans Visiting Puerto Rico? (thehispanicblog.com)