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What Obama Won’t Tell Latinos at La Raza Conference

Here’s what you won’t hear from the President when he addresses the largest Latino advocacy organization’s annual conference today:

Latino unemployment is in double digits [1] following a failed stimulus bill [2].

Nearly one out of every two [3] Latinos will fail to receive a high school diploma, despite the federal government’s control over education policy in the past 50 years.

Unfettered government spending has led the national deficit to balloon to nearly $13 trillion, jeopardizing American economic security and quality of life[4].’

Instead, President Obama is likely to use this opportunity before the receptive audience at the National Council of La Raza [5] to recycle stale excuses and promises. The President will blame the previous Administration for the country’s pathetic economy and seek to portray conservatives as the enemy [6]. The President will ask the Latino community to continue supporting his policies of increased taxing in order to pay for more government programs we cannot afford, all the while racking up even more debt.

Rather than looking to empower Latino communities, the President will encourage the audience to depend more and more on the government. From education to health care to energy policy, the President’s remarks will largely center on how the government is best suited to run more and more aspects of our lives.

The allure of an endless goodie bag of government programs and services is an attractive sell, particularly when coupled with the race-baiting and victimization that liberals have been so keen to perfect.

Unfortunately, liberals (including many in the Latino lobby) choose to ignore the fact that our country’s wealth was not built on government spending but by innovation, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise.

In fact, a recent poll [7] commissioned by Generation Opportunity seems to confirm that Hispanics—particularly young Hispanics—understand this. They indicated that they prefer “reducing federal spending to raising taxes on individuals in order to balance the federal budget.”

While immigration is likely to figure prominently in this weekend’s discussions and forums, don’t expect any of the speakers to tell the audience how the President’s failed economic policies are likely to replicate the very same conditions here [8] that countless Hispanic immigrants fled Latin America to escape.

This is especially timely as the U.S. finds itself at a critical crossroads in deciding how to reduce the national deficit to prevent bequeathing our children and grandchildren back-breaking debt. Rather than urging fiscal restraint, the President will likely pepper his speech with the word “investment”—to argue for greater government spending without explaining how he intends to pay for the growing bill.

Latinos, like the rest of the country, need a leaner and less intrusive federal government to pave the way for a much-needed economic recovery. The economic mobility that continues to elude so many Latinos will not be achieved by depending more and more on the federal government.

That’s the harsh reality that will likely be missing from the gathering.


Israel Ortega serves as The Heritage Foundation’s chief spokesman to Spanish-language media, including print, radio, television and online. And as editor of Heritage’s new Libertad (libertad.org), Ortega is responsible for producing content for and promoting what he envisions as the premier Spanish website for conservative commentary, analysis and research.

Governor Jeb Bush Discusses Hispanic Student Success

The American dream – an unspoken promise to pursue the possibility of prosperity and success – inspires individuals to take responsibility for their future, work hard and seek a full life.  A quality education is the ticket to the American dream.  A quality education equips students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in college and their careers.

America has traditionally been a country of immigrants, a trend that continues today.  In March, the Pew Research Center reported a tremendous shift in our nation’s population growth.  According to the report, racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 91.7 percent of the United States’ growth between 2000 and 2010.

Hispanics – our nation’s largest minority group – accounted for more than half of that growth.  In fact, the 2010 Census reports that Hispanics comprise 16.3 percent of the U.S. population.

As these individuals and their families engage in their communities and involve themselves as citizens, they become neighbors, co-workers, leaders and voters.  Their contributions will shape our nation. As these citizens are a crucial part of our society, providing the children of these families with a quality education is a critical investment.

Sadly, throughout our nation, too many minority students score below their peers on standardized tests.  These students are victims of education myths – assumptions that a student’s background, zip code or parents’ salary level determines their ability to learn. But this is unacceptable; our nation’s destiny depends on the success of all students.

Obama Panders to Latino Voters with Immigration Speech in El Paso

Two weeks ago President Obama gave yet another “major” speech on immigration, this time near the southern border in El Paso, Texas.  Once again he got on his high horse and presented himself as the benefactor of immigrants, reassuring everyone that he is committed to immigration reform, but blaming Congress –mainly Republicans- for the lack of action.

This act is frankly now becoming quite offensive to Latinos.  Does he think we are stupid? We know that he hasn’t lifted a finger to advance the immigration issue in Congress since he took office.  Nor has he engaged Republicans to build consensus for a bipartisan solution to the problem.  The only thing he has done is talk just to try to get our vote.

During the ’08 presidential campaign he promised us that he would tackle immigration on the first year of his Administration.  He, in fact, could have taken advantage of the big Democratic majorities he had in both House and Senate to pass a bill just like he did with Obamacare and the $1 trillion dollar so-called “stimulus” package.   But, at the end, despite all his promises, he didn’t act.  It was simply not a priority to him.

And now that the presidential campaign is about to begin, Obama is going back to the same strategy.  The White House has already announced that the President will continue to hold meetings about immigration –of course, with everyone except the Republican leadership in Congress- and will travel the country to give more speeches about immigration reform.  In other words, more talk and no action.

His speech in El Paso is a preview of his political strategy: antagonize Republicans, mock them by saying things like they want to build a moat with crocodiles across our southern border, and then lament that they are not cooperating with him on immigration.  He will tell us that Republicans are our enemies and that they don’t care about immigration.

This time around, however, these theatrics are destined to fail.  Latinos are tired of empty promises and have lost trust in the President.  Democrats would be making a huge mistake if they were to take the Latino vote for granted in 2012.

Alfonso Aguilar is the Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, a Washington, D.C. based advocacy group, which promotes conservative values and ideals within the Latino community and works to integrate Latinos into fuller and more active participation and leadership in the conservative movement.

The Native Advantage

We hear so much in the news, in the political arena, and in our communities on the topic of immigration.  But there is a different type of immigration issue—of the technological variety—that offers the ability to position younger generations of U.S. Hispanics uniquely and powerfully.

Specifically, while we can make few assumptions in the rapidly evolving landscape of social media, we can affirm the tremendous possibilities open to the group known as the “natives”—those who have grown up with social media, in contrast to the “immigrants”—those who have migrated at least some of their activities to social media from more traditional channels.

Because they arrive with fewer hesitations and view profiles, status updates and blogs as natural parts of the communication exchange, these generations of natives have the distinct advantage when it comes to creating political, economic, social and cultural change—but only if they understand the power of social media beyond its strictly social uses.

A 2010 Pew Research Center report shows that 73 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 use social networking, up from 55 percent in 2006. This statistic is expected to continue to expand as more and more young people grow up with social networks.