As well she should be. Whenever you put a Hispanic face to an issue, one would figure that it would be to produce a calming effect; perhaps a path to a productive conversation. The Republicans used to be effective at this until the anti-immigrant Hispanics, like Marco Rubio, came around and wanted to act just as crazy as the Teapers.
But when Cecilia Muñoz has spoken on immigration reform, the once immigration reform advocate has “criminalized” an entire community. According to immigration organizer Felipe Matos in a HuffPost piece:
Some have even called on her to resign because she repeatedly calls the non-violent, non-criminal immigrant majority of people that the Obama Administration deports “criminals” and “collateral damage.” For me, these people designated “criminals” by Muñoz and the Obama Administration are more than “collateral damage.”
It is bad enough that the Obama administration has punted on comprehensive immigration reform, but they made things worse with the deportation of over 1 million immigrants, tens of thousands who had not committed any crimes but were caught up in this enforcement frenzy. The numbers make it quite obvious that Obama’s Latino support tanked because of this, as well as the general feeling about the economy.
Obama’s recent change of tune in support his American Jobs Act has caused an uptick in his numbers, including his Latino numbers. And that’s great. I still intend to vote for him in 2012. But my worry is about mi gente.
The Republicans will continue their mixed messaging between “you’re just like us” and “but we don’t want you here.” But all the Democrats can offer is, “We broke our promise because of the Republicans” and “But we’ll deport you anyway.” If this was an attempt at appeasing independents who are mostly clueless on the nuances of comprehensive immigration reform, perhaps it might work. But when you already have a low-performing Latino electorate that votes 2/3-plus Democratic, then you better start worrying about performance.
And the Hispanic point person Obama is offering seems to be fumbling the ball going on offense on an issue on which the Administration should be playing defense; in other words, defending Latinos.
I’m not sure what this mixed strategy of failed and targeted policy versus blaming Republicans is all about. But to add to it a Hispanic talking head to talk down to immigration advocates? The administration needs to put a stop to the negative talk by the Hispanic PR person. It is really unbecoming when any administration throws a Latin@ under the bus for the sake of politics.
But it is worse when a Latin@’s loyalties to their boss causes that person to throw an entire community under the bus.