A coalition of grassroots immigration rights groups is calling on U.S. Latino voters to hold both Republican and Democratic candidates accountable on immigration during this year’s midterms, going as so far to register as independents and only support only those candidates who will promote “an immediate end to deportations and relief.” In a piece called “The Latino Political House is Divided: Which Side Are You On—Immigrant Families or the Democratic Party?,” distributed today by National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP), the National Coordinating Committee 2014 for Fair and Humane Immigration Reform drafted a scathing indictment of how prominent Latin@ leaders such as Dolores Huerta, Henry Cisneros, Eliseo Medina, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Cecilia Muñoz have become “administration insider and outsider apologists immediately lined up to defend” President Obama’s decision to delay an executive order on immigration reform until after the midterm elections.
The piece concludes with the following excerpt:
There is a growing movement towards political independence away from both Democrats and Republicans, especially among younger voters and advocates. This is a positive outcome of the controversy.
The demand for executive action by the president was not the product of mainstream funded groups, but of independent grassroots base organizations fed up with the legislative impositions emanating out of Washington D.C. Executive action became a necessity due to the impossibility of passing fair and humane immigration reform in the face of two million deportations and family separations, and 700,000 American minors exiled in Mexico with their deported Mexican parents. S.744, the bipartisan “comprehensive immigration reform” passed by the Senate last year, was nothing but a sop to big business and border enforcement xenophobes, and was light on equitable legalization for immigrants.
The National Coordinating Committee for Fair and Humane Immigration Reform 2014, in alignment with a growing independent movement of DREAMer and migrant-led organizations, advocates for immediate administrative relief and not waiting until after the midterms, unless the president suspends deportations for the duration of the delay. Migrant families should not pay the horribly high price for the party’s election anxieties. The relief must be sweeping and bold, and include all migrants contributing to the economic recovery of the country.
Absent such action, we recommend that Latino voters not support any Democratic or Republican candidate in the midterms that does not support an immediate end to deportations and relief, particularly in the five to nine toss-up Senate races of most concern to Democratic Party leaders. It is time to register as independent, and those already registered to re-register accordingly, forge an independent political electorate among Latino communities nationally, and make both parties work for our vote by every day addressing our problematic needs and interests as the largest non-white and fastest growing constituency in America.
We stand on the side of the millions of deportees and their families, and the millions more who still hold out hope for presidential action. Let the apologists be defined on the side of the deportation apparatus, while migrants judge their role in history.