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William C. Velásquez Institute
Statement by WCVI/SVREP President Antonio Gonzalez on Post-Election Latin@ Strategy
Don’t Mourn! Learn the Lessons, Mobilize, Advocate, Change the System, Hold DC Accountable
A roiling discussion is taking place in the Latino community in the aftermath of the upset victory of Donald Trump on November 8, 2016. Spontaneous protests continue in major cities across the country. Pro-immigrant slogans are prominent among protestors signs.
Following is a seven-point action plan that enables our community to overcome new challenges brought about by the incoming united federal government that can be charitably described as xenophobic and exclusionary.
1. Learn the lessons of the campaign: Latin@ voters turned out in record numbers (13 million plus votes cast) and voted at least 71% against Donald Trump. Thanks to Latin@ voters Hillary won Colorado and Nevada but they could have been decisive in other states if given the tools. Clinton would be President-elect today if $10 million more had been invested in Latin@ voter registration, education and GOTV in Arizona and Florida (or about 1% of the Dems collective $1 billion+ campaign budget). These funds would have mobilized enough new Latin@ votes to overcome her margins of defeat in Arizona and Florida.
2. Mobilize in favor of Immigrant rights. This is already happening with a call for mass protests on Jan. 20 from the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Various Latin@ leaders are convening meetings across the country to strategize and plan. Another such meeting is being planned in Los Angeles on Dec 10 by groups like Hermandad Mexicana, Red Mexicana, Latino Roundtable, NDLON and others. See www.california.latino-congreso.org for more information.
3. Launch an anti “Trump-Wall” federal advocacy campaign that focuses on key Congressional Districts. Spending tens of billions on Trumps Border Wall would be a tragic waste of resources given that the southern border has been secured with close to net zero migration since 2007. Congress has spent $250 billion since 1996 in federal funds to militarize the border with nearly 400 miles in fencing, radar, detectors and nearly 20,000 armed guards! See http://wcvi.org/files/No-More-Border-WallsMexico-August-2016.pdf for more information. Moreover, Trumps Wall would be a disaster for the environment and violate property and indigenous rights. It would be a symbolic Act of War against Mexico and Mexicans.
4. Learn the lessons of the national anti “Marijuana Prohibition” movement. The “movement” has legalized medical marijuana in 28 states (most recently Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota) and recreational marijuana in 8 states (most recently CA, NV, MA, and ME) even though marijuana is federally prohibited. This state’s rights effort has survived intact since 1996. Most Americans now live in states that have legal marijuana. These gains represent a kind of left federalism that hasn’t been properly appreciated by social change advocates who are often fixated on DC. This suggests a way forward for immigrant rights advocates: executive or voter-enacted state “DACA/DAPA’s” in the seven states that represent 70%+ of the undocumented (CA, AZ, IL, NY, FL, TX, NJ).
5. Reform the Electoral College. Two of the last five Presidential elections have been won by candidates who lost the popular vote…candidates not supported by Latin@s voters. Importantly changing the Electoral Vote does not require a Constitutional Amendment. In fact, half of the work has already been done by Dr. John Koza’s National Popular Vote effort. Since 2006 NPV has won enactment of laws in a dozen states representing 165 electoral votes. NPV laws commit a state to awarding its electors to the winner of the national popular vote if states representing 270 electoral votes enact the same law. Another dozen states have passed NPV in at least one house. Reforming the electoral college is within reach in 2017.
6. Build power by expanding voting rights with “State-based Vote Right Acts”. In 2001 the California Voting Rights Act (CRVA) was enacted. It is the only state voting rights act in the US. Since then it has been used to generate scores of successful local actions resulting in new electoral systems and scores of new Latin@ local elected officials. Similar legislation should be introduced by state Latino Legislative Caucuses wherever they exist. Growing our political infrastructure based on Latin@ voter majorities electing their candidates of choice historically creates enduring community power that can be used at multiple levels.
7. Hold Washington, DC accountable for its actions in 2018. Everyone is worried about what President-elect Trump will do to minorities, women, and immigrants and others though none of us today know for certain who will be struck first. But we do know that mid-term elections are just two years away. We also know tumult will occur if Trump builds his Border Wall or deports thousands of immigrants or repeals health coverage for millions of Americans or whatever. Therefore, we must assume that 2018 will be an opportunity for rebalancing the power equation in DC. Voters in fact rebalanced power in DC in midterm elections in1982, 1994, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
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Subject: MALDEF FAQ’s for DACA Dreamers/undocumented immigrants
In the past several days we have heard many concerns from students, parents and community members regarding risks and dangers for our immigrant community under a Trump presidency. We have already seen where some children are being bullied. While all of us are very busy one thing that we can do to help is share information that can help calm fears. Our community needs to know that they are not alone.
With that in mind I am attaching a list of frequently asked questions for you to share with students, friends who work with students, community groups or with your networks.
MALDEF has prepared this information and has posted this on their website (maldef.org) where there is more valuable information including a statement from our president Tom Saenz on the subject. MALDEF continues its commitment to immigrants in our country. However, they can use our help. People who want to report bullying or anything else that they experience because of their undocumented status can call this number. This information can assist MALDEF attorneys should there be a need for legal action in the future.
We can also help MALDEF with contributions for the added work that they will be doing.
We have some difficult times ahead but what we have learned in the past during painful times in our history is that there is strength within our community when we support each other. We can’t do everything that needs to be done but we can do something.
In the near future there will be a need to disseminate more information and I will be using this list to do so.
What Donald Trump’s Vow to Deport Up to 3 Million Immigrants Would Mean
The New York Times
By placing the number that high, the president-elect raised questions about which immigrants he planned to target and how he could achieve removals at that scale. Read the full story
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By Rachael Bade
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday that he and President-elect Donald Trump are “not planning” to pursue mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, despite Trump’s vow to the contrary during the campaign.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper played a clip of Trump saying during the campaign that “we’re going to have a mass deportation force… they’re going back where they came.” Tapper juxtaposed that with a clip of Ryan telling college students in April that “we have to come up with a solution that doesn’t include mass deportations, that involves getting people to earn a legal status while we fix the rest of illegal immigration.”…
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6 Latinos Killed by US Cops This Week—and Media Ignored It | News | teleSUR English from Latino Influentials’s Tweet
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