Thursday, July 18, 2024

Obama Addresses Important Topics for Latinos in California

President Obama’s trip to Southern California couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment with the unemployment rate in California soaring past 10% affecting many Hispanics. In addition to speaking about the economy, it is a perfect opportunity for him to address immigration and condemn the recent intolerant attitudes against Hispanics that have been making headlines.

Obama’s first event on Wednesday took place in Costa Mesa, a city that has become a symbol of the region’s anti-immigrant attitudes. It was there he addressed immigration, “I think the American people, they appreciate and believe in immigration. But they can’t have a situation where you just have half a million people pouring over the border without any kind of mechanism to control it.”

Obama added, “So we’ve got to deal with that at the same time as we deal in a humane fashion with folks who are putting down roots here, have become our neighbors, have become our friends, they may have children who are U.S. citizens. That’s the kind of comprehensive approach that we have to take.”

Today he will be holding a town hall meeting at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex in Los Angeles, named after the Latino union leader who defended immigrant workers’ rights.

Yesterday morning, Obama made a renewed promise to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to focus on immigration and investigate workplace raid tactics searching for illegal immigrants.

Recently, CNN’s Lou Dobbs made harsh statements saying that the mission of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was “Mexico’s export of drugs and illegal aliens to the United States.” The racism of this statement drives him to ignore the millions of small business members of the organization that create jobs and are an integral part of the economy. He has since apologized.

In addition, many Latino political leaders have expressed concern over the withdrawal of attorney Thomas Saenz’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Apparently anti-immigrant groups did not like Saenz’s  work with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). Critics characterized Saenz as a simple defender of “illegals.” Consequentially, the White House apparently preferred to replace Saenz with Attorney Tom Perez to avoid controversy.

La Opinión