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Democrats Accused of “Empty Words” on Immigration

by Frank Sharry on 02/16/2010 at 4:28pm

Cross-Posted at the Huffington Post:

There’s a very strong editorial today in La Opinion on the issue of immigration reform. Translated, the title reads, “No More Empty Words.” It lays responsibility for any inaction on immigration this Congress squarely at the feet of Democrats.  It notes that in the past Democrats were able to blame Republicans for blocking comprehensive immigration reform, but not now, not with control of the White House and solid majorities in both chambers. 

Now, most politicos won’t read this editorial because it’s in Spanish. So allow me to translate.

La Opinion is the country’s leading Spanish-language newspapers, and a large swath of Spanish-speaking voters across the country will read it.  But it doesn’t stand alone.  The editorial reflects a growing sentiment among Spanish-speaking Latino voters, who turned out in record numbers in 2008 to vote Democrats into office (marking a major swing from 2004, when large numbers of Spanish-speaking voters turned out for Bush). The piece reads:

In an interview with La Opinion, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she has hopes that reform would happen this year, without offering anymore details. This statement is as disappointing as were the words of President Obama in his State of the Union message to Congress. The time for empty words is over.

For many years, Republican intransigence was responsible for blocking comprehensive and fair immigration reform. Now the White House and Congress are in the hands of Democrats and the stalemate continues. House and Senate leadership are responsible for failing to place immigration reform on the agenda, and for failing to influence their ranks so that legislation is brought forward for consideration.

The editorial closes with a paragraph that should make all Democrats shudder:

Promises made during elections win votes and create hope.  The commitment to immigration reform attracted many votes and fed the hopes of millions of working people. Now Congress must keep its promise.

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