Earlier this year, MALDEF hosted its 5th annual Latino State of the Union (LSOTU), which talked about the issues that worried Hispanics the most, or at least that’s what they planned on doing. The panel spoke about issues like gay marriage, [illegal] immigration reform, and education reform that consist of throwing more taxpayer money at the current system. They forgot to a couple of unimportant issues, the economy and job growth.
The Hispanic community is not concerned with the issue of gay marriage; we are worried about more pressing matters like immigration and the economy. Even if we were worried about this issue, only 31% of Hispanics support it and 35% oppose both marriages and civil unions.
We Hispanics care more about the economy and job creation than gay marriage. The most recent figures (October 2011), show that 11.4% of Hispanics are unemployed. This is more than the national average of 9.0% and 8.0% of whites. Maybe we can all agree that gaining economic freedom should be at the forefront of any group, because with it comes prosperity, liberty, and political freedom. The Heritage Foundation released its most recent version of the Index of Economic Freedom in February. What is economic freedom? Heritage defines it as “the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property.” The notion of economic freedom is about American as it gets and it is at the foundation of the American dream, which is what all people who move to this country wish to achieve.
The majority of Hispanics, 86%, support a path to citizenship “if they pass background checks, pay a fine and have jobs”, so we do not agree with full on amnesty. Hispanics do believe that reform is needed, the difference lies on the type of reform. We are not in line with illegal immigration and here at Heritage we have come up with various solutions to the problem; stronger border patrol and reinforcement of current laws to start off. A true immigration reform must focus on those topics and have a strong emphasis on legal immigration.
Education is an issue that affects the country as a whole, poor academic performance translates to a weak country and economy in the long term. Earlier this year we celebrated “National School Choice Week.” While Heritage calls for a change of pace and a word of warning against the national academic standards, MALDEF continues to give support to an unsuccessful education policy, with the Hispanic dropout rate at 18.3% (average of 8.0%), known as “No Child Left Behind.”
Finally, MALDEF is in need of congratulations for admitting what they are, a progressive activist organization, which can also be called a special interests group. And as such, they have to promote their own interest, which is fine, but not when they claim to represent almost 16% of the US population. The strategy of the progressives is to scare people into thinking something (i.e. – Republicans hate all Hispanics) and MALDEF is no different.
The main problem with their comments and suggestions is that they claim to be fighting for equality, while making sure to separate the Hispanic population from the rest of America. Why must they pursue policies that only target Hispanics? Are we that disenfranchised that we need special assistance? I’d like to say we’re not, if that’s wrong, then the LSOTU is much worse off than I feared. Conservatives do not strive towards finding solution that only help a segment of society, but society as a whole.