San Francisco authorities want nothing to do with this program which is certain to drive a wedge between immigrant communities and necessary law enforcement. More here.
Today's rally seemed to draw largely from the rapidly organizing domestic workers in the area, including women from La Colectiva and Mujeres Unidas y Activas.
- It is a fact that the Obama administration is deporting more undocumented persons than the previous administration.
- It is a fact that the Obama administration has greatly increased militarization of the U.S-Mexico border.
- It is a fact that Democratic majorities in Congress have not been able or willing to move any kind of immigration reform.
A recent Pew Hispanic Center report says that Latinos still look to Democrats as more attuned to their concerns by wide margins. It is full of fascinating tidbits.
Latinos like Obama personally, but are not so sure his administration has done well by them.
Significantly, for many Latino registered voters, immigration policy is not their first concern; education, jobs and health care rank much higher. That probably bodes well for Democrats getting their votes. Yet Pew found an interesting wrinkle: Latinos concerned about immigration are somewhat more likely to vote than those who were less so.
Pew doesn't speculate about what is going on here, but I will, based on a couple of decades of watching California elections.
Latinos are less likely to vote than some other citizens because so many of them belong to demographic groups that are always unlikely to vote, especially in midterm elections. Many are younger, less well off, and less educated than the groups in the overall electorate that vote more heavily.
When Latinos do vote, they like to be hopeful about their choices, rather than engage in defense. After all, in this state anyway, they know they are a community on the way up, numerically and economically. Immigration policy may be a back burner issue to the hopeful concerns -- but it hangs there around the edge of public conversations, because it is about family. Just about everyone knows someone -- has an aunt or nephew -- whose immigration status is clouded.
As Pew found, Latinos who do vote will hold their noses and vote for the least-worst alternative who is most always a Democrat these days. Latinos aren't dumb; they know Republicans have embraced the nativist panic. Democrats should be doing everything they can to get out the Latino vote because they will get most of it. And they could get it more easily if they'd dare to make generous moves on immigration policy issues.