Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

The Hispanic Vote

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

The Hispanic Vote

Article excerpt

The political importance of securing an ethnic voting bloc has played and will continue to play an important role in our political electoral history. Very few Americans understand the current Hispanic-changing demographic trends, its implications, political importance and their electoral votes. This vote not only became a political weapon in 2012, but in 2016, the Hispanic vote will dictate who will become the future leader of the free world. The 2016 Presidential election has slowly but surely developed into a debate on the politics of immigration reform and the courting of Hispanic electoral votes. Never in American electoral history has an ethnic group become such an important part of the American electoral process that the future American president will be determined by its electorate. Despite this importance, central to the debates is comprehensive immigration reform, the politics of race and the political impact of the new Americans or those we often refer to as undocumented immigrants.

Both Democrats and Republicans have acknowledged the importance of the Hispanic vote, and they have approached the new voting sector more cautiously as the 2013 Immigration Reform bill becomes a stumbling domestic policy for the potential presidential candidates. Very few candidates have addressed immigration reform with any constructive dialogue or solutions, and even those who have addressed immigration have doomed themselves to failure in the eyes of many Hispanics electorates, including presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The politics of immigration have never been so insightful that it has brought the worst out of us, what we stand for, and what we can become. Immigration has always been the basic DNA of America and affects the best of who we are and what we can become as an American society. The 2013 Immigration reform law has more implications for America's future than many of us can foresee-socially, culturally and economically. The Hispanic political presence is already shaping and defining a new American political landscape. Whether we admit it or not, many of our immigration laws and the politics behind them have been historically woven with racial prejudice against recent immigrants. These anti-immigration laws all helped shape and define our political history and the way we view outsiders in a land that was built by many of these ethnic groups. Donald Trump's racist remark reminds us that the hatred towards immigrants is alive and well in a country that practices integration and acceptance of all.

Throughout history the U.S. immigration policies of welcoming other groups have been tainted with race-based policies, e.g., The Naturalization Act of 1790, which granted the rights of American citizenship to all "free white person." The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which barred Chinese immigrants from becoming naturalized citizens. Moreover, Jewish immigrants and the Jewish community in America have faced discrimination ranging from hateful slurs to barring of their ships in U.S. ports pre- and postHolocaust years.

Very few Americans remember the historical racism that Mexican immigrants encountered in the early 1900's. Then the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) in 1916 began implementing a series of anti-health laws targeted at Mexican immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The health department and our government rationale was that Mexicans were bringing diseases into the United States. Therefore American health policies had to change in order to secure the border, protect Americans and keep Mexicans out of America. Another example of racist remarks and policy directed towards Mexican immigrants occurred in the 1929 stock market crash. This event led to the greatest depression in American history, a time when one out four Americans was unemployed, our economy shattered and confidence in American idealism was tested. As many Americans suffered from the economic depression, Mexican immigrants became the scapegoat for America's economic, social and political problems. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.