Fred LaSor: Latinos: Avoid the fate of African-Americans
President Obama’s promise to fundamentally change this country was on display in Miami recently, where he participated in a townhall meeting hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo. That session was devoted to a discussion of what the President thinks he can do by Executive Amnesty, which would create incentives for Latinos to flood across our borders in the hope of one day having their immigration status made legal.
The magnet that is America has a huge draw, especially on people with little hope of finding gainful employment in their own country, and even more so when they learn they will be given food, housing and education once they arrive in the US.
If I were living south of the Rio Grande considering whether or not I should start trekking northward in the hope of sneaking illegally through America’s southern border, I would have major reservations believing what the President and his party are offering. Not because there will be no food, housing and education, rather just the opposite.
Look at the partisan plantations of Detroit, Chicago or Philadelphia, for example, or other cities where the Democrat party has locked up the African-American vote for several generations. Black support for Democrats is now taken for granted by that party, and as a result those communities have higher unemployment, worse poverty, greater incarceration rates, ineffective schools and a devastating family environment. Thanks to Lyndon Baines Johnson and his War On Poverty, poverty is now generationally entrenched in Democrat strongholds all over the nation.
Is this what Latinos will find if they support Obama’s party? Likely. A dependent voter is a reliable voter, so the President offers ever more goodies in his message to poor people south of the border there’s a better future in the U.S.A. He’s not promising food, a high school education and free housing in exchange for votes: that would be bribery. But the White House message is Democrats are going to take care of you while Republicans are your enemies. He emphasized the theme to his Telemundo audience as that Spanish-language network reaches millions of Latinos.
Democrat party faithful would say their policies have given healthcare to millions and the economy is improving. The chickens are just coming home to roost on Obamacare, though, and as the bills come due ever more people are complaining that it’s costing more than they were led to believe and the care they have been receiving is not what they expected.
And this White House’s economic claims are questionable. Its claim of 6 percent unemployment is a fuzzy number: the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are 6.8 million “involuntary part-time workers,” for example (‘people employed part-time for economic reasons’) and 2.2 million “marginally attached” workers who ‘have not looked for work in the previous 4 weeks.’ That’s a total of 9 million in a total labor force of 348 million, or about 2 percent, who don’t appear in the 6 percent number.
Moreover, youth unemployment right now is 19 percent. For teenaged Latinos or Hispanics it’s 22 percent, and for teenaged African-Americans it’s 30 percent. Considering how much money the Federal Government has funneled into the inner city, that 30 percent figure signals massive failure.
America is a wealthy country, and the Democrats are offering to spread that wealth. But poor immigrants might well prefer opportunity over handouts. My experience is many come from close knit, religious families. That will change if they became clones of those in the inner city.
Fred LaSor served in the U.S. Foreign Service in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He is retired now in Minden.