GOP Hispanic Heritage Month Video Draws Criticism From Activists

Immigration reform proponents say they’d prefer a vote to a video

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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrive to a second Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 1, 2013.

After a summer in which immigration reform, despite widespread bipartisan support, all but withered on the vine, a new GOP video celebrating Hispanic Heritage month is drawing criticism from some activists.

The GOP’s “House Republicans Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month” video features a lineup of high-profile congressional Republicans paying homage to the contributions of Hispanics to American society. The cast includes John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).

Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform launched an all-out offensive this summer and, with polls showing support among voters, including a majority of Republicans, it seemed the wind was at their back. But, as Alex Altman has written in TIME, the number of events held and headlines generated does not an act of congress make. Now, immigration reform activists at America’s Voices are asking for some action to back up the talk.

“Instead of a video celebrating Hispanic Heritage month, how about a vote? Speaker Boehner and House leadership just don’t get it,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voices in a statement. In a press release on the issue, the group said “some of the people featured in the video are directly responsible for the fact that Congress has yet to pass immigration reform despite a strong bipartisan showing in the Senate.”

Of course, Facebook-founder and reform-advocate Mark Zuckerberg’s meeting with House Speaker Boehner isn’t scheduled to take place until later this week. Maybe the Zuck will help move the needle and appease the activists.

6 comments
ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Their next video will be the support of the GOP for helping the poor maintain their status of "poorness".  It is at least the minimum they can do (and they certainly know about doing the "minimum") to maintain the poor in the caste system the GOTP demands.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

The Republicans are unlikely to acquiesce in immigration reform.  They may pay lip service to Hispanics (as in the video provided), but their interest really begins and ends with the Cuban American community.

Hispanics in general threaten the fantasy Duloc-like world to which the GOP wants to turn back the clock.  They are basically the antithesis of what Republicans are and want.  Most Hispanic communities are interested in hard work, caring for their families health and education and the effectiveness of government in facilitating those ends.  Decent, living wages, protection for workers, transportation, etc., are all generally important to these communities.  

The GOP, by contrast, hates anything that helps people and thus is at odds with the needs of Hispanic communities.  They are pro-life, but only in the womb.  Afterwards, they only care about deserving life -- defined as white, middle or upper class and conservative.  If you don't have health insurance, the GOP believes that that's because you don't deserve it.  If you're not wealthy, you don't deserve their attention.  If you want your children to be educated, you're SOL, because the GOP is against anything that smells of education -- as Karl Rove says, it makes Democrats, skeptics an people who believe in science.

There is little overlap between the agenda of the Republican party and anything that is useful to most Hispanic communities.  The fantasy of Republican support for immigration reform is just that.

sacredh
sacredh

Well, they're not getting a vote and if they don't like it, the video will get pulled too.

Iramos1
Iramos1

They're ALL hypocrites!!

yogi
yogi

@sacredh Slap a BENGHAZI! investigation onto that bill and you'll get it roll'n through the House.

sacredh
sacredh

@yogi, their "outreach" effort was nothing more than cosmetic. They're not going to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters by releashing sham videos or coming up with token voters making testimonials.