by Patrick Osio, Jr.
Los Angeles, Calif.
February 1, 2015
SEN. TED CRUZ: THE 'HISPANIC' CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT?
LOS ANGELES. Calif., feb. 1, 2015 -- U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has become the darling of the Tea Party and other extreme right Republicans. He is seen as their potential presidential candidate.
Cruz is a superb orator and the big plus: He's Hispanic. One needs to put a pan below the chin of the right-wingers to catch the drool.
They now know that in order to win the White House their candidate must take between 35 and 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. So having a candidate that not only thinks like they do and is a great orator with leadership qualities, they feel, is a winning combination.
If right-wingers don't know it, surely Sen. Cruz does. Hispanic is a generic description for the various descendants of numerous Spanish-speaking countries in the Western Hemisphere. Cruz happens to belong to one such group: Cuban-American.
According to the Pew Research Center, Cubans in the U.S. number 1.9 million, Central-Americans 4.3 million, and the gorilla in the room - Mexican-Americans - 33.5 million.
So the question is: Can the Cuban-American Cruz appeal to the other groups, in particular to Mexican-Americans and Central-Americans? Without a significant number of their votes, Cruz would not be the next White House occupant.
How is Cruz going to explain to them why he brought the nation to the rink of economic disaster by shutting down the government in a zealot's attempt to rescind Obamacare - needed by more than 11 million Hispanics without health insurance? And while at it, how will he explain to the thousands of small Hispanc businesses that saw new contracts placed on hold by major clients due to the uncertainty he and his colleagues created?
How will he reconcile his belief that there is need for immigration reform, but not until the border is secure? What is his idea of secure? Not one person entering? Does this include drug traffickers? How are they attached to immigration reform? And why is only the Mexican border singled out?
How will he explain his opposition to the Dream Act, which allows youngsters brought here in childhood illegally to seek higher educations?
How will he be able to say that his family's immigration experience is akin to theirs? Cruz'es own father was granted immediate entry not once, but twice. Cubans received favored treatment on arrival to the U.S. Being granted immediate sanctuary, they were placed on a fast track for permanent residency and a path to citizenship.
And how will he explain that on a boat full of Cuban, Dominican and Haitian refugees, only Cubans were given sanctuary on arrival here, while the others were returned to their country into the cruel and waiting arms of the dictators of those days?
How will he explain his silence when elected and non-elected members of his own party speak so disdainfully of his fellow Hispanics? How will he explain his silence when several states pass draconian laws singling out Mexicans for special enforcement?
Maybe Senator Cruz is not aware that there is tremendous discontent in the Mexican-American community towards the Republican Party, which does nothing to rectify the relationship. A considerable number of votes cast during the last presidential election were against the Republicans, with Obama the beneficiary.
All ethnic groups within the Hispanic community want better education for their children and themselves, more economic opportunities, more available jobs, and health care coverage. Note. Senator Cruz, these are mostly the same issues as all Americans care about.
Most Americans, including the majority of Hispanics, are not in favor of illegal immigration or open borders, as many of your colleagues claim. As you and your cn olleagues claim to favor legal immigration, so also do Hispanics.
They want an orderly process that U.S. businesses can comply with and that can benefit our economy. But instead of working on immigration reform, you're stuck with simplistic sound bites that please your patrons.
Be aware, Senator Cruz, that you will have a tough row to hoe with the greatest number of "Hispanics," and that speaking Spanish will not overcome their skepticism.
But don't worry about Senator Rubio, as he'll have to face the same scrutiny you will if he beats you out of the nomination.
AR Correspondent Patrick Osio, is the Editor of HispanicVista and is based in Los Angees. He can be contacted at mailto:POsioJr@aol.com.