Foreign Policy Blogs

Why Americans Will Always Love Latinos from Now On

After a summer and autumn listening to campaign commercial after campaign commercial, watching debates and analysing policies from the most passive to the most extreme, the election in the United States has finally ended. It seems the only thing that has changed, however, is the fact that both Democrats and Republicans agree that in order to win the next election, they must become increasingly diverse, mostly towards the large Latino minority in the U.S. Only a few short days after President Obama won the election, Romney has disappeared and a discussion on a new drug policy, a more sensible immigration policy and the diversification of the Republican party has become the status quo message in American media.

The best analysis I have come across post-election is from Fareed Zakaria from CNN in his Washington Post article “The emerging America.” Mr. Zakaria takes a sensible and balanced approach to how over the next four years and beyond, Americans can improve their lot if they so desire. Democracy in the U.S. is likely as strong as it has been in a generation. Fareed Zakaria makes strong points in his article on how the U.S. can remain to be seen as a land of opportunity as it was seen in the imagination of Indians in the ’70s. Many outside of the United States do not take the negative view of the U.S. often held by many citizens. While waiting several hours to vote would likely render most people part of the same group with negative views, the U.S. still remains a symbol of hope and growth even if none of those who believe it are citizens of the United States.

So what will happen now when moderate Republicans and many Democrats need support from its largest minority in order to remain in office? It seems that issues such as immigration reforms and other issues affecting the Hispanic community may become as status quo as this week’s banter in U.S. media. In reality, Senator McCain and other Republicans who have experience with immigration and border issues might be put at the forefront of policies to court the Hispanic vote for the Republicans and tie into many policy approaches from across the aisle. Democrats and their policies on immigration reform will likely get a lot of attention in 2013 as an opportunity for discussion has been created by the demographic realities of the 2012 election.

An issue such as accepting illegal immigrants is one that should not be accepted without serious debate, but with a discussion that leads to a positive solution. Beyond the lengthy voting issue, policies like the Dream Act should be readily passed in order to approach more complex and serious issues like a path to citizenship. The drug war should also be addressed, and not just over a few grams of pot. There is a serious drug conflict on America’s border that needs a serious solution. The drug conflict is one that is extremely violent and linked to almost every community in America. Many south of the border have discussed legalising hard narcotics in order to save their own generation from a drug conflict approaching the seriousness of a civil war. This issue will become a stark reality very soon, whether the Republicans and Democrats decide to approach it or not. It is hoped that illogical policies like “self-deportation” can disappear so a concrete discussion affecting Latinos, Latin America and Americans can be broached for the benefit of the Americas as a whole. It seems to be elected requires such an approach in 2012 and beyond. The next election may count on it.



Richard Basas
Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration