To (Re)Gain Latino Voter Trust, Obama Must End SCOMM

October 18, 2011

A piece I wrote about the record-breaking, family-breaking pace of the imprisonment and deportation regime that is the Obama Administration’s preferred policy.




Last Sunday, during a speech made at the dedication of the monument honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King, President Obama declared, in King-like cadences, that the slain civil rights leader “stirred our conscience.”

The president, who is desperately trying to win back Latino votes lost since 2008, went on in the speech to say that King reminds us “to show compassion to the immigrant family, with the knowledge that most of are just a few generations removed from similar hardships.” He has also taken to engaging in high-profile appointments and meetings with Latino media executives, like Univision’s president, César Conde, and Latino superstars like Shakira.

While Obama’s meetings and his words of compassion for immigrant families are most welcome, the president’s deeds – and their effects on immigrant families – provide a stunning and tragic contrast.

As documented in Tuesday’s broadcast of PBS Frontline’s ‘Lost in Detention‘ documentary, President Obama’s policies have led to the record and heart-breaking deportation of more than 1 million immigrants, the separation of thousands of families, and the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands forced to live in subhuman conditions in what some of us are calling “Obama’s Immigrant Gulag.” Detainees fall victim to rape and sexual abuse, racism, having to eat worm-infested and rotten food, physical and psychological abuse, the denial of basic rights and other humiliating conditions.

At the heart of this immigrant tragedy is a radical racial profiling program known as “Secure Communities,” or S-COMM, which turns local and state law enforcement officers into immigration officers who are beginning to ask everyone – citizen and non-citizen – for their papers simply because they look a certain way.

By the tens of thousands, Latinos, one of the groups most profiled under S-COMM, will watch the documentary, which will speak to the concerns about the president’s immigration policies and about which an increasing numbers of us are growing angry and impatient.

Polls, like the Latino Decisions-ImpreMedia, conducted in August 2011, tell us definitively that most Latino voters know one of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. and its allies in 10 cities will call on the Obama Administration to do away with the rotten fruits of S-COMM and other immigration policies he promised to either alter or abolish altogether. The absolute failure and damage of these immigration policies have been thoroughly documented by lawyers, immigrant rights groups and, increasingly, journalists like those responsible for tonight’s unprecedented documentary.

Trying to cover up and divert the attention of the public, especially the now very fed up Latino voter public, will not work. Trying to blame the failure of S-COMM, a program of the executive branch of government, by handing over responsibility to Congress, the legislative branch, as Cecilia Muñoz, Obama’s top advisor on immigration, has done repeatedly, will not work.

Latinos are not stupid. We will not accept the false statements and diversionary tactics of apologists for the abominable immigration policies of the administration.

To (re)gain trust of Latino voters, Obama must make fundamental changes to the immigration laws he can change at will, as he proved on August 18, when he announced slight changes to immigration policy after groups across the country protested his campaign offices, including his campaign headquarters.

Until President Obama makes more fundamental changes to his dangerous immigration policies, we will take back the slogan that Obama the candidate borrowed from Latinos – “Sí Se Puede/Yes We Can” – and use it for our efforts to both stop S-COMM and abolish Obama’s Immigrant Gulag.

Roberto Lovato is Co-Founder and Strategist at


One Response to “To (Re)Gain Latino Voter Trust, Obama Must End SCOMM”

  1. chicanofuturet Says:

    Mexicans have suffered from “battered voters syndrome” for too long.
    It’s time to break this chain of this manipulative,oppressive abuse..

    Instead of coming back for even more lies,Mexicans should develop a healthy doubt and suspicion of such treachery,lies and manipulation,which has been the signature trademark of the Obama administration,it’s duplicitous and treacherous political relationship to immigrant workers and by extension,Mexican-Americans,by refusing to vote for more Obama tricks,and,just as importantly also refusing to vote for GOP threats,proposals ( and jokes) of “electrified fences” to be constructed at the border which will can more effectively and efficiently kill Mexicans trying to enter the US.
    Mexicans should refuse to vote for any of these treacherous bastards..

    These words may be strong,but I believe that some Mexicans need to speak up and begin to tell it like it is,no matter how painful that realization may be,no matter the intimidation and threats which will assuredly mainly come from the Democratic Party establishment,it’s many Latino flunkies and operatives whose job is to corral and keep Latinos on the DNC “plantation” by isolating and stifling independent thinking Latinos who dare to criticize and oppose the Democratic Party and their well paid front man the highly professional liar,”confidence man” Obama.

    Wishing,praying to the saints,that Obama will “somehow” magically “save” us,become a “good guy”,suddenly become honest and sincere with us,is,IMHO naive,childish and foolish.

    Mexicans,in the political context,need to stop being dependent obedient little children,they need to grow up and become adults,stand on their own two feet like responsible human beings instead of constantly asking Papa Obama to “make things right”.

    ..IMHO….it’s truly disgusting and tragic to see how low our people have sunk to such pathetic levels of groveling submission,dependency and political beggary.

    My God! whatever happened to the fabled Mexicano bravery,it’s historical warriors who valiantly revolted against tyranny and oppression,and for independence and freedom?

    Ya que tantos de los Mexicano- Americanos son los “ninitos obedientes” de Papa Obama,el Partido Democrita,los DNC,a veces me parece que tales Mexicano- Americanos no tienen verguenza,honor ni orgullo..Que paso con (Mexican,Chicano,Brown) Pride??..

    Have Mexican-Americans been transformed into Papa Obama’s “little children” who love to hear his fairy tales.?

    “Fairy Tales”…as a matter of fact this is precisely the trap the Obama re-election team will pin their hopes on to sucker and snare Mexican voters for election 2012.

    A calculated con job designed by the DNC and team Obama to manipulate and exploit Mexican gullibility,ignorance and infantile wish fulfillment.

    To hold out the illusive and foolish hope that somehow the Obama administration will “suddenly” (isn’t it a coincidence that they always choose to “make nice” so close to election time?) change it’s treacherous MO amounts to an extreme and truly sad form of political Masochism,just like the battered woman coming back to her abuser for even more abuse and punishment.

    This only opens the door for the wolves in sheep clothing to enter.

    In my opinion the smartest,most intelligent thing Mexican voters could do in response to a menacing GOP and a treacherous Democratic Party is to REFUSE to vote for either of these parties and to make this REFUSAL a wide public movement,a poular protest against the “tyranny of the two party system”…”the lesser of two evils”..

    The choices we will be given in election 2012 will once again just be a choice between which set of abusers will govern us.
    Sorry Gente,that choice is not a choice…
    Ya Basta!

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