Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cecilia Muñoz Named to White House Staff

Terrific news for the immigrant rights community:

November 26, 2008
Contact: Obama Transition Press Office, 202-540-3483

President-Elect Barack Obama Names Two New White House Staff Members

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama today announced two new members of the White House staff. Jonathan Favreau will serve as Director of Speechwriting, and Cecilia Muñoz will serve as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

“We’re continuing to build a White House team that can rise to the challenges facing this country – and I couldn’t be more excited to announce Jon and Cecilia. I’m confident that at a critical time in our history, this White House will restore openness and accountability to our Executive Branch and help to put government back in the hands of the people it serves.”

Jonathan Favreau, Director of Speechwriting
Jon Favreau served as Director of Speechwriting during the 2008 presidential campaign. He has worked for President-elect Obama since February 2005, when he joined Obama’s United States Senate office as Speechwriter. Previously, Favreau served as Deputy Director of Speechwriting on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. A resident of North Reading, Massachusetts, Favreau received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the College of the Holy Cross in 2003.

Cecilia Muñoz, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Cecilia Muñoz currently serves as Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she supervises all legislative and advocacy activities conducted by NCLR policy staff. Muñoz is the Chair of the Board of Center for Community Change, and serves on the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Institute and the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Philanthropies.  She is the daughter of immigrants from Bolivia and was born in Detroit, Michigan. In June 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in recognition of her work on immigration and civil rights.


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Celia Munoz is an affirmative-action appointment. She has no significant educational or employment achievements and was appointed to the post solely because of her race or ethnicity. Is this not a form of racial profiling?

Posted by: Thomas Lillich | Nov 26, 2008 12:39:21 PM

Be careful about casually throwing around terms like racial profiling, you may come off as race-baiting, and in this case, uninformed. Cecilia Muñoz has over 20 years of experience leading national advocacy efforts (and educating policymakers and the public) on some of the most significant and complex policy issues of our time.

Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 26, 2008 2:23:59 PM

I had to shrug at the comment that Munoz "has no significant employment achievements." A MacArthur Fellow with over two decades of her career dedicated to immigration rights and policy, spearheading policy and legislative initiatives does not appear like an affirmative-action appointment to me.

Posted by: Anna-Maria Munoz | Nov 26, 2008 2:32:46 PM

I had to shrug at the comment that Munoz "has no significant employment achievements." A MacArthur Fellow with over two decades of her career dedicated to immigration rights and policy, spearheading policy and legislative initiatives does not appear like an affirmative-action appointment to me.

Posted by: Anna-Maria Munoz | Nov 26, 2008 2:33:19 PM

Cecilia Munoz is a wonderful pick to direct Intergovernmental Affairs. She has the knowledge, experience and patience to serve President Elect Obama and his team(s). I've worked in DC and know first hand that she can organize and coordinate effective teams. She is a master at communication, especially in articulating issues. Congratulations. Refugio.

Posted by: Refugio Rochin | Nov 26, 2008 3:02:54 PM

'Terrific news for the immigrant rights community'

You must think she can affect that group of people more from this position than from her former one. bh, what do you think she can she do within the duties of Director of Intergovernmental Affairs that would have more effect than supervising La Raza policy?


I think the term for that is 'identity politics', Thomas. Tom Barry, over at Border Lines blog, has a couple recent posts about that:

'Isn't it time to end the identity politics, whereby political officials are evaluated, supported, or promoted mainly because they are of a certain race, ethnicity, or sex, rather than for what they stand for? Too often the results are characterless figures like Alberto Gonzales and Clarence Thomas who are party loyalists, not champions of the disadvantaged or disempowered.'

Posted by: Jack | Nov 26, 2008 3:58:58 PM

Appointing this racist, is beyond immoral, it is just plain RACISM. This woman has assisted and helped ILLEGAL ALIENS to break all of our laws. She is a part of one of the worst racist groups, that exist, called LA RAZA. She only cares about people of hispanic descent and those, who have the same color of skin as she does. LA RAZA (The Race, yes, that is what they call themselves) is a Anti-American hate group, that must be dismantled, just like the KKK. LA RAZA hates Americans and anyone, who is not hispanic. Their motto is: Anything, within the race, everything. Anything, outside of the race, nothing. I knew Obama, hated America and he is truly, a racist.

Posted by: Sarah | Nov 26, 2008 8:35:55 PM

It seems to me that Mr Lillich does not know much about Ms Munoz nor about her "race or ethnicity". She happens to have a Spanish surname but is white as a lily.

Posted by: Thomas Molina | Nov 27, 2008 3:27:34 AM

A link to Munoz's bio.

Posted by: Immigration Prof | Nov 27, 2008 6:32:49 AM

I still say her appointment is a form of racial profiling. Cecilia Munoz would not have been appointed BUT FOR her race.

Posted by: Thomas Lillich | Nov 27, 2008 8:51:10 AM

This is the strongest signal yet that the Obama administration is serious about taking on CIR, and soon.

Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Nov 27, 2008 8:54:46 AM

As a Bolivian legal inmigrant It is a tremendous satisfaction and a example for our children, there is hope.. we are getting there, our children will not be treated as the labor class no more.Congratulations to Cecilia

Posted by: Mauricio Terrazas | Nov 28, 2008 3:05:01 AM

The extremist-funding National Council of La Raza now has someone else "on the inside": their senior vice president Cecilia Munoz has been named as the White House director of intergovernmental affairs. At least in the current administration, that office "serves as the President's liaison to state, local, and tribal governments" ( Expect her to get up to some far-left mischief in order to support her race, but what exactly that will be remains to be seen.

Posted by: Steve Emerson | Nov 28, 2008 3:00:56 PM

Mauricio Terrazas, when were your children ever treated as 'the labor class"? What will Cecilia Munoz' appointment do to prevent your children from being treated as "the labor class"? Is this appointment another example of the "change" that Obama had in mind? A better, more honest "change" would be for Barack to simply propose the abolition of all immigration laws or control, followed by a Barack edit that the entire world's population is welcomed to occupy the territorial limits of the former "United States of America". Cecilia Munoz has spent her entire "career" trying to bring that nightmare to reality. I am not surprised to learn that she is the daughter of "Bolivian immigrants" (LEGAL, I hope?). Why has she not been helping Bolivia with its immigration and population full integration problems? Instead, she was here in the U. S. aiding, abetting the continued presence in the U. S. of persons that she knew were not entitled to be here. Her entire career has been dedicated to finding ways to assist illegal aliens to skirt our immigration laws. The fox has now been given the keys to the hen house doors. Way to go, brother Barack!

Posted by: J. E. Smith | Nov 29, 2008 6:23:41 AM

She is member of a terrorist organization like La raza wich supports Criminal organization and he appoints this Criminal , Obama Sucks can't wait to see him go !!!

Posted by: Dave | Dec 30, 2008 4:40:05 AM

Ms. Munoz has certainly been supportive of illegal acts. Why she has not been arrested, I can't understand. La Raza is a very racist organization, so by default, in working for them, Ms. Munoz is also racist.La Raza has done everything they can to allow illegals to stay in this country and obtain citizenship. I wonder if a new congress in 2010 can indict all these criminals that Obama is appointing?

Posted by: mike in va | Apr 9, 2009 5:52:24 AM

Quisas cuando lea este correo no se acuerde de mi pero en muy breve le dire q conosco parte de su trayectori y es muy interesante sobre todo porq me identifico mucho con sus antesedentes sobre todo por que yo tambien soy una imigrante q llege a este pais hace 19 anos y e tratado de sobre vivir en este pais lleno de oportunidades por lo cual le dijo q ojala pudiera leer mi correo y pudiera contactarse conmigo me gustari poder platicar con usted y untablar una charla ojala DIOS me conceda esa dicha muchas gracias y espero respuesta suya hasta la proxima

Posted by: Georgina Pablo Perez | May 19, 2009 7:32:48 PM

Cecilia Muñoz (b. July 27, 1962) has served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House since January 21, 2009. A longtime civil rights advocate, she worked as Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a nonprofit organization established to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans, overseeing advocacy activities that cover issues of importance to immigrants and minorities.[1] In 2000, she was named a MacArthur Fellow for her work on civil rights and immigration.

Posted by: levitra | Dec 18, 2009 1:21:12 PM

The Translation: National Council of La Raza
Many people incorrectly translate our name, “La Raza,” as “the race.” While it is true that one meaning of “raza” in Spanish is indeed “race,” in Spanish, as in English and any other language, words can and do have multiple meanings. As noted in several online dictionaries, “La Raza” means “the people” or “the community.” Translating our name as “the race” is not only inaccurate, it is factually incorrect. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity, not a race. As anyone who has ever met a Dominican American, Mexican American, or Spanish American can attest, Hispanics can be and are members of any and all races.

The term “La Raza” has its origins in early 20th century Latin American literature and translates into English most closely as “the people” or, according to some scholars, as “the Hispanic people of the New World.” The term was coined by Mexican scholar José Vasconcelos to reflect the fact that the people of Latin America are a mixture of many of the world’s races, cultures, and religions. Mistranslating “La Raza” to mean “the race” implies that it is a term meant to exclude others. In fact, the full term coined by Vasconcelos, “La Raza Cósmica,” meaning the “cosmic people,” was developed to reflect not purity but the mixture inherent in the Hispanic people. This is an inclusive concept, meaning that Hispanics share with all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny.

And this is not just NCLR’s interpretation. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, “La Raza” means:

“…Mexicans or Mexican Americans considered as a group, sometimes extending to all Spanish-speaking people of the Americas.”
Furthermore, MSNBC’s online Spanish-English website, Encarta, translates the term this way:

“Hispanic Spanish-speakers in the Americas: Mexicans, Mexican Americans, or Spanish-speaking people of the Americas, considered as a group.”
The Free Dictionary, available online, similarly finds that the term “La Raza”:

“…embodies the notion that traditional, exclusive concepts of race and nationality can be transcended in the name of humanity’s common destiny.”

Posted by: Anthony Munoz | Mar 12, 2010 8:35:17 AM

Cecilia Munoz--

Maybe you should take a good look at what really happening with the illegal immigrants and their anchor children: in American law, it's a matter of settled law: lawbreakers should not benefit from their own transgressions. The parents--not this nation--are at fault if the children are inelegible for automatic citizenship or the amnesty that provides it. Illegal is not a race!

What's really at stake is the oligarchical government of the Latin countries--especially Mexico, whose laws against illegals are stronger than our own. U.S. citizens are not obligated to dilute the value of U.S. citizenship in order to prevent the next Mexican Revolution! Change Mexico and most of the other countries to our south.

I'm an independent, but I made phone calls for the Obama Campaign; and I do not support his amnesty program, no matter what you choose to call it.

It's probably necessary to give these illegal entrants legal residency, because a) Immmigration doesn't know who they are, anyhow; and b) that's the only way to fight the rip-off artists, including some politicians. Come back to reality! There's a valid case to be made for legal residence for all--but not automatic citizenship for the anchor children. They already share the citizenship of their parents.

Would you prefer that I and other thinking Americans support the objecting Republicans on this emotional issue-emotionally argued? In that case, the illegals are illegal--go home!

I have enclosed (not attached) a letter to a radio broadcast team and a recalcitrant California Rep, plus encouragement to thinkers. Read it. If necessary, I will circulate it on the web before the Democrats' crazy vote. Americans have a right to know that they are not individually at fault or groundless in their complaints.

And before you call me a racist, you should know that I've taught ESL to the foreign-born--largely Mexican, including illegals. We all benefit from the illegals' ability to speak English. Problem: the illegals have been told not to learn English--they are then better-controlled by their political chiefs and spokespersons.

Our Continental Congress decided on English alone, rather than bilingualism with German. Or were you not aware? Or is your personal agenda more important than this nation's best interests?


Richard Cavalier


Congratulations for favoring citizens over illegals!Wednesday, June 9, 2010 1:18 PM
From: "Richard Arthur" View contact detailsTo: johnandkenshow@kfi640.comCc:, ksinema@azleg.govHi, Guys--

Thanks for speaking your mind re: illegal immigrants. I've been arguing that for years but not getting your traction. I have also challenged LULAC directly and congratulated both the AZ Governor and two CA 'law' cities, but challenged editors of ethnic publications who won't put America first.

Politicians and professors--who should know better--are a major problem, because they seem to be delighted to confuse and mislead the public by
--a) applying the epithet 'racist' to all objectors, in order to divert attention from the substantial and factual reasons we object. Of course, that's intellectually dishonest, but I expect that they know it; and
--b) using the all-inclusive term 'immigrants,' rather than to mention 'illegal immigrants' specifically.

I've recently objected directly to several CA professors (2 at Chapman-U and 1-UCI)whose motives for glib pronouncements seem to be suspect. Politicians are sworn to uphold the Constitution but a few seem to be hoping to dissuade American citizens from applying it.

So, rather than fret, I've outlined some serious objections to the illegals. . .that I'm now circulating to the politically-correct press, which has been out-of-touch with its readership before.

It's my way of saying that I believe that the offending politicians and professors, too, are out-of-touch. What's their real motive? Should I tell them, "Thanks for the push"?

Maybe you can start a rational discussion by challenging some of the strutting politicians directly. If this material might help, you're welcome to use it; consider this note to be an agreed press release.

Go, Guys! And thanks.

Richard Cavalier


CONFIDENTIAL. For agreed release, only:

Editor: for activist and/or corporate readerships:


Head: "What Are the Arguments Gaining Us?
by Richard Cavalier

Wouldn't it help if opposing sides in the current amnesty battle tried to understand each other? Let's understand: not all illegals are Latino, but only the Latinos seem to be willing to demand and march identifiably.
If all claques and profiteers stop screaming, citizens' unbending opposition might stop, because the US citizens' objections are much more varied and serious than the mainstream press will acknowledge. You know: political correctness; the nation be damned!
"Besides, hotels are expensive; so my friends and I will be camping in your living room next weekend." This writer will present the tough but cogent arguments, without flinching or taking either side apart from the cogent arguments:

Start with the Big Three apologias that are bandied about:

1) "Illegals do jobs that Americans won't do."
Who did those jobs pre-Amnesty-I, before the illegals arrived by the multi-millions? If ever Amnesty-II, then Amnesty-XXX, because Amnesty-I has become a trigger invitation, not the solution.
The last time an illegal gave this writer the excuse of 'jobs the Americans won't do,' he was engaged in car repair. Won't American's do that job? With a glib slogan, does he 'justify' his taking a citizen's job?
Rationale: Americans refuse to perform some jobs FOR LESS THAN A LIVING WAGE! When illegals take those jobs, they create and/or perpetuate the now-slightly-improved conditions that Caesar Chavez fought against. That takes the wage-bottom out of the market for all unskilled labor, including citizens, who should have first claim. So subsistence wages become the intolerable norm not only for Americans but even for the illegals themselves.
By bottoming-out the wage scale for all unskilled or semi-skilled workers, the illegals have created the very 'us-and-them' cohesiveness among American citizens that illegals are fighting with, today.
Let's not pretend that American farm workers were ever overpaid. Writer John Steinbeck put that fiction to rest re: the Great Depression migrants. But Americans, who usually vote their own pocket book, were not overly concerned about other Americans' situations: Does "Look out for yourself" adequately excuse illegal immigration?
Moreover, when low-wage monies are sent abroad, there's double damage: in order to add to wealth, money needs to circulate; and it can't when invested or sent abroad. Investment money could return profits, but few corporations really pay proportional taxes (a Middle Ages concept). Remember China's huge sovereign wealth despite a majority of population living in near poverty.

2) "The illegals only want a better life and civil rights."
Ho-hum. Who doesn't want something 'better,' regardless of their circumstances or station? Illegals have NO CIVIL RIGHTS! They do have economic wants.
Civil rights belong only to citizens and invited legals. Illegals do have 'human rights,' such as those recommended by the UN, which is not providing sanctuary for illegals anywhere in Europe, either.
If illegals are not being machine-gunned at any border, they are already being treated humanely. Deportation is a reasonable and benign response to persons who are not provably subject to persecution at home.
Shouldn't we send that bill to their native countries?
Economic refugees are a world problem for the disparity nations and their banking-world-profiteers, not America's alone. At home here, too.
Un-Constitutional? Those who have no civil rights therefore neither have nor deserve Constitutional protections. Original meaning? Does the Constitution envision microwave ovens and space flights? Aren't those therefore un-Constitutional concepts, in strict construction?
The Constitution was created with procedures for change because 'strict provisions' could not be adequate forever. One unfortunate procedure: Constitutional Conventions, as provided, now permit extremists to re-open all elements of the basic document even if only specific repairs are needed. Should America's internal political problems excuse the illegals?

Quasi-legal argument:
Although it's true that the 15th Amendment calls for citizenship for "landed persons," it's also true that the Amendment, when passed, applied specifically to the slaves and their progeny. No subject could travel without permission of the King; deprived persons never traveled, except on slave ships. . .world history.
Key point: the slaves arrived 'legally,' even if by a nasty 'special invitation.' That's not true of today's illegals. Were they ever invited by name or category?
Isn't it grotesque for the illegals' claques and profiteers to place their groundless demands on a par with the civil rights fight of our Blacks, who were, as a group, deprived of their legal civil rights for many generations?
Isn't claiming to be working 'in the civil rights tradition' merely an emotional ploy to attempt to sway our Black population. . .who already bear the brunt of cheap, imported labor? Or to goad the guilt-reflexes of the still-racists among us?
Morally, the activist-illegals have an obligation to remain at home, to protest and change any and all political systems that drive their fellow citizens abroad. That's an aspect of 'noblesse oblige'. . .in the tradition of Alexander Solzhenitzen, but surely not Ayn Rand. Self-preservation can require a choice between altruism and selfishness.

3) Objectors' emphasis on illegals is 'racist.'
Last time anyone checked, 'illegal' was not a race. Moreover, the illegals arrived while knowing that they're illegal. They put their personal wants ahead of the laws of the US: Is scoff-law a valid basis for good citizens or citizenship? From which law derives the illegals 'right' to march to demand anything? Are they being tolerated. . .posibly only for the moment?
Recently, the Mexican President asked President Obama to solve the 'illegals' problem, presumably by allowing the Mexican dissidents to remain here. Presumably, that relieves the Mexican government of the obligation to create more equitable economic conditions in that country. Does the US does owe any country the opportunity to remain economically unfair and unjust? And why is such disparity still happening here?
Why shouldn't charges of 'racism' against the US for rejecting illegal persons be seen as the foreign governments' attempt to export their dissidents and dissuade others at home from rebelling and creating a revolution there that could possibly solve the overall problem?
Isn't internal racism against the indigenous population seemingly a key element for maintaining power for persons most-European in the Latino genetic mix? Does that help to explain the Venezuelan political problem?
For American citizens (especially those of the illegals' national heritage) to argue in favor of the illegals points out the folly of dual citizenship, whether or not those American citizens hold dual citizenship themselves.
Why should citizens work against the best interests of this nation in order to argue for illegals? Isn't that emotion, not rational thinking?
For those American citizens whose jobs and community standing depend on their sympathy to the illegals' cause, there's little sympathy for them among the citizen population. After all, aren't the apologists selling their nation's best interests for their own indirect benefit and emotions? In Ancient Greece, couldn't that be termed 'porn'? Yes, a related meaning to our English word.

With these three key arguments seen from 'the other side,' a litany of lesser-known, but valid, reasons and misunderstandings then can surface.

Look at the scope of the problem:
Up to 20% of the nation's inhabitants were language-handicapped, decades ago, with the exact number depending on the definition of 'handicap' that's used. That percentage has surely grown with illegal entries. That's not a pretty picture. Neither is the unvarnished truth, which follows below. But there's hope, and you control some of it:

There is a simplified initial and partial solution which your business or community organization can implement alone, if necessary. It helps both internal human relations and also corporate responsibility purposes for employees and surrounding communities. It's called language-learning.
Is there a moral obligation for American citizens to learn more than 40 languages in order to accommodate all foreign-born persons equally? Or is equality no longer a legal requirement for language issues? Usefulness apart, is multi-language-learning the American citizens' intelligent or fair obligation?

Unemotional, common-sense backgrounding:
Despite a decades-long national/volunteer push for volunteer-ESL (English as a Second Language, usually by traditional 'rules' methods), there's an unequal and greater push by the limited-language profiteers to keep their captive audience captive. Immigrants who know English can make their own choices for everything. Doesn't that threaten the primacy of some translators, who now often function as important 'spokesmen' or even politicians?
Profiteers can include most single-foreign-language publications and TV/radio broadcast stations; ethnic advertising/PR agencies; banks; local small-store market areas; some opportunistic employers; . . .and some lawyers and lawyer-groups who offer immediate, free immigration-appeal assistance in (unspoken) exchange for paid legal services later, such as mortgages and car loans, etc.
Clincher? The opportunity for 'pro bono' lawyers to discover Supreme Court cases that build lawyers' reputations and personal fortunes on the backs of the illegals. Do the language-handicapped share in any such private benefits or fortunes made by the lawyers?

1) Although we agree that American citizens should not be required to carry citizenship papers because of their looks (adjust the Arizona law!), shouldn't any person involved in a breach of law be required to show papers or be jailed and deported? But if all citizens are required for a specified duration?
2) One of the most logical, quickest, and most inexpensive outreach methods/programs for delivering useful help is ESL (English as a Second Language). Basic instruction in coded-phonetics ESL can be carried out at community level and control: see "Practical Word Power," a verbatim text for volunteer tutors (below). The current best interests of the nation would seem to continue to require a single language--discussion below.

Historical perspective:
Single-language has been a major force in welding a nation of LEGAL, INVITED immigrants. That "We're a nation of immigrants" is true: INVITED!
As Professor Jared Diamond wrote in his recent book, "Collapse," great civilizations of the past have all failed when the contemporary generations failed to recognize the changes in their historical circumstances: isn't the US almost there?
Do illegals have a 'right' to ignore the national language. . .while they are being abused because of their inability to speak?
Some of their own nationals, not only others, blackmail the Latinos into accepting peons' wages on threat of exposure. Legal residency (NOT AMNESTY!) would simultaneously end that blackmail practice by the profiteers and other opportunists who 'liberally' shout for 'fairness'-- while simultaneously solving the ID/jobs/taxes issues. On whose behalf, inaction?

Social validation:
Sociologists have determined that "Melting Pot" was a phrase reflecting single-language, not an ethnic reality. Throughout their lives, our own grandparents spoke their native language at home and whenever they were alone together, because young grandchildren didn't interfere and shouldn't understand, anyway.
English was taught to adults at school and was needed for social interaction and to speak with the grandchildren. It was the opinion of both our grandparents and parents that time spent learning a disused language was time wasted.
However, our American-born mother had her hands spanked in school daily because she wouldn't lie about the foreign language spoken at home. Such a Federal commitment to English died out as English gained primacy, but it was never legally abandoned. Current interpretations have simply pandered to unjustified pressures. If single-language worked then why won't it work now? But the illegals demand what?

Preserving a culture?:
"Preserve your culture" is a form of denial on the part of the parents. Especially for US-born anchor-children (but also for the foreign-born, very young arrivals) the American culture is their culture, and they should respect it. By the international law of Jus Solei/Jus Sanguinis, children are ALWAYS the nationality of their parents but are entitled to petition for their citizenship in the adopted country when they meet their age of majority, according to the laws of that country.

Reality assessments:
Regrets for ourselves (regarding our not-learning the grandparents' language) are minor, experienced only when traveling occasionally in their native land. Despite their language-choice in private, our grandparents learned English and always spoke it with the grandchildren.
With nine children, our paternal grandmother had little time for language-learning and never really mastered much more than routine parental phrases in English.
On the other hand, (her husband) my grandfather spoke English exceptionally well because he was a janitor at the local high school: he learned English from listening to the kids!
English is easy to learn--its rules-with-exceptions-to-exceptions remain horrendous because few school systems make the effort to adopt better methods than those offered by John Dewey (a century ago!) and the 'sound-out' method, despite challenges from recent, published research.
Even if early immigrants had not wanted to learn English in order to join the mainstream culture, they were aided directly by the state and federal governments, which sent them to school. No choice.

There are other facts and legal implications that follow:
Educational effects: Some research by linguists has premised that early bilingualism among children tends to interfere with their mainstream-language learning.
That was the opinion of Sir Winston Churchill, too, who attributed his exceedingly-good English to the fact that he was 'too poor' a student to be 'allowed' to study Greek and Latin in school: so he was drilled only in English!
Current studies contradict that flat assessment but are unclear about whether and to what degree the various language formats might conflict, and under what circumstance, if so. But all agree that children have the edge in second-language learning! We now give them the toughest route: the discredited guesswork of 'sound-out.'

English Only/No English?:
If the native Indian languages of Central and South America are not accepted for most legal documents there, why should immigrants (legal or illegal) expect their language to be legal here? Emotionalism--not fact--is driving the arguments of the amnesty contingent.
Further, Spanish is the language of the Conquistador. Why should the conqueror's native-language be considered morally superior to the host country's? Oh, yes--Europeans conquered here, too. But is this an argument over whose conqueror was nicer?

Internal political aspects:
Moreover, if the Latin countries (or any other) can continue to export their disaffected people, then they can avoid needed reforms, while the US takes up an unwanted and unwarranted burden. The continuing problem in the native countries is not solved by exporting their most disaffected and/or ambitious nationals!
Everyone knows what the ultimate solutions have been in the past when governments were oppressive. But the Latino governments' working attitudes are clear: public embarrassment is preferable to economic reforms that would keep their citizens at home.

Acknowledging American objections:
Few American citizens resent immigrants: we do (and, in my opinion, understandably) resent illegal immigrants. Complainants and the popular press usually ignore the 'illegal' aspect while cynically concentrating on the 'immigrant' and 'racial,' aspects: emotional slogans usually attract better than do the simple facts; and arguments sell more copies.
The emotionalism reflects the popularity of "LaRaza" (The Race) as a title for numerous pro-amnesty tracts and even serious publications. That sleight-of-hand displaces onto American citizens the foreigners' own attitudes that stem from their attempt to build cohesiveness among themselves in this country. Is that defensible when done at our expense?

While it sounds magnanimous to offer to let each person speak his/her own language possibly forever, that merely creates a new Balkans here--and we know what's been happening in the Balkans since before WWI. It's still going on--witness Kosovo and Darfur. Both include religious issues.
How many of the world's languages must each of us learn in order to let every immigrant speak his/her own native language in America? And why must we provide the translators that are needed in the courts and hospitals? No obligation for family, friends, and the community that seeks bilingualism?
Legal immigrants know that English-language-learning is expected, and they're usually glad and often even eager to learn it.

We've taught simplified ESL-phonetics (dictionary codes) to many professional immigrants who were were working as para-professionals here because of their language problem. That experience included a program for Mexican SEP bilingual teachers in Los Angeles who did not pass the CBEST (English comprehension), a persnickety test to which this life-long writer chose wrongly to several items of English usage: my carelessness with mini-details? Or overly-demanding? Human communication does not require perfect grammar. It also doesn't blossom in large-class lectures.
My ESL program was discontinued when Vicente Fox was elected. The new SEP representative was moved to Sacramento and then recalled to Mexico. Why? What underlying attitudes against English existed in Mexico? And might that be a factor in the no-English attitudes among illegal arrivals?

Then consider a few of the practical aspects:
Health care: Many hospitals along the southern border have closed their emergency rooms because so many foreign-born persons are demanding service but failing to pay for it.
Yes, many Americans don't have health insurance and don't pay, but that's true across the country, not just along the border. So why should the rates of non-payment of hospital expense be significantly higher in the impacted areas, if not for illegals?
Safety: A Southern California city that tagged dangerous drivers found and published the fact that the majority of the tagged drivers were illegals. Many drive here as they drive at home: machismo! Insured?
California's Governor has vetoed a bill (championed by Latino leaders in the legislature) that would extend driver licenses to illegals. Justified denial?
Sympathy vs law: Finally, illegals defend their own reluctance to learn English with the facts that
a) "We're preserving our culture." Children born here cannot "preserve" a culture that they have never known; they are being (but shouldn't be) indoctrinated in such a way as to make them feel that they can't ever belong as Americans.
b) "California belonged to Mexico first--and will again." Probably every now-country was once part of something else. Who can possibly know? Will current borders of any country ever be firm if borders can change from day to day because of ancient 'claims'?

By the international law of Jus Solis/Jus Sanguinis (Law of soil/law of blood), children are ALWAYS the nationality of the parents. They might or might not be instant citizens of the soil where born.
Instant citizenship was an 'interpretation' by the Immigration Service that permitted millionaires and displaced nobility of Europe to birth their children here and claim citizenship for them although returned home. That interpretation is not law. It did not encompass illegals.
In the US, those born on our soil (even the children of illegals) still have a right to claim citizenship on their reaching the age of majority. . .not exactly instant and not an excuse for deported parents to abandon their anchor-children here. Doesn't such abandonment also describe an underlying parental motive for birthing the children here?

International aspects:
Stated southern-border land was once part of Mexico? Yes; and Mexico was once part of the Aztec empire and didn't belong to Europeans and didn't speak a European language.
Besides, much or most of the world once belonged to someone else, probably should be "returned" to the original owners' progeny. . .except who can know who the original owners were? That's the argument at issue in the current battle over Israel/Palestine and Kosovo/Albanians, among others.
And the question of 'original' is just as unsolvable anywhere else. A Middle East suggestion: two countries; 'Oslo' borders; declare Jerusalem to be an open city, with its own government.
Open cities have already worked elsewhere in the world already. See how easy it is to offend warring opponents by introducing facts and reason into an emotional/religious battle? Now: law or emotion?

The fact that so many persons (including legislators) claim to favor dual citizenship is especially serious, given that so many persons with dual loyalties now speak (publicly) in favor of the illegals--including in ethnic-Latino-owned publications. And that split loyalty exists despite the best interests of this nation and even if the publisher is himself/ herself an American citizen. Dual citizenship is a pretense at equanimity.
Such favoritism to their ethnic views does not establish them as being compassionate toward ethnics so much as it points out the folly of dual-citizenship. It also argues for the immediate and permanent end to the "family-chain" argument that allows unlimited sponsorship of family members from any nation. There's no end to family relationships of the perennial newscomers, either! Easy solution: spouse, children, and/or parents permitted. Everyone else: line up and apply as (sponsored) immigrants.

These arguments re: common misunderstandings do not take into account the separate research findings about the negative effects of unbridled population growth or the displacements of out-of-state, American-born college students by those undocumented persons who seek (and sometimes get)in-state tuition reductions. Doesn't the Mexican government still provide free higher education to all Mexican citizens (and children of citizens)? Need the quasi-legals take limited college slots here?
'Sanctuary Cities,' churches, and other 'social-service' groups boast about aiding "these poor people who simply want better for themselves." (Ho hum: Don't we all?) They are actually aiding and abetting illegal acts. And they also take up collections and ask for grant monies for 'charitable activities.' Aren't they (and they always deny it) among the profiteers?
So far, we have attempted to relate the ideas and attitudes that never make an appearance in the politically-correct press--but bother American citizens. We've tried to understand the problem--will you? But the problem still needs to be solved, even if understood. And this writer believes that a workable but logical solution is to begin dismantalling the language barrier, which operates politically in even such first-world countries as Canada, Switzerland, and Belgium. Will you work at it with me?

(*****Note to Publishers:)

This grandson of immigrants has traveled in 40+ countries and studied or dabbled in (by academic or commercial or survival methods) five other languages. He knows "it ain't easy" and thinks that accommodation is possible, nevertheless. If you agree, you have two options:

Providing for reader-action:
a) For a limited, in-house program, companies can proceed alone by implementing the program envisioned in his verbatim tutor's text and workbook. See "Practical Word Power" at website:; then 'Business Writing'; then 'Titles'; or
b) Announce: "For a more extensive program for employee families and their local communities (as a corporate responsibility effort), join own effort. If at least (20+?) companies and/or community organizations wish to work directly with this ESL tutor/author, then our organization will sponsor a central seminar.
If interested, contact this organization at: _______________. Schedules will be set if and when."
Such a seminar will permit your company's Human Resources chief and/or Department Heads to develop a working program, if they are now confronted with the problem, whether on-the-job or in employees' family lives. Your choice--with them.

Posted by: Richard Cavalier | Dec 8, 2010 10:48:47 AM

Give, give, give to these parasites who the likes of cecelia munoz describe
as the poor "huddled masses". Her and her unidad are bleeding this country.
To DEATH. What does our existing regime think America is? Their own personal
Barby and Ken playhouse.

Posted by: mike timpane | Jun 3, 2011 3:30:49 PM

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