FROM Alfonso Aguilar
The Potential Power of Latinos in 2016 After President Obama's re-election four years ago, the Republican National Committee officially declared its intention to reach out to the growing Latino electorate. Four years later, a record 27 million Latinos are eligible — a 40% increase since 2008 – and both parties are vying for their support. But there's no such thing as the "Hispanic Vote." They're divided by religion, country of origin, economic class--and generation. There are liberals and conservatives. But one issue is uniting them as never before: Immigration — creating a special challenge for the Republicans, and not just because of Donald Trump. Will that increase their dismal rate of turnout in states where Latino votes could make a difference?
Long Shots Are Changing the Short Game for 2016 Rank and file voters won't be heard from until January of next year, but Hillary Clinton is already getting an unexpected challenge from Bernie Sanders — and others as well. Earlier just an annoyance, the Vermont senator now is becoming a real threat to Clinton's "coronation" by the Democrats next year. Bernie Sanders Photo: Peter Stevens On the Republican side, it’s a political free for all. Donald Trump is hitting the top ten just in time to make the first debate next month as Republicans pick their way through a multitude of candidates. Donald Trump Photo: Gage Skidmore Controversial issues are piling up for both parties, from immigration to income inequality, and the early going is being shaped by unlikely contenders.
What's Next for Immigration Reform? The US Senate has passed sweeping immigration reform, but it’s stalled in the House. Traditional Republicans support immigration reform in terms of free-market economics and family unity. Others worry about the growing Hispanic vote. But a growing number of GOP members are pledged to vote against any immigration bill—whatever it says—claiming it’ll turn into “amnesty.” This weekend, businesses, religious organizations and activists organized events in 40 states at 150 different locations and today, the Camino Americano: March for Dignity and Respect has arrived on the Capitol Mall. One group represented today are children brought to this country by their parents and raised as Americans. This summer, a group calling themselves the “Dream Nine” staged a different kind of protest on their own. The "Dream Nine” were released on parole in August and allowed to return home pending an immigration judge’s decision on their claim of asylum. That could take years.
New Citizenship Test Launched Today Today's the day that a new citizenship test goes into effect. Instead of rote memory of facts about the United States, it emphasizes concepts and values. There's been a lot of advance notice, but many immigrants are worried that it's going to be harder. Alfonso Aguilar is Chief of the Office of Citizenship at the US Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?