Anderson Cooper talks to Univision's Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas about who Latinos support and why voter turnout could make all the difference this election.
"When you can compare it to 2008, it is expected to be just as high," says Salinas about turnout, and she tells Anderson that tracking shows enthusiasm has increased to be at 2008 levels.
Recently Ramos challenged Pres. Obama on immigration reform. At the Univision town hall on Sept. 20, he said, "A promise is a promise, and with all due respect, you didn't keep that promise." The president responded in part by saying he takes responsibility, and vowed to work every day to give everyone in America a "fair shot," but never promised that he would "get everything done 100%."
"He broke a promise...it's very difficult for Latinos to believe Pres. Barack Obama," says Ramos. But forced to choose between the two candidates, he explains Obama is preferable because of his support of the Dream Act, and due to Romney backing self-deportation.
John King looks at Latino populations in swing states and how they could impact the outcome of the presidential race.
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Ana Navarro discuss which candidate has made and kept promises that affect Latinos.
Alberto Gonzales and Juan Carlos Lopez talk with Soledad O'Brien about the candidates' strategy to win Latino support.
Foreign Policy in Focus
Lately, the news from Mexico has not been particularly positive. Every day the number of victims of the ongoing turf wars in the northern border area of the country grows. In 2009, Mexico reported 7,724 drug war-related deaths,1 while in January of this year alone, the number of people killed in Ciudad Juárez reached a stunning 227. Recently, over the weekend of March 13, 2010, nearly 50 people were killed in that bloody city, including employees and family members of the U.S. Consulate. Most scholars and politicians believe that these deaths are all related to drug gang activity, implying that they are the result of in-gang struggles for control of businesses and territory; fights amongst gangs for routes, and because of clashes with the military.
Much of the discussion and debate regarding the sad situation along the U.S.-Mexican border has been centered on analyzing drug policy and immigration laws. No doubt failed drug policies and practices are fueling much of the violence across the American border. More recently, however, and for the purposes of this essay, a focused discussion on the guns that fuel such violence is taking shape.
Mexico has very strict gun-ownership laws. While the country’s constitution allows for citizens to bear arms, the conditions it places on this ownership—through amendments to the constitution—are much more limiting. Indeed, only one entity is permitted to sell weapons, and it is run by the army. This does not imply that the situation is perfectly controlled, however; there are certainly ways around any law or institutional arrangement. Yet the violence in the northern border states of Mexico seems to be nurtured not only by weapons acquired illegally from Mexico, but also by those trafficked illegally from the United States.
Special to CNN
When Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivered her oath last summer, many women - and especially Latinas - felt renewed hope as a champion of women's rights took her place on the U.S. Supreme Court.
With Democrats in the White House and both houses of Congress, we believed that we could stop playing defense and actually advance women's rights, including access to abortion.
However, the health care debate quickly convinced us that we had to mobilize.
First, Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, crafted the Stupak-Pitts amendment, designed to restrict women's access to abortion coverage in the proposed public health insurance marketplace. Millions of women who have access to abortion coverage through their insurance plans would lose this coverage if the insurance plans were offered in the exchange.
Special to CNN
The case of the New Mexico hotelier who required Latino employees to adopt English names and avoid speaking Spanish at work reminds us of the need for balance as we grapple with cultural evolution in America.
Many of us take our name and its pronunciation for granted. I imagine I did too - until I was 5 years old.
That's when my dad dropped me off on the front porch of Sunnyside School in Brownsville, Texas, the border town where I was born and raised. Like any kid on his first day of school, I was engulfed by longing and loneliness, staring forlornly at my dad through the screen door as he walked away.
When I turned to face the classroom, the teacher's mouth moved and I heard words, but I failed to understand. Tears pricked my eyes. I didn't speak English yet, having been home with my mom up until that first day of kindergarten.
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Have you ever seen 47 million people hold their breath and hope for the best?
Take it from this Latino in America, when many of my compadres heard that CNN was putting together a documentary on being "Latino in America," that's pretty much what happened.
For those of us in the Latino community who worry that those of us in the media are missing the best and most nuanced stories about America's largest minority because we're too busy harping on stereotypes and accentuating the negative - "I'll take an order of high school dropouts, with a side of gangbangers and mix in some gardeners and housekeepers" - there was a concern that CNN would blow the assignment.
Concepcion Saravia, originally from Nicaragua, says she's always been surrounded by a large family.
"I guess it's a Hispanic thing," says Saravia. "You grow up with a lot of people around you and you always have someone there for you."
Robert Garcia thinks Latinos such as himself live a life that straddles multiple worlds.
"I think that you have the world that you live in as an American that you see in everyday life and you have the world that you come home to that's a Spanish-speaking family, eats Peruvian food," he says.
Josefina Lopez describes her "American dream" as "becoming the type of person that transcends class, gender and all the other limitations."
Let's all pretend to be the astrologer Walter Mercado for a moment. Say we predict that the Obama administration's master plan to engage people of Latino/Hispanic/Spanish origin proves to be effective.
Let's say that along with strategic partners Telemundo and the Census Bureau, they somehow manage to corral the millions of "Latinos" into filling out the 2010 census forms in April. Say the idea of plot-kneading the message into an already half-baked yet inexplicably popular telenovela, "Mas Sabe el Diablo," wins over the hearts and minds of "Latinos" everywhere.
But what's a Latino?
While we all may speak a version of our Spanish colonizer's language, contrary to popular belief, we're not all Mexican. Yes, the majority of Latinos in America are of Mexican descent, but we also hail from other countries around the world.