By Alvaro Huerta

Mitt Romney may well be on his way to the Republican nomination, but he’ll have a hard time getting further than that because of his position on immigration.

Romney’s hostile stance against even immigrant children who arrived here when they were very young does not sit well with Latinos, to say the least.

Like all voting groups, Latino registered voters represent a heterogeneous bunch of individuals with diverse political viewpoints and backgrounds, from liberal to moderate to conservative. This includes Chicanos from East Los Angeles, Puerto Ricans from the Bronx and Cubans from “Little Havana” in Miami.

However, as a voting bloc, Latino voters tend to support the rights of undocumented immigrants and vote Democrat at a higher rate compared to all registered voters. For instance, according to a recent poll from the Pew Hispanic Center, while 42 percent of all Latino registered voters favor a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, only 24 percent of all registered voters support this position. Also, in a hypothetical matchup between President Obama and Romney for the 2012 election, an overwhelming 68 percent of all Latino voters favor Obama, while only 23 percent support Romney.

Obama gave Romney an opening with Latinos, as 59 percent of Latinos disapprove of Obama’s inhumane deportation policy of breaking up families. But Romney didn’t take it.

Instead, he has tacked to the right on the immigration issue. He has denounced Texas Gov. Rick Perry for approving in-state tuition for immigrant students, claiming this represents a magnet for illegal immigration. He recently vowed to veto the DREAM Act, which would enable children of undocumented immigrants to become citizens if they go to college or serve in the military. And he opposes any amnesty for undocumented immigrants, despite their daily contributions to this country.

All undocumented immigrants, Romney says, should return to their country of birth and then get in the back of the line if they want to re-enter the United States legally.

These views do not endear Romney to Latinos, who represent a growing — and perhaps pivotal — voter bloc.

Romney’s anti-immigrant stance may be helping him win the Republican nomination but is spoiling his chance to win the White House. He may have plenty of time on his hands, after November, to ponder that irony.

Alvaro Huerta, Ph.D., is a visiting scholar at UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center. He can be reached at

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Trump's politics are not the problem.

The fiery Milwaukee Sheriff is on the shortlist to head the Department of Homeland Security.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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