WatchSonoma Watch

GUEST OPINION: Latino leaders call for end of race-baiting

Laura González

Laura González is president of the Sonoma County Latino Democratic Club. David Rosas is a Roseland community advocate.

The advocates of racial hatred continue to beat their drums of fear and mistrust.

Here in Sonoma County, we witnessed this when a candidate for county supervisor decided to support “sanctuary” for undocumented immigrants. In response, a campaign mailer from the Sonoma County Alliance Political Action Committee suggested that Sonoma County would be turned into a haven for murderous immigrants who would prey upon local residents.

As Latinos involved in our community, we want to set the record straight: “o más derecho.”

As community leaders, we refuse to remain silent while our people are stigmatized and dehumanized. “Illegal immigrants” has become code for Latinos in California, and our nation. That many Latinos feel the same as we do is witnessed in our voting patterns.

David Rosas

Recent polls by the Pew Hispanic Center and a Democracia USA survey found that three out of four Latinos have a bad impression of the GOP, mostly because of its hard stand against immigration policy and its support of Proposition 187. As proof of this, the recent election saw Democratic victories here in California, in part because of Latino voters.

Yet the anti-immigration rhetoric continues. The result? As a recent New York Times article recognized, “The nation’s largest minority (approximately 47 million) feels beleaguered by backlash from the polarized debate over immigration in the past year …

Our county’s recent anti-“sanctuary” campaign mailer reminds us that these problems are indeed close to home.

We do not find solace in the fact that this mailer limited its attack to those who are “illegal.” We see this mailer for what it is: a hostile caricature, full of empty rhetoric. Most Latinos believe that the differentiation between “legal” and “illegal” simply serves to mask prejudice against Latinos and is a cover to fan the flames of ethnic intolerance. Otherwise, why would more than six in 10 of us say discrimination is a “major problem”?

Those who advocate for immigrant (documented or not) rights do not “protect criminals.” They speak on behalf of an overwhelmingly hard working, family-oriented, religious and under-represented people who are seeking a better life.

That some immigrants put their lives in danger to enter the country without permission is a testimony to their desire for a viable future for themselves and their children, not proof that they are “mere criminals.” Most Latinos understand this and abhor the vitriol aimed at these members of our ethnic group.

The Press Democrat has acknowledged that, “As America grows more Latino; the perils of immigrant-bashing will begin to outweigh its rewards.”

That day is coming. Every year for the next 20 years, half a million Latino youths will reach voting age. These young people will remember being called “illegal” or “anchor babies” (regardless of their or their parents’ actual immigration status) because they are of Latino heritage.

Yes, within a few short years, thankfully, mailers demonizing Latinos will be a death knell for the candidate they represent. State representatives who liken undocumented immigrants to rats, as recently happened in Tennessee, will find themselves voted out of office.

As a nation of immigrants and the ancestors of immigrants, both documented and undocumented, none of us should stand by quietly while self-serving groups, candidates or political parties pound their hateful drums. The time has come to condemn race baiting campaign tactics and to support comprehensive national immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship.

This was also signed by 20 other Latino leaders in Sonoma County, including:

  • Michael Aparicio — Professor, SRJC (sympathetic partner)
  • Dennis Boné — Community Activist
  • María Cañas — PODER, Community Activist
  • Davin Cárdenas — Organizer, North Bay Organizing Project
  • Omar Gallardo — Graton Day Labor Center
  • Dr. Ellie Galvez-Hard — Professor, SSU
  • Carl Jaramillo — UAW Lobbyist, Retired
  • Holly Jaramillo — Secretary, Sonoma County Latino Democratic Club
  • Dr. Ron López — Professor, SSU
  • Lisa Maldonado — Executive Director, North Bay Labor Council
  • Omar Medina
  • Michaele Morales — PODER, Community Activist
  • Abel Moya — “GANA” Grupo de Apoyo Nuevo Avance
  • Mujeres Unidas of Sonoma County
  • Tiffany Renée — Petaluma City Council Member
  • Alicia Román — Attorney at Law
  • Denise Soza — Business Rep. for IBEW Local 551
  • Elsa Chinea Stevens
  • Dr. Francisco Vásquez — Professor, SSU
  • Georgina Warmoth — Community Activist

101 Responses to “GUEST OPINION: Latino leaders call for end of race-baiting”

  1. Really Big Fish says:

    The following is a notice that was posted on the internet regarding the understanding of the current immigration laws of Mexico.

    Just for a fun exercise Google about the deportation policies under Presidents Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower.

    1 There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
    2. All ballots will be in this nation’s language.
    3. All government business will be conducted in our language.
    4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
    5. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office
    6 Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs. Any burden will be deported.
    7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
    8. If foreigners come here and buy land… options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
    9. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
    10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted &, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.

  2. Caucasianmarriedtohispanic (Chris) says:

    @lisa maldonado.
    I think this was the most coherent thing you’ve said. Thank you for answering my question, and I do know of the struggles of other groups in our Nations history. I think that’s the question people have been waiting for, to truly see where things lay with you.
    Again, I’ve already said, the mailer was distasteful, but so was the opinion. Key words, that’s all it takes. if simply, this sentence “Those who advocate for immigrant (documented or not) rights do not “protect criminals.” They speak on behalf of an overwhelmingly hard working, family-oriented, religious and under-represented people who are seeking a better life.” read like this “Those who advocate for immigrant rights do not “protect criminals.” They speak on behalf of an overwhelmingly hard working, family-oriented, religious and under-represented people who are seeking a better life.” But the way it is written, it’s a fallacy. To say that you are not protecting criminals, but yet those who come here illegally have just broken our immigration law are considered criminal.
    Again, it comes down to perception. I can say that the mailer was a smear tactic, which did work and shouldn’t take place in elections, however, as we seen, it was reversed on Meg Whitman as well. You are right, should not be in a political campaign.
    But, this opinion adds to the fear mongering and gives the mailer more clout when your group does protect undocumented immigrants.
    I gave my stance, I am against Illegal immigration, but do believe that legal immigrant residents do need protection. I do know my history and the plight of the different groups. My family is the melting pot of the US. I’ve studied my family history, going back to settlers and indenture servants in the mid 1600′s and I’ve even studied my wife’s family history as well.
    Thank you Ms. Maldonado for answering my question and not using any type of derogatory remarks. This was a good response, and not because you said you’d protect everyone, but because it didn’t attack my stance solely because I’m who I am or because I’ve taken a stance against Illegal Immigrants.
    See, we can all get along.

  3. @LG says:

    You are hurting your own cause.

  4. @Caucasian ad nauseum
    Since I can’t answer your repeated query to signers without also breaking your “be silent” directive, I will simply say that yes,I would defend the right of any and all workers (polish, Eastern Europena, Irish) who are similarly targeted and attacked as criminals and murderers by people like the Sonoma Business Alliance because they came here to make a better life for their families. In the history of the labor movement(you might want to read up) we saw Italians,Russian Jews, Irish, Chinese, Bohemians, French Canadians and many other immigrants targeted and vilified and even deported simply for speaking up politically (Google Palmer Raids) or fighting for better working conditions. We fight against the exploitation and attacks on all workers who are used by the bosses to work cheaply and make their profits and then thrown away when they are not needed. The hypocritical, and racist mailer by the Sonoma Business Alliance is a perfect example of that craven attitude and that is why we signed on to the letter.Hope that answers your question.

  5. Caucasianmarriedtohispanic (Chris) says:

    How does Foriegn Policy play in our laws regarding immigration? Just a simple question so that I can better understand your position of why we should just say “whatever” to our laws because of foriegn policy. Obiviously, every country has one. Even Mexico.
    Ok, I asked a question, but it hasn’t been answered. If this is not about race and only about fear mongering against a race, then if there were also 11 million illegal immigrants from Germany or even Slovakia, would you defend them too?
    I’ve already come to a conclusion for myself.

  6. Really Big Fish says:

    @ Ray Green. The reference regardling illegal alines can be found relativelely easy.Check those numbers with LA Times 1/2009 try MumbersUSA.com, CAPSWEB.org and many more. If you want unrealistic figures go to LaRaza.

    Some of the authors who hold PHD’s did not both to refernce their information so why should I. Casual reference seems to be good when you do not know how to forumate a write point. Let’s say that the numbers in my response are 50% even 90% wrong. Are the actions by the illegal aliens still OK?

    @Phil,CLAY,Graeme,gg…..good coomon sense posts.

  7. John G says:

    I like the enthusiasm from the author(s) of the article, however, I believe that this issue is pretty black and white. We are a nation of laws; not of men. Using your logic I am going to argue that Sonoma County should make itself a sanctuary for people who drive under the influence. There are a lot of people who drive drunk. We spend so much money and resources trying to catch those people. Because so many people are breaking the law we should just let them drive drunk. Many of those people driving drunk are hard working Americans just trying to get to and from work, or maybe even to and from their children’s schools, medical appointments, daycare, or sporting events. When we arrest these people for driving drunk we are taking them away from their families and costing them a lot of money. Arresting people for drunken driving splits families apart and causes people’s lives to be in turmoil. Especially because alcoholism is a disease, and by being a disease, the alcoholic has no control over their actions.

    Imagine if we treated every law the same way we treated our immigration laws?

    PS- In my opinion this is not about race.

  8. Noah says:

    @LG & David (authors of the article):
    I do not confuse “illegal” with “Latino.” I do not even confuse “immigrant” with “illegal.” I am on the side of human rights, I fight against racism and xenophobia, and support progressive political and economic issues. It is probably true that when most Californians hear the expression “illegal immigrants,” we think of Latinos. There is good reason for that; it has been pounded into our consciousness by the media for many years, in writing and with photographs. Still, I do not have any problem with Latinos. It is not one’s skin color or geographic origin (s) that I judge them by; it is their behavior, and I cannot condemn any group for an individual’s behavior. And I would like very much to become less judgmental!

    Being white, and having grown up in Northern California, I am used to “my” culture, and not used to “Latino” culture. There are differences in customs and attitudes and behaviors which I do not immediately understand, the misunderstanding of which is often misconstrued by some Latinos. I see that misunderstanding in their eyes, and on their faces.

    Sometimes these differences in culture make me uncomfortable, and I can react emotionally, including with anger. My first response, when I this happens, is to allow the better part of me to regain control and to assess my feelings on a broader basis, with more compassion both for the others and for myself. It is hard to do sometimes. My negative feelings do not always represent the better part of me, but I can be counted on to rise above them. I believe these feelings are generalized as “nativism,” which is a natural reaction to change, to the seeming threat of the comfort of what one knows life is like.

    Though I agree with your contention that racial demographics are in your (Latinos’) favor, I don’t think that pushing it in my face is the best approach to the problem. I don’t know how many others feel the way I do, but you should know there is at least one (me), who wants a bigger, better outcome, and though resistant to change, is willing to learn to deal with it. What would make it easier for me would be some kind of community training in reconciliation, a situation in which we could talk to each other and better understand each other. A public forum, not for venting, but for useful dialogue.

    I vehemently disagree with racism and bigotry, and that includes my own. I know there are hard-core racists around, and they might never come to the table. But I think there are a heck of a lot of us that are not hard-core racists, who are willing to deal with the issue. I think if you push people, they will push back.

    I’m just asking for the table, so the different communities can begin to understand each others’ needs and fears, and make room for our joint successes.

  9. NOTUTOO says:

    Why doesn’t anybody realize that the mailer was nothing more than a reflection of what’s wrong in our elections, and that’s fear mongering. It was nothing more than a scare tactic to garner votes. And yes, illegal immigration was the bait. Very unfortunate, but just as unfortunate was the pathetic attack of Meg Whitman and the Housekeeper controversy, where apparently there is no concerns over “race baiting.”

  10. Felix says:

    “No, you’re wrong. ILLEGAL immigrant criminals were demonized in the mailer. Although, all illegal immigrants, to a degree, are criminals. The mailer focused on the murder of innocent people that took place in S.F. Those murders (in some people’s opinion)could have been avoided had S.F. not been a sanctuary city. If that opinion is correct, that’s a shame.”

    That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard! Do you really think a criminal would stop themselves from entering a city even if it was a non-sanctuary?

    The fact that this has generated so many responses does attest to the racial tension that exists in this county.
    And I am sorry if you do not want to talk about race, but you folks have to face the music and realize that your excuse of Latinos pulling “the race card” is a testiment to your own racism since you are afraid to discuss the issue becaue you know in fact that white is the color of privilege.

    Think about what our country is doing to the countries in Latin America? Ask yourself, is this fair? Foreign policies?
    The only thing that we have managed to show our children in terms of history if that if the US wants something, it just takes it.

  11. Ray Green says:

    @ Roger Carrillo

    “Whose house is it?”

    The house belongs to citizens of the United States Of America. Key word being “citizen”. If it makes it clearer for you, we can add “legal” citizen.

    “Certainly you understand that….”

    No. I don’t understand. I don’t understand how anyone can have an objection to people wanting laws enforced. That escapes me.

    Although, if you are one of those “one world” folks where “we have X and they have less, therefore we should give them some of X so we have the same amount” or you are an open borders guy … I can understand. You should come right out and say that in the beginning though so that I can simply ignore your existence from that point forward.

    “The point is that immigrants were demonized and scapegoated”

    No, you’re wrong. ILLEGAL immigrant criminals were demonized in the mailer. Although, all illegal immigrants, to a degree, are criminals. The mailer focused on the murder of innocent people that took place in S.F. Those murders (in some people’s opinion)could have been avoided had S.F. not been a sanctuary city. If that opinion is correct, that’s a shame.

    I have a question for you. Why do you avoid using the term “illegal” when referring to immigrants. There’s a huge difference between an “immigrant” and an “illegal immigrant”.

    It would seem to me that when you put those who entered the country illegally in the same group as those who entered legally, you are seriously insulting those folks who did things right. As I understand it, it’s a long process and something to really be proud of when it’s finally complete and you are a citizen … or here legally in some fashion. Not sure why you are so disrespectful to the folks that did things right.

  12. Phil Maher says:

    Non racist white-

    If you say so. Call me a racist if you like. Your opinion is far from the truth of the matter, and completely inconsequential beyond the scope of my reply. It seems that your own need to rush to judgment of others belies your own penchant for prejudice. Declare otherwise loudly and often enough, and we might just start to believe you.

  13. Latino says:

    Oh Non-racist, your color is showing. The article clearly said that if you use the words Ilegal Immigrant, it is a code word for Hispanic. That statement alone showed the authors to be racist and irrational. They lost all credibility with anyone who respects the law. there are different crimes. Some are federal, state and local. If I build a shed without a permit it violates the county code. If I fail to pay taxes, I go to prison, like Wesley Snipes, and if you enter this country illegally, you are subject toe a fine, imprisonment and deportation. To claim you should get a pass because you are Hispanic is preferential treatment. Racism and discrimination are seperate issues to illegal immigration. They may play off each other but don’t try to add credibility by crying racism. With that argument, every Democrat who rejected the budget deal Obama worked out yesterday is a racist for not agreeing with hom.

  14. caucasianmarriedtohispanic (chris) says:

    Yes, we got that in the mailer. However, this opinion has so many issues with it as well.
    “Those who advocate for immigrant (documented or not) rights do not “protect criminals.” They speak on behalf of an overwhelmingly hard working, family-oriented, religious and under-represented people who are seeking a better life.” This sentence itself completely contradicts the group as a whole. Advocate for documented immigrants…ok, that’s great, I’m willing to say I would help, HOWEVER, the “not (documented)” and “do not ‘protect criminals’” is actually a fallacy. I do not protect criminals, but I protect undocumented immigrants; did anyone miss the point that being in this country “undocumented” is a crime? May not be a felony, but it’s still a crime. Read up on our immigration laws, there is no exception for the “overwhelmingly hard working, family-oriented, religious and under-represented people who are seeking a better life.” Supporting an undocumented immigrant is supporting a criminal. Once they set foot into this country with out papers, they committed a crime. Again, we can go on and on about this mailer and opinion and we will end up with the same questons and answers. I’m not defending the mailer at all. It was a cheap political shot that worked. It did push the buttons, but it did it on the accord of the the PEOPLE. Torliatt said what she said before this mailer was sent out, so in a way, she doomed herself. But by the same token, this opinion does the same thing, just in a different manner.
    I will state that Mr. Aparicio has brought up some good points, and I think if the wording of the opinion was different, it would have had a greater impact than what it has.
    Merely being latino does not constitute you to be considered an “illegal” immigrant, just as being caucasian whose married to a hispanic does not constitute masking racism towards latino’s as the “Wise” Latina said.
    Again, I hope only the best for both groups. Not that they keep fighting, but that each one understands the ramifications of their actions and that one day they can coexist without the bickering of idiocracy!

  15. Non Racist White with Reading Comprehension skills says:

    It seems to be lost on people like Clay and Phil Maher that the editorial is NOT a defense of illegal behavior. What it says is that there is a difference between coming here to work without papers (a civil offense) and murdering people in cold blood a serious moral and criminal violation. The Alliance attempted to tar all with the same brush and imply that they were the same. That is racist (and hypocritical and unfair) as many have pointed out. I doubt that many of te people who have such excellent reasons for hating “illegals” and speaking at great length about how they are dirty, gangbangers and welfare cheats are willing to see the logic of the editorial beacause then they couldn’t air their racism so freely. These are the exact people that the Sonoma Alliance was hoping to push buttons with using this dirty mailer, and it works. I assume the Sonoma Alliance thought they could get away with making racism and xenophobia their campaign talking points and no one would object, because after all, these are “illegals” they were talking about, not real actual human beings like you and I. Unfortunately for the Alliance, they were called on it. Their over the top mailer turned off anyone wth a semblance of decency and fair play and left them with the Mexican hating audience frothing at the mouth about “illegals” that we see here. The Alliance won the election but tarnished their name and credibility because the Alliance and racism are wedded in many people’s minds right now. I know they are in mine.

  16. Roger Carrillo says:

    @Ray Green: Whose house is it? Certainly you understand that it is more like an apartment building or maybe a city or county where all humans have rights and should at least try to get along! And in case you haven’t notice Mexicans have been here longer than any ethnic group other than the indigenous tribes that were displaced mostly by European immigrants! So once again whose house is it?

    The point is that immigrants were demonized and scapegoated in an effort to win an election. If you know anything about history you will know that it is a long standing tradition in the United States to do that with minorities and recent immigrants. It was done to Germans, Italians, and the Irish, and Chinese at the turn of the 20th Century and now it is being done to Latinos/Mexicans. Not something we should be proud of or support!

  17. Phil Maher says:


    Those were the two most pointed, accurate and fair comments posted on this thread. Intellectually honest to the point of perfection. Excellent! You nailed it!

  18. Clay says:

    The biggest issue I have is this- why is it acceptable to side with someone who happens to share your ethnic background when that person is doing something wrong?

    This is the defining difference- if you support illegal immigration primarily because you see yourself primarily as “Latino”, and 4 out of 5 illegal immigrants are Latino (per the NYT article), what makes that acceptable in our society? That is showing a clear racial preference, which is your right to believe what you will. However, it’s the intellectual equivalent of discrimination, just in reverse.

    And as Jack says, to discriminate or advocate institutionalized discrimination is not okay.

    And while you are free to hold whatever beliefs you want, I’m free to tell you that I think that you are wrong, and that you have misplaced priorities…. and that you sure as heck don’t have any moral high ground from which to lob the term “racist” at others.

    If I condemn your position, it has nothing to do with race- it has to do with your ideas, views and philosophy.

    You calling me racist for that condemnation is simply intellectually lazy.

    Me personally, still waiting and working towards a society where people are judged on the content of their character and their accomplishments- period.

    Finally, I would hope that you, leaders in the Latino community, would stand with me in supporting our laws… which are fair and just… instead of supporting those who ignore and trample our laws, regardless of their ethnic background.

    I would hope that your first allegiance would be to this great country, which provides us with so much opportunity, and protects our rights. It is a Constitutional Republic- we are a nation of law, not a mobocracy.

    If your first allegiance is to an ethnic group, I think that you need to examine your priorities… people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  19. Clay says:

    We keep getting told that this piece is NOT about immigration, but about racism and hateful campaign mailers. Further, the accusations are made that the issue is being derailed by opponents, and sidetracked. This simply isn’t true.

    I count at least 9 references in the article to illegal immigrants or immigration policy.

    Now, I’m not a college professor, or an attorney, but I think that a “reasonable person” (which is the standard in civil matters) would conclude that this piece is clearly as much about immigration as it is about racism, real or perceived.

    If these folks had not wanted any discussion of immigration, but only the racism that they perceive, they should have limited their remarks to that issue alone.

    The logic in the piece is really weak. There is no causality shown between the supposed effects and the causes that they have assigned.

    The Pew study cited in the NYT doesn’t include any demographics or methodology or margin of error on the study itself (standard practice for polling these days), nor does it report the immigration status of those surveyed.

    If a large portion of the Latinos surveyed are illegal immigrants, do we really think that they would NOT say they are being discriminated against based on their immigration status? Of course they are…

    The fact is, if there was not an illegal immigration problem, then this whole sanctuary idea would not be an issue in the first place. The two issues (immigration problems and how they are discussed/dealt with) are inseparably connected.

  20. BrownActJack says:

    I will say it again, Everyone is racist! And it is not against the law to be racist!
    It is against the law to discriminate again people because of their race.

    Illegal immigration is a social problem and not a racial problem.

    Even the people who support Hispanic, or Latino, immigration would object strongly to allowing the Chinese, Indonese, Japanese, or whatever, to enter into the country illegally and take jobs away from the Latino, or Hispanic population.

    To think that people are against illegal immigration, because the illegal immigrants are Latino, is strange, as most would object to illegal Germans, Italians, French, Danish, or whatever, illegal immigration.

    So live with it!

  21. Graeme Wellington says:

    Nothing is going to change until the “leaders” get honest and forge a solution. There are solutions. There’s just so much dishonesty in the culture their worst examples are overwhelming whatever good and honest people there may be trying to really change things or make a difference.

    You can’t base your movement on something fundamentally dishonest. What exactly are the good and honest Hispanic, Latino, Mexican people doing that does not entail a fundamental dishonesty?

    Dishonesty across the board. When those good and honest leaders step up and are supported, progress will be made. Supporting the supposed leaders you have now will never accomplish anything.

    America is not going to surrender it’s culture to dishonest people trying to bully their way to “progress.” That’s not progress.

    No progress has been made and none will be made until good and honest people are good and honest in their efforts and beliefs.

    Make a goal. Work toward it. Be honest about it. That gives you a chance.

  22. gg johnson says:

    I’m late to this one but I’ll manage to anger every one involved nonetheless…

    Lisa supports illegal immigration because if you get all of them amnesty and citizenship that gives her union more members and the democrats more voters. Simple as that. So she has to demonize those who do not support her and make them look like racist haters to bring more people who don’t want to be labeled racist haters to her side. She supports sanctuary so that the feds and local law can’t enforce immigration law on them and they become so entrenched in society that we can’t make them leave. Then we have to amnesty them.

    Some of those who are against illegal immigration are using the same type of tactics in reverse. Create fear among all, demonize supportors of illegal immigrants and illegal immigrants themselves to get people who are “patriots” and want to “save” the country to their side.

    So, what are the “facts”? Here is my version…

    Mexico’s immigration laws are much, much tougher than the USA’s. There is hypocracy here on a very high level. Why should the USA let people stream over our borders to “make a better life” for themselves when pretty much every other country in the world has zero tolerence for illegal immigration?

    If your country is so messed up that you can’t live there anymore, try staying and being part of the solution instead of being part of the problem in another country.

    It seems that everywhere I look there are stories about illegal immigrants crossing the border with drugs on their bodies. They are made to by the cartels…can’t blame them personally as in their position I’d have to say yes too…but the truth remains the same. They are now carrying illegal drugs into our country as well as crossing the border illegally.

    Once they succeed in their perilous journey they find housing whereever they can. I’ve seen houses and apartments set up for hot bunking a dozen or more illegal immigrants. The rooms are wall to wall mattresses, the kitchens stink with moldy food, the walls are covered in mold, and the sanitary system in the house can’t keep up with the number of users. I’ve also seen illegal garage conversions with wall to wall mattresses. The “residents” of these dwelling units sleep in shifts that coincide with their work schedules. With construction and other businesses down now they hang out and drink cheap beer all day.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve met plenty of illegal immigrants in my travels who work hard, keep a clean house, raise their kids to be good, free of drugs and gangs, and they get a bad rap becuase of the dirtbags. But they still need to go home and get in line.

    One of my friends had to do that. He went home for two years, after turning himself in, and waited for his case to process until he was granted the right to come back with the legal paperwork. He is a good man, with a good job and a family and I’m proud of him that he did the right thing. So, what makes the rest of the illegal immigrants think they have the right to come here ahead of others in the line?

    Then there are the businesses some illegals start. One of the popular businesses I’ve seen is the auto related repair, body shops plan. Since they are illegal here they are afraid to do the right thing and sign up for hazardous waste disposal programs, they keep very dirty shops, dump hazardous waste on our road sides, and when they are caught out they abandon their shops and run,leaving the hazardous waste clean up for the property owner to do!

    And let us not forget the other business…illegal marijuana grows on our state and national park lands! Again, some are forced into this work by the cartels but still the environmental damage is severe, they take over large areas of public access land and they guard it with firearms and booby traps! They even have the cojones to do this on private land! They run off anyone that gets near with armed threats. I once found a grow on a relatives ranch up in Mendocino County. It was not pretty. Or harmless.

    Ok….what’s next…oh yeah! The social programs that the social justice types out there say we need for all of the illegal immigrants. Why should a person who is in the country without documentation be allowed to drive a car, sign their kids up for school, or even pay resident rates for our college and university system?

    Have any of you heard or seen the stories from the Rio Grande border area about pregant Mexican women showing up at the local clinic, clothes still dripping wet from the crossing, so their baby will be a citizen under the 14th amendment? OF COURSE we are not going to say no, hold on until we get you back over the border. We don’t do that and rightly so. But now we have another mouth to feed in the country. And who feeds those extra mouths? We do. Ever seen the food programs and who shows up to them? I have. I have witnessed these people drive up to the handout out in their CADILLAC ESCALADES and drive off with boxes of food. If those foods are not donated by us, do the programs get money to buy food from the state and feds? I really don’t know but I’m sure there is a program for that.

    So, the article is right and we are done for. So we ought to just shut up and take it or the “hispanics” are going to take over the state and run it their way. After all, with 1/2 million kids per year for the next 20 years coming of age to vote…holy christ…that’s ten million…that voter bloc will greatly enhance the democrat’s socialist agenda and add greatly to the roles of the union membership.

    So, see what Mexico looks like now for our future in 20 years. In many areas we are already there.

  23. caucasianmarriedtohispanic (chris) says:

    @wise latina

    Seems that you just fell into your same rant. Only those who think the way you do are also racist.

    Wise Latina. If I was to just post that I was just a caucasian male, guess what…I would had been called a racist and how I do not understand what it is to be Latino and all the hatred that comes with being a caucasian male. However, I posted Hispanic because that’s what my wife is…she’s not caucasian. The point was to show that there are us who aren’t racist and are placed in the “group” just as you did to further your rant as well.

    My comments to Ms. Maldanado are in light of her comments. I’ve had a healthy conversation with Mr. Aparicio, and again…he has come up with some very good points, in which I am listening, however, Ms. Maldonado is attacking those who do not agree with her.

    In a way, maybe you shouldn’t use “wise” in your name, obiviously, you don’t get it either!

  24. Ray Green says:

    @Really Big Fish

    I agree with the premise of your post. The flyer didn’t change opinion. The facts are there for everyone to see.

    However, I’d like to see some references when you toss out numbers like that. Where many of the things you referenced are a problem, I think many of your figures are grossly exaggerated. Or, should I say … I sure hope they are. Those aren’t the numbers I’m seeing though.

  25. caucasianmarriedtohispanic (chris) says:

    I just want to say that I only hope for the best for all those who signed this opinion and for those member of the alliance who paid for the flyer.

  26. Really Big Fish says:

    I was very taken back by the offensive and inflammatory corroborative opinion of these 20 plus individuals. My first thought was it does not warrant a response or comment. Pondering the article it was the threatening tone to the citizens of Sonoma County and my belief in the true value of American citizenry that encouraged me to comment. First, the article was poorly conceived, written and with a scattered stream of thought, other then anger, failed to make an intelligent point. In consideration for time and space this response will simply refer to the signatories as angry Latino people ALP for short. Also using the term ” illegal” for this penman means “any person regardless of ethnicity” who is here illegally. I assume the people they are threatening and angry at are non-Latino American Taxpaying Citizens ATC for short and anyone who does not agree with them. ALP clearly presents an argument for the end of forced multiculturalism and diversity as the incendiary and threatening comments are directed at anyone not Latino. This type of threatening demanding “in your face” ALP approach to becoming integrated into American society will cause more dissention, discrimination and failure. Perhaps their goal is ” to take over or reclaim” Sonoma County and not interested in being American. I find it disheartening that academically credentialed professors would sign their name to such drivel. I imagine its affirmative action raising its ugly head.

    The second thought is how sad it is for Latinos who want to be American and willing to learn have such an uneducated, unsophisticated, misguided self-imposed group using them for selfish and political reasons. Most people including immigrants just want a job, a family and respect. They could get the first two but never have respect as an American. By coming here illegally one should never be allowed a pathway to receive citizenship. Dingy Harry “the war is lost” Reid ” is currently trying his corrupt best to pass the DREAM Act but it will fail. Why should we award people who break our laws? If the parents came here legally their children would also be American citizens. If they are wonderful, hardworking, religious law biding people why don’t they respect our laws? Third, I was not clear what a “sanctuary” city actually was. Some clarity came to be from a web search on the subject. I do remember the mentioned mailer during the campaign and recognized it a typical modern day political ad. I don’t have it now so can’t evaluate further. However in reviewing the sanctuary information on the web such as on the Wikipedia site that organization had reasonable cause to bring to the public’s attention the public safety problems, to name one reason, associated with irresponsible political actions such as establishing sanctuary cities. In the past 2 years over 10 people were murdered and more hurt violently in California by illegal alien sanctuary residents. Does the name Salcido ring a bell? Why should taxpaying Americans protect people who break our laws and take ours jobs not even to mention the negative aspects of the “mailer?” Fourth, it’s very understandable why the authors comment that some Latinos have an unfavorable impression of the GOP (Grand Old Party=Republican). Although not an effective political group their approach is to have people be responsible and accountable taxpaying Americans citizens. It’s difficult to ask the ALP authors to comprehend this but is true. On the other hand Democrats like to “entitle” anybody for any reason with benefits just to get a vote. A little history would inform ALP that President Ronald Reagan (GOP) in one of his worst political decisions granted amnesty to some 6 million illegal aliens. If Latinos want American leadership they should look to Senator Marco Rubio of Florida who may be our president some day. What a wonderful American leader who happens to be Latino. Fifth, quite simply you cannot legally be an undocumented illegal alien.

    The following may help the ALP statement why do 6 out of 10 feel that discrimination is a “major problem.” Quoting from the once venerable NY Times is now like quoting from the Left News Standard. Perhaps you would like to read something from its sister in liberal arms the LA Times.

    1. 40% of all workers in L.A.County (L. A. County has 10.2 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.
    2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
    3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
    4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
    5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
    6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
    7. The FBI reports 50% all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
    8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
    9. 21 radio stations in L. A. are Spanish speaking.
    10. In L. A. County 5.1 million people speak English, 3.9 million speak Spanish. (There are 10.2 million people in L. A. County).

    Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare. Over 70% of the United States annual population growth results from immigration (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York). 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.

    According to “another recent” publication legal immigration contributes nearly 1.5 million people to the U.S. population annually and an estimated 2.2 to 4 million illegal aliens enter annually. An estimated 12 to perhaps 38 million of those the U.S. population are here illegally with 3 million in California. In summary legal immigration alone is a major problem and with rampant illegal immigration the once great California is being destroyed resulting in a dismal chance for future immigrants to be part of the American culture.

    With regard to your “nation of immigrants and ancestors.” If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard labor. If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely. If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot. If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally you will be jailed. If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from again. If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed. If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into political prison to rot.

    If you cross the U.S. border illegally you get a job, a drivers license, social security card, welfare, food stamps, credit cards, subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house, free education, free health care, a lobbyist in Washington and billions of dollars worth of public documents printed in your language, the right to carry your country’s flag while you protest that you don’t get enough respect and, in many instances, you can vote. With those points presented why is ALP so angry and really who are they angry at? Why aren’t they thankful? Why don’t they understand the concerns of ATC? Looking at the “mailer” why don’t the illegal aliens realize how they are destroying the opportunity for other Latinos to come here legally? I can say mine have been here over 160 years with many serving, fighting and dying to protect U.S. sovereignty and borders so their children and children could have a better life and contribute back to the society and world at large. Please come here legally and help protect our border, language, and culture.

    The mailer did not negatively impact my opinion or relationships with people who happen to be Latino. I don’t care what their ethnicity is. However, the article impacted me both negatively and positively. Negatively because of the tone and nasty attitude of the ALPs. Positively because I am now aware of ALP and their intentions. We are an understanding and generous country but illegal immigration must be stopped.

  27. caucasianmarriedtohispanic (chris) says:

    In my remarks, the reason why I put “illegal german immigrants” is because I want to see the true nature of Ms. Maldonado. Would she stand out against the hatred of Germans or is this just a “race” thing? I will straight out tell you I would still be against sanctuaries, even though my mother and ancestors are from Germany.
    But I also stress that people exercise extreme judgement and that illegal does not mean Latino, we have other nationalities, races…what ever you want to call it, that are illegal here as well.

    Mailer-distasteful; Opinion-same-distasteful.

    Both are lead to one topic.

  28. wise latina says:

    @ anonymoushusbandandwife. You can both “say” you are anything you want. Obviously with fake names on the internet no one will believe you. And frankly while you keep attacking Lisa Maldonado and calling her names all you do is show your own racism and inability to listen to anyone but yourselves. I have read through your convoluted, illogical posts and they make no sense. Why? Because you equate the behavior of someone who is identifying racism as the same behavior of those wsho advocate racism, a tactic that many racists use to keep those of us who speak up silent. If a blowhard like yourself can post a million times a day, who are you to tell anyone else to be silent?
    PS. If you keep saying race doesnt matter and you don’t see color then why do you feel the need to identify your “HISPANIC” wife in every post? Is this suppsed to give you more credibility in your racist ranting?

    PPS Some of my best friends are caucasians married to hispanics
    PPS that’s irony!

  29. Latino says:

    I can certainly tell the type of people here as I read the posts. You have people who want immigration reform. It really does need an overhaul. Then there are those who want to “Race Bait” with rhetoric about the use of the word immigration. If you tell me the use of the words “Illegal Immigrant” is a code word for Hispanics, it tells me you are pre-judging a whole race of people and that sounds racist.

    Some just don’t seem to understand the criminal aspect of the subject. You do realize entering this country is a crime I hope. Saying that the crime should be overlooked because the offender is Hispanic is not right. My parents immigrated legally and I am a citizen also, having been born here. I think anyone who broke the immigration law should be sent back to their home country before allowing them to legally apply for entry. No one should be allowed to cut in line in front of all those who are currently waiting to legally immigrate here. Legally=citizen or legal resident. Illegal=criminal.

    I don’t support criminal activity in any form. Ask Wesley Snipes about the consequences of breaking the law as he starts his 3 year prison sentence. I don’t condone law breaking. I can list the crimes but that would no doubt start a heated exchange about comparisons. Criminal is illegal is criminal. I get it. Do you?

  30. @Cherie Maria says:

    You must have missed the memo: we all know what the article was about. A poor argument doesn’t go any further when a real name is attached. If Cherie Maria is your real name, why don’t you have your name linked to a website? Are you going to pretend you don’t have Facebook or any public website? Some people have good reasons involving employment for not including their names. Keep shifting the argument away from the subject and to anonymous posts.

  31. hispanicmarriedtocaucasian says:

    @lisa maldonado
    I’m the wife of Chris, caucasianmarriedtohispanic. For one, I do not appreciate being called a Latino. I’m a hispanic american and proud of it. My husband showed me the flyer about the sanctuary policy, and guess what…I support that flyer. In no way did I attach that to myself or my family. I attach that to the illegals that have created the issue for the true legal Hispanic Americans and the legal immigrants from Mexico and the other countries south of the border. If you don’t like the mailer, how about doing something about it, like not support illegal immigrants. That’s what your doing.
    Say what you want, I don’t care. All illegals need to be deported…simple as that. Maybe once their gone, us hispanics won’t need to worry about being racially discriminated because of a group of criminals!

  32. @ Lisa Maldonado…”It is about using hateful and racist stereotypes of latinos to incite fear in voters. Perhaps you could address that issue instead of urging all of us to refrain from speaking?”

    Aren’t you doing the same thing? Inciting hate towards those who support immigration laws? Don’t you think that you are stereotyping those who don’t agree with your stance? Perhaps you could address that issue instead of pointing fingers.

  33. Caucasianmarriedtohispanic (Chris) says:

    @lisa maldanado
    Actually, I’m asking you to be silent. Reading some of your post on here makes you sound “racist” and anyone that speaks against this opinion has no right to say what they say according to your words. The point does come back to illegal immigration. The mailer…guess what, is about the “sanctuary” issue. So let me ask you this, 11 million illegal Germans come over here, don’t follow the laws, and a political leader states “I want to create a sanctuary for all illegal German immigrants”, you would support this? Maybe the reason why this was sent out is because it did play on a sensitive subject. Maybe if you actually really read what I wrote, I also stated that this mailer was distasteful. So again, Mr. Aparicio has brought forth some really good points, and I plan on keeping the conversation going with him as it’s a healthy conversation. However, yours have not. Ultimately, I get the picture, the mailer to you attacks latinos and public figures need to do more than just say “hey, that wasn’t me”. HOWEVER, your tone is not helping the issue at all. The mailer and this opinion, in which probably didn’t mean to deplict what it did, is creating something that’s not there. My question then is to the group as a whole…do you support the “sanctuary” policy? Obiviously, it has touched a cord with you and the rest of the group. I personally did not attach the mailer to latinos, just a cheap political shot that was completely distasteful, but the opinion also is a cheap shot at the anti-illegal people. Again, I understand we have Latino Americans in this country, I’m married to one. I have no problem with that. But it must have had a major impact or Torliatt would had won…correct.
    So again, I have told you what I think, read carefully and comprehend, I’m not saying that the Mailer was great and anything bad about Latino’s, what I’m trying to say is that two wrongs don’t make a right, and ultimately, both the mailer and opinion go back to one subject. And no matter how much you want to say no it is not…it is.

  34. Ray Green says:

    @Roger Carrillo

    “you need to look long in a mirror and realize that you need to learn to get along with your neighbors”

    Getting along with your neighbor gets complicated when they move into your house.

  35. @caucasianmarriedtohispanic
    you seem to be urging all of us Latinos to ‘be silent’ or refrain from discussng thre issue of the Alliance’s xenophobic political mailer and its effect on creating fear and hate in our community.Which is interesting given that you seem to believe that lengthy postings from yourself are helpful.The editorial is not about immigration. It is about using hateful and racist stereotypes of latinos to incite fear in voters. Perhaps you could address that issue instead of urging all of us to refrain from speaking?

  36. Lyn Cramer says:


    What does advocating “a responsible approach to the urgent challenge of immigration reform” mean? Everyone thinks their approach to dealing with immigration is responsible.

    Other than “let’s talk nice,” the compact, as reported in the NYT editorial, said nothing specific. And is it fair to ask if the PD op-ed piece above meets that high standard? Not to me.

    Also, missing from the editorial was any discussion of law enforcement, yeah or nay. Dodging that issue is not a good sign that one is ready to address the problem forthrightly.

  37. Caucasianmarriedtohispanic (Chris) says:

    @ Mr. Aparicio;
    I apologize that your mother is wrongfully labeled as an illegal when she visits.
    I think the key point though is just certain sentences in the opinion. Illegal immigration is a hot topic now, and hopefully our government will do something about it.
    I’ll say something that might bring us to the same understanding. If your main goal is to help legal immigrants pave the way to citizenship, GREAT. I have no quams about that. If you’re just defending the “legal immigrant” as well as Latino/Hispanic Americans, again, AWESOME. But then we come to people who aren’t like us. There are people in both groups that make both you and I look as if we are one in the same.
    As for Latino’s, I still see that the mailer and this opinion does lead one to link all of this to a specific topic, and by the looks of the remarks, it always does. The remarks from one of the signers on this opinion isn’t helping any matters as well with some of her remarks. You’re right, our public figures need to do more to squash the issues such as the mailer, however, with opinions such as this well. Rabbitt, I think silence is the golden ticket. He said that he had nothing to do with the mailer, but as we all have seen, if a politician keeps talking, something is bound to put them in the hot seat.
    I understand that mailer was a political smear…but, it hit a cord with the public. I for one, don’t want anymore sanctuary cities, because illegals are not following what we hold as “law & order”. Now this is illegals, not the latinos. No where in the mailer does it show the word “latino”. Maybe look at it in a different view. You took this as a smear and fear baiting against latino’s because the majority of illegals here are from the latin american countries. There are simple minded people out there, and yes, they do put people into a group, regardless if they are or not associated with that group. Again, my stance is that if your here legally, a “documented immigrant”, great, welcome…if you’re helping them, more power to you, you have props from me. But, as in other opinions I have read, especially from Ms. Roman, I have to disagree with you guys. It does appear that you are defending the “undocumented” immigrant person in the opinions, in which this smear mailer targeted. Again, you are probably the greatest guy, I’ve probably have helped you in one way or another. I am willing to stand next to you if in the time of need as an American brother…but are you will to stand next to me as well?

  38. Roger Carrillo says:

    Check out this NY Times editorial for what Utah, a very conservative state, is doing about the so-called “immigration problem”! No race baiting or anti-Mexican bias like what appears in a lot of these blogs! Fear is a powerful emotion but compassion is better. I would say to the people who are afraid of being overrun by immigrants you need to look long in a mirror and realize that you need to learn to get along with your neighbors instead of demonizing and fearing them! Mexico is not going away nor are the Mexicans who live here!


  39. Graeme Wellington says:

    The Sonoma County Latino Democratic club is never going to make any progress until they begin working toward some specific goal. As the voluminous comments demonstrate, labeling opponents racist isn’t going to accomplish a thing and does not accomplish any goal.

    Why don’t they get their heads together and search the Internet for the text of the guest worker laws in Canada that seem to work and make sense. It’s not going to be hard to read it all over, make changes so that it can be applied properly in the United States and all the individual states — and come up with an actual law that they want the Congress to adopt. That’s a goal. It could be done. Why not establish a specific goal?

    A proper and functional and practical guest worker law would address every supposed issue that brings people from Mexico here. Obviously, solving the problem is not what it’s all about. We’re all going to be posting messages back and forth on all these immigration stories no matter what.

    Come up with a goal. Work to accomplish that goal. All other efforts are a waste. Before you can get what you want, you have to know what you want.

  40. Marjorie Helm says:

    Thank you to Lisa and David and the courageous leaders from across our county who signed this Close to Home.

    Your clarity and willingness to stand up to racism are inspiring.

    You speak for me!

  41. Cherie Maria says:

    To: @cherie maria

    “Here we go again… If you don’t have a good argument, by all means, change the subject to be about anonymous posts. That way these activists can use your real name when calling you a racist just for agreeing with immigration laws.”

    I think you missed the memo, this article is about a racist campaign mailer that directly attacked the Latino community in Sonoma County and it was funded by the Sonoma County Alliance.

    The fact that several of the responses to this article are posted anonymously using the same baited statements of the mailer in question provides more validity to the message of this article.

    Frankly, if your going to argue a position in a public forum I think you should have the fortitude to use your real name and stand by your statements and be accountable to them.

  42. @Chris. The intent was not to claim that any individuals who want to address immigration are racist. The point is that its hard to address this issue in our public forums because the discussions get co-opted. The issue of immigration gets reduced to a discussion about illegal immigration. Discussions about illegal immigration are dominated by efforts to reduce it to a “law and order” issue. When someone like myself tries to raise the broader issues — not denying that illegal immigration is an issue or that there are law and order concerns, but placing these discussions with the larger context of immigration and how it is handled in our country –or when someone like myself tries to address civil liberties concerns, my efforts are dismissed 95-99% of the time, I’d say, often angrily. I repeatedly post comments here, for example, about how my Mother-in-Law, who legally visits from Mexico, has been unreasonably treated as a “suspected illegal”; and, despite the fact I explicitly note that she is here legally, I get replies describing her as an illegal. That is an example of how these discussions get co-opted. Couple this with the fact that the type of stereotyping used by the pro-Rabbitt mailer reappears regularly, but is challenged only superficially in mainstream media sources such as the PD, and I think this Close to Home piece’s claims about our PUBLIC DISCOURSES become reasonable. Of course there are lots of individuals who want to and can address immigration (both legal and illegal) and how its administered (including but not only how it is enforced) without falling to the problems identified in this Close to Home piece; and, by itself, wanting to talk about immigration does not make one racist. But our public discussions are wraught with problems, including ethnic and racial stereotyping, and the recent IE mailer, David Rabbitt’s response to it, and the PD coverage of it, are examples of this problem. What does it say about us, as a community, when David Rabbitt claims he wasn’t responsible for that mailer, but says nothing about its content other than “It is what it is,” and yet our community expresses no concern? That our community is not expressing alarm is, I think, a reminder of the degree to which we accept this unacceptable behavior. Laura and David are courageously stepping into the void that’s created by our silence and challenging it. They are reminding us what it means to lead. It isn’t too late for David Rabbitt to join them. I know David well enough to say I won’t be surprised if he does. Time will tell.

  43. Non Racist Alliance member says:

    I am very embarassed to be associated with the Sonoma Business Alliance right now. Like the other poster, I joined mostly to make contacts in the community. After seeing the deplorable and racist (I think we can all agree that painting all illegal immigrants as murderers is over the top)mailer I too am having second thoughts about my membership. I was dismayed to see the Alliance going to these lows to support a candidate.I also notice that the group (although not overwhelmingly male) is overwhelmingly white. Perhaps if the Alliance had some actual hispanic members they would be able to see how offensive this is to the hispanics.
    By the way most of the peopl on this board are off topic. This is not about immigration or which term you use to describe immigrants. Its about a cruel and tasteless poltical mailer that stirred up a lot of hatred in Sonoma and used hispanics and fear of them to defeat a candidate. I am ashamed of the people on this board making excuses for hate and racism. Not all of us are like that.

  44. Martha Hillerman says:

    “As a nation of immigrants and the ancestors of immigrants…”

    Did I miss something here? How many ancestors of immigrants are there still around? Don’t you mean descendants of immigrants?

  45. money says:

    “Latinos believe that the differentiation between “legal” and “illegal” simply serves to mask prejudice against Latinos and is a cover to fan the flames of ethnic intolerance”

    Get Real….

    Uribe, Renteria, Sanchez, Casilla, Sandoval and Torres, they aren’t the race card, they are the baseball cards of some our most beloved players on or World Champion San Francisco Giants that were playing in this country legally

  46. @Anchor Baby says:

    Perfect example of someone who groups everyone together as a racist just for not supporting ILLEGAL immigration. Shame on you.

  47. @cherie maria says:

    Here we go again… If you don’t have a good argument, by all means, change the subject to be about anonymous posts. That way these activists can use your real name when calling you a racist just for agreeing with immigration laws.

  48. NOTUTOO says:

    America uses the term “illegal alien” to describe someone in our country in violation of our immigration laws not to demean someone, but rather because it is the correct, and legally recognized, term.


  49. Caucasianmarriedtohispanic (Chris) says:

    @lisa maldonado

    I think if key sentences had been written in a different way, then the meaning would not have been in such a negative light.

    It comes down to this…you don’t like being stereotyped…neither do I. The mailer was crude, but words of a person running for office also had a powerful play in this whole deal.

    Again, I don’t want anymore “sanctuary” cities, nor do I want my kids to be labeled because they are hispanic. Easy fix, distant yourself from undocumented immigrants. Just as I distance myself from racist people.

    If you defend one thing, but do another, nothing is ever accomplished.

  50. Caucasianmarriedtohispanic (Chris) says:

    @cherie marie…there, added my name and any of my family, friends or co workers will know who I am just by the C.

    @Mr. Aparicio.

    The problem though with the editorial is that it does what the mailer did. I read the mailer, and it does raise a tone and I do disagree with it. But in a way, it does not fully attack “latinos” as a whole group. I guarantee that there are many Hispanic-American’s living in the area, as well as for the majority of California. For those who don’t think this is about illegal immigrantion…was it not Torilatt that stated at one point about proposing a sanctuary for illegals? To get the latino vote? In a distasteful way, the mailer attacked that notion which has to do with illegal immigration. This is race baiting at it’s fullest, so yes, illegal immigration is part of the mailer. However, the editorial does paint those like myself who have an issue with illegal immigration, as racist. But this becomes even deeper into an issue that is clouded by those who do paint all latinos as illegals and the latinos who paint all anti-illegal immigration all racist and as hating all immigrants. I don’t hate all immigrants, nor do I really hate illegal immigrants. There are many more factors to go into illegal immigration than the illegals themselves. Politics, Businesses and those who support it.
    The point I’m trying to get across is that this editorial makes 6 out of 10 latino’s look racist. Just as the mailer made it seem somewhat that all latinos are illegals. There are fallacies on both sides. Polls only take a small fraction of the populations, unless the poll taker actually knocked on every latino’s door and asked them “does Americans other than hispanic find you to be illegal?”
    But people need to look at what this editorial has done; made both sides look racist in a way. I have no problem walking side by side with a latino, a black or an asian. I have friends of all races, of all religions. I happened to have been blessed to grow up in a very diverse area of Southern California. Although you and I may look different just because of color, we are no different from each other.
    If a Mexican wants to come here to the United States, not a problem, but only if they did it legally. I am ashamed of the American Citizen (what ever race they are), that would allow blazened criminals come here, run all over our system and use our system. I understand that many have family members that are illegal, but there is a process to get them here. Let me ask you, if there were 11 million illegal French, Germans, Italians, or Chinese here…would you do the same? The editorial only targets one group…latino’s. There are a slew of other illegal immigrants.
    My point is, the Editorial did what the Mailer did, race baiting. It’s pitting one group against the next, combining two groups that should not be grouped, the Hispanic American/Legal Resident and the Mexican illegal. Those are two are completely different entities.
    Here are my suggestions; stop supporting illegal immigrants and only support the legal immigrants who came here lawfully by assisting them with services that will help them better adapt to the American Culture, but to also keep there culture as well. Attack the businesses that do abuse our system by allowing illegals to come here to work and the politicians who do not do anything.
    Unless we as Americans do something, things are only going to get worse. Illegal Immigration is a part of many issues that plague this country, and I’m only talking about this subject because this is what the mailer and the editorial is talking about.
    Mailer-Racist; Editorial-Racist
    Torliatt lost because there are people that took her words for a “Sanctuary” in it’s proper context…for a secure area for Illegals or Undocumented immigrants. And if the Latino’s were so up in arms over the mailer, why did she lose? As for Rabbitt, he did what he thought was right, he stayed out of the issue. If he’d had come forward and put more into it, it could have created a more of an issue.
    @anchor baby: you just made my point exactly…there are racist in every group, and you’re definitely fitting the bill!

  51. Phil Maher says:

    Miss Maldonado,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comments. This is not a subject that I would normally tackle in an open forum. While I fully understood the intent of the editorial, I couldn’t help but take exception to what I felt was an unmistakable undertone that was also meant to put me on notice personally. Even though I can be very opinionated at times, I like to consider myself very open, and acutely empathetic to the injustices and unfairness suffered by anyone. I can’t speak for others, but I think a good portion of the people here felt labeled and dismissed as part of the problem, based entirely on the color of our own skin, and the mistaken belief that since we share that attribute alone with these mean-spirited fear-mongers, we must somehow share in their beliefs as well. When we’re being bombarded by unfounded hatred from one side, then summarily indicted by the other, it leaves us nowhere to go. I feel that in their desire to create a tone of defiance, Ms Gonzalez’s and Mr Rosas’ message was misconstrued, and potentially missed what could have otherwise been a golden opportunity to make us aware, educate us, then possibly recruit us. Standing up for what’s right is a universal desire. I see a face…it has no color, and I look for the person behind it. Who you are and where you came from is no threat to me. My judgment and treatment of you is based solely on what you say, how you say it, and how it makes me feel.

  52. Mr Maher
    The whole point of the editorial is that Latinos are tired of being targeted an scapegoated in ‘deplorable” and “ugly” mailers such as the one sent by the Sonoma County Alliance as part of ‘politics as usual’ We are sick to death of seeing ourselves and our families portrayed as murderers, thugs and gangbangers to the community at large so that someone can win an election by scaring voters and appealing to the lowest common denominator. The article points out correctly that demographics are changing and that groups such as the Sonoma County Alliance will not be able to play on xenophobia and anti immigrant hysteria much longer wthout paying a penalty. Their brand has already suffered a blow with Latinos and for an organization whose members themselves (in the form of wineries and agriculture and construction) depend a great deal on the work of undocumented workers this blow is well deserved. No one in the editorial disputes that the issue of immigration or even sanctuary is fair game in an election. The objection is to the heavy handed use of hateful and racist fearmongering of Latinos as murderers in the Alliance mailer that is so distasteful, offensive and insulting to Latinos. The idea that a group such as the Alliance can try to position themselves as “commnity builders” or “partners” with Sonoma County when they use negative stereotypes of Latinos so shamefully in a political race is a testament to how tone deaf their organization is to the Latino Community. This same tone deafness affects the California GOP and that is why Latinos helped to elect Jerry Brown.

    The editorial was not about the issue of immigration pro or con. It was smply to call out organizations like the Alliance who think they can attack and denigrate our community without us noticing. We see what you are doing when you try to stir up fear and hatred against us, all the while rationalizing that it is only “illegals” that you are attacking. We get the subtext and the message very clearly.We hope that you get ours.

  53. bats555 says:

    I’m sorry but if Mexico had their act together, illegals would not be a problem here. I don’t see Canadians coming down here in droves!!!

  54. Phil Maher says:

    Professor Aparicio,

    I found the mailer deplorable and completely off the mark as to the real issues. I can’t speak for David Rabbitt, but I would guess that his seemingly flippant dismissal was more commentary on the political landscape we’ve unfortunately had to come to expect, than that of condoning its content. The mailer was ugly, it painted with a broad brush. Similarly, the editorial written by your colleagues is and does also ( Honestly, paraphrasing words generally attributed to Julius Caesar regarding a condition of nationalistic propaganda and war!??). I would like to think that most voters took the hit-piece as such, and gave it the merit and credibility it deserved by throwing it in the trash. On the other hand, the concept of electoral consequences has already been made clear, not by what people read in something that amounted to just another piece of junk mail, but by the words spoken by Pam Torliatt herself.

  55. Native Santa Rosan says:

    The Sonoma County Business Alliance has a lot of nerve trying to play the illegal card. Most of their members are the biggest employers of undocumented immigrants in the county.Look at the wineries and dairies and construction firms on their membership page. Most of them have been using illegals for years. They are a bunch of cynical users who offer their own version of “sanctuary” to illegals in the form of jobs that they don’t want to pay American citizens to do. Honestly how they could paint themselves as “concerned” about sanctuary is truly beyond me as a third generation Sonoman who has seen them all get wealthy by using undocumented labor. I can’t understand why anyone joins this organziation except to play dirty politics and hang around with the “good Old Boys” of Sonoma County…Gonzalez and Rosas are right, their days are numbered.The county is changing and the firms that hire illegals while talking out of both sides of their mouth about sanctuary in order to win a supervisors race can’t hide it from the public anymore.Rabbitt may be a nice guy but he should be ashamed to have the Alliance’s support

  56. cherie maria says:

    Perhaps the real “truth” that this article has explored is in the number of responses from people who use anonymous names.

    This brings out the question that if this your belief and you have such conviction behind this belief why are you afraid to publish your real name with it?

    Is it perhaps you would feel uncomfortable if your co-workers, neighbors, family members saw your real name attached to your post?

    I encourage everyone who engages in this forum to let your beliefs be honestly shared with the audience you seek and stand by your statements by using your REAL NAME.

  57. @Caucasianmarriedtohispanic. The point is not that any attempt to address “illegal immigration” is racist. But it can be addressed in ways that are racist and/or ethnocentric. One example of this was the I.E. campaign mailer supporting David Rabbitt during the 2nd District Supervisor campaign. The mailer addressed “illegal immigration” in a way that exploited stereotypes that illegal immigrants are a public safety threat. David Rabbitt’s initial response was to distance himself from the mailer, stressing that he had nothing to do with it. I believe him. However, he also disappointed many when his criticism of it was nothing more than, “It is what it is.” While immigration in general, and illegal immigration, needs to be addressed by our country, it should not be addressed in ways that promote stereotypes against Latinos. That this happened during the 2nd District’s supervisor’s campaign is alarming; and, I’m concerned because Rabbitt’s response gives the impression this behavior is tolerable. He should have done more than distance himself from the mailer. He should have spoken against its message. A concern is that he did not because he thinks there will be no negative consequences. Laura and David led the effort to publish this letter because they think there should be electoral consequences for such behavior. That they addressed this, knowing that their efforts likely would be misconstrued and dismissed is courageous. They are acting like the leaders David Rabbitt should have been.

  58. @Anchor Baby “they are scared of Mexicans and want everyone else to fear us too”

    There is so much to go with in your comment, but….naw….I just have a couple of questions. I was under the assumption that were people from other countries…from all around the world that are here illegally! Are you saying that you are only fighting for Mexican’s who are here undocumented? Or are Mexican’s the only ones who choose not to follow the law of the land?

  59. Ex- Alliance Member says:

    I was appalled that a group I joined for business and community contacts would participate in a mailer like this. Many of my clients are hispanic and I want no association with anything that targets or attacks the hispanic people.I plan to let my membership lapse and disassociate myself from the group. This mailer was far too extreme for North Bay politics and even California politics. Demographics in the state are changing and the Sonoma County Alliance is way out of touch with the fastest growing segment of the population.@anchor baby I have to laugh at your description of the Alliance membership. They are indeed “pale, male & stale”. I know because I go to their meetings.

  60. Ken Sportini says:


    “Mexicans aren’t bad people and they’re not good people. They’re just a culture. And at some point when there’s enough of them, our culture will be usurped by their culture.”

    Translation: There’s too many Mexicans!

    “I believe in their heart of hearts the super-open borders people agree with me.”

    Did I miss that? Where is that in the article?

  61. Ken Sportini says:

    @Michael Aparicio (the fake one)

    I think you just proved their article.

  62. Ken Sportini says:

    Wow. People have some serious reading comprehension problems. The article by Gonzales and Rosas wasn’t about illegal immigration, it was about using Hispanics to stoke fear. They should’ve mentioned the Willie Norton thing, which was similar.

  63. Latino says:

    This was my earlier post. I guess I am a racist. It will surprise my relatives in Mexico.

    ”’Most Latinos believe that the differentiation between “legal” and “illegal” simply serves to mask prejudice against Latinos and is a cover to fan the flames of ethnic intolerance.”’
    You probably don’t care that you paint “most Latinos” as racists with this statement. I have friends of all races and this entire article is a politcial rant that take away from all of us who came to this country LEGALLY. Illegal immigrant is very descriptive and the correct term to be using.

  64. Anchor Baby says:

    Turn on the light and watch the racists scatter! Thanks to the folks who wrote this editorial. It’s laughable to see all these racists screaming how they are not racist and then attacking every thing about Mexico and the Mexican Culture and claiming over and over that if we don’t stop the “illegals” this country will turn into Mexico. The fact that the Sonoma Business Alliance participated in this hateful anti-immigrant mailer tells me that Gonzalez and Rosas are on the right track. If you ever go to one of their meetings you will see one of the most homogenized group ever. Basically they are Pale Male and Stale….These folks know they are in a shrinking minority and they are scared of Mexicans and want everyone else to fear us too.Good luck with that.
    Keep up the great work Mr Rosas and Ms Gonzalez…or as we say in Spanish…Andale!!

  65. Caucasianmarriedtohispanic says:

    Mr. Aparicio, I just want to add that Healthy legal immigration is fine. I have no quams about those who seek change in their lives. But the key words are “change” and “legal”.

    I welcome immigrants from every corner, every race, every religion, but done so by the legal means.

    Illegals are putting a strain on our system, and obiviously, they are putting a strain on the Hispanic/Latino Americans.

    Please understand that just because I want Illegals out doesn’t make me hate Latino’s at all, nor does it make me a racist. But see, I’m placed in the same group as the “race baiters”.

    I hope that you’re group of “activist” are out to help those who actually made the sacrifice, wait and came here legally. You owe it to the legal Mexican immigrant to help them. At least they respect and obey our laws.

  66. DLoozional says:

    Graeme Wellington ….. WOW! Great freakin’ post!!!

    I know it’s off topic, but here’s a link to a cis.org estimate of what the “Dream Act” is going to cost us.


  67. Graeme Wellington says:

    There’s nothing magical about the topsoil in San Diego or cursed about the topsoil in Tijuana. The border is just an arbitrary stripe that runs along a patch of desert. The reason San Diego is better than Tijuana is that we made it that way. And to be fair, although it’s going to sound unfair, Tijuana is so bad because they made it that way. No matter how hard you lean to the left, I think you’d have to admit that if your kid was picking out a college or a dentist or a place to have an emergency appendectomy you would pick the US over Mexico every time.

    I know that if you take a large enough group of anything – beavers, Mexican, fire ants — and place them on the other side of an arbitrary line on the ground, it will be business as usual for them. And since we agreed business as usual was not a great plan for our kids and their orthodontics, then something needs to be done.

    Mexicans aren’t bad people and they’re not good people. They’re just a culture. And at some point when there’s enough of them, our culture will be usurped by their culture. And somehow me not wanting that to happen makes me a grand wizard in the Klan.

    People are afraid to speak up. Let’s remove skin color for a minute and replace “Mexican” with “Polish.” The second largest city in the country has a “Polish” mayor. We have arguments over whether our teachers should instruct in both English and Polish. If you call information, the first five words you’ll hear are in English and the next seven are in Polish telling you to say “Polish” if you want assistance in Polish. When you go to the ATM, you have to pick English over Polish. Chances are if you dial a wrong number, the guy on the other end will have a thick Polish accent. The top three radio stations will all be Polish speaking and I could go on and on.

    I’m saying we don’t need another Polish restaurant. I’m not saying the Poles are bad people. I’m saying I don’t want my kids raised in Poland. I believe in their heart of hearts the super-open borders people agree with me. The problem is they only take their foot out of their mouth to call me a bigot.

  68. Oh….my apologies to the posters and PD, my last comment was directed to: “Another Voter”

  69. Caucasianmarriedtohispanic says:

    Mr. Aparicio. Since you’re the only one out of the group who signed this to actually come on here (which I thank you because Ms. Roman has never responded to any of my post in regards to her opinion from a few months back), I will direct my “opinion” to you. I myself, am a son of an immigrant. I read this story and feel that this story is a fallacy all in itself. Mr. Rosas and Ms. Gonzalez (I apologize if she’s married, in the business world, if you don’t know the marital status of a woman, then it’s polite to address her as Miss.) are racial baiting as did the mailers. By saying that the majority of the “latino” population is upset that everyone is grouping them in the same group as “illegals” is assinine. To paint that all who are against illegal immigration and place latino’s in that same group and call us racist is racist in itself. My wife, I married her 8 years ago today, we have three lovely children together. She is the second born generation from her Grandfathers, both who came to this country from Mexico. Does she have the same view as does your compatriots and yourself? No, unfortunately for you. My wife wants tougher immigration laws and would love to see all illegals to be deported and come here legally. As for my in-laws, the first born American “latino voters”, I hate to say they disagree with you as well. My mother-in-law will tell you that the illegal immigrants are destorying this country, giving Hispanic-Americans (my mother in law does not appreciate being called a latina) a bad name. She wants the same as my wife. My wife, is discriminated against. But the kicker to this is, not by caucasians or blacks, or asians, but by your illegal immigrant that you are protecting. Just because my wife is “Americanized”, she is discriminated against by those who still are connected to the ways of Mexico. My wife doesn’t speak spanish, why…because her parents decided not to teach her because she’s an American citizen and English is the language of this country. Now I’m going to talk about her Grandfather who is still alive. As a baby, his parents brought him over here in the late 1920′s. His parents worked very hard, got no assistance from the Government nor from anyone else. He worked hard, married and had two children. Not once did he ask for help. He today now looks at the situation and ask ‘why’? And the why is not directed at the so called racist whites that you and your group of “activist” call us, but why the illegal immigrants today have cause so much destruction to the area that he lives in.
    So there are “latinos” out there that disagree with the group whole heartedly. What this article does is race baiting to the fullest. Sanctuary Cities…guess what, is illegal according to the laws of the Federal Government. If Arizona is being sued by the Federal Government for trying to inact a law against the US Governments immigrant law, then a City is to be held at the same level as the a State. I hold to believe now that your friends and yourself are starting to sound like a figure in history that also used the same kind of rethorical propaganda against a group…and you should know who this is…it’s Adolf Hitler.
    I want to go back to what I said in the beginning. I am the son of an immigrant. But not that of an illegal immigrant. My grandparents lost everything during WWII. My grandparents decided to try out there luck here in the US. It took eight years for them to finally receive their permanent resident visa’s. The steps it took, although long and costly for them, was well worth it. My mother, almost didn’t have the opportunity to come here, on the voyage over here, she fell ill and was quaranteened. When they got over here, they had to sign a paper stating that they could not ask for Federal Assistance for five years. I can honestly say that my mother has never asked for help, and neither did my grandparents. My uncle went on to work for the Government.
    Is it fair that just because my mother is caucasian, that my grandparents had to pay to come here, and go through what our immigration laws require, but not the poor Mexican who comes here illegally and does receive financial help…is that fair at all?
    Of course you’re going to tell me what and why we should feel so sorry for the illegal immigrant, but yet can you explain how then they can come up with $2000 (US) to be smuggled here? Please tell me how much longer do you think our government is going to be able to handle this influx? Many of the illegal immigrants are not obey our laws, taking from us and laughing in our faces…and why…because of the American Latino’s that fight for their right, which they have none, to be here. You slap us and yourselves in the face as an American. Regardless of what nationality or race you come from, you are an American first and the priority should be as an American. So, am I a racist? Please, I would love to have a response from you Mr. Aparicio.
    Mr. Aparicio, I would like to thank you for taking the time to really come on here, you are the only one whom I have ever seen on the PD who is willing to respond to the people that this is directed to. Thank you.

  70. Your attempt at pretending you are a Conservative, dare I say it, white Tea Party racist, is not at all convincing. With a small exception, we are not angry, hateful or bitter.

    One more point I would like to make, in our vigilance and determined effort in taking our country back and restoring it to the founding principles, we will do it with God’s direction and love, grace and faith will guide us as did our Forefathers. So, may God place upon you and your family many blessings and shed the light of truth on you.

    In other words…I ain’t mad atcha.

  71. Skippy says:

    Well done!
    You have distilled the article into its most concise form. The authors have only one message to share with the gentle readers:
    SHUT UP!
    That is the only thing we hate-filled xenophobic ultra-nationalist Klansmen-American citizens are permitted to do by our enlightened betters.
    Crying racist is the last gasp of desperation of an intellectually bankrupt argument.
    Truly, a bigot is anyone winning an argument with a liberal.
    Have at it; enjoy and use at will!

  72. Immigration in general, and illegal immigration, is an important issue that needs to be addressed. How it is addressed in our public forums and our political campaigns has an impact on our community’s ability to govern. With this in mind, I want to repeat the offer I made yesterday. As one of the persons who signed this letter, I’ll be happy to try my best to answer any questions you may have about its claims and the pro-David Rabbitt mailer that triggered this Close to Home piece. Please quote or paraphrase the passage from our Close to Home commentary, and ask your question about that claim.

  73. Another Voter says:

    To- Joyce Rodrigues Garcia:

    Of course you don’t agree with this article. Puerto Rico uses the system, our tax dollars, free immigration, and for no good reason. Of course you think that immigration laws should be strictly enforced because no one wants to move to Puerto Rico.

    Puerto Rico should be taken off protectorate status and save all of us tax payers some money. I’m sure you would cry about being deported then.

  74. @LG/DR says:

    If most Latinos agreed with Laura/David, then Torliatt would have beat Rabbitt, right?

  75. torgy says:

    You can not possibly think that people are against illegal immigration due to race. Once again liberals are trying to play off of peoples emotions “beating the drums of fear” making conservatives look like racists. Doesn’t the fact that half of our state deficit is directly related to illegals? Doesn’t it bug you that millions of Americans are losing jobs each year due to illegals? Not only are we losing jobs, but our economy is suffering as well losing 7-9 billion dollars annually from wages going back to Mexico. Look at the numbers, we have high unemployment, a hurting economy and there is the obvious solution staring straight at us. Unfortunately people like Mrs. Gonzalez and Mr. Rosas keep calling it racist to be against illegal immigration, and preying off of peoples emotions. Luckily for the two authors most of our population just hear a few things (maybe reads a very uninformative article) and are easily swayed. Its time for illegal alien supporters to figure out how to make up the billions of dollars each year we so readily give to Mexico, or shut up and stop playing the race card.

  76. Karla Sofen says:

    The Press Democrat editor who made the decision to publish this in the regular newspaper is the one I really have to blame here. I’m sure he or she thought that with all these “important” people signing something it must have gravitas.

    But as many others have pointed out, the thrust of it is that people opposing illegal immigration are racists. There just isn’t any other reasoning presented among the many authors.

    So, why did an editor decide that this should be published? Did the obvious escape a supposed professional editor? It seems nearly impossible that this is the case. This letter is not an argument or a position. It is an attempt to stop debate and dissension by calling one side of the argument “racist
    which nowadays is like calling someone a pedophile.

    We are an open society. All of our strengths and all of our weaknesses are on public display. They are a matter of discussion. Those who hold some office or position of responsibility are subject to the careful scrutiny that comes from a free press and a free people operating within an open society.

    That is the way this country was planned. The Latino community must realize that this diversity and this division and in some cases this dissension is not a source of weakness but is a source of strength. Upon it rests the security of each individual in this country.

    It is normal to have doubts because America has not been able to reach its high aspirations. It must also be recognized that those aspirations represent the ultimate goals of our society and where we fall short we know it and we mean to do better.

    These letter writers cannot truly represent the Latino culture. What they are saying is not in keeping with what it means to be an American. Apparently there is a good reason other than naked hatred that the vast majority of Americans oppose illegal immigration and support legal immigration.

    Shame on you all. You’ve taken two giant steps backward with the issuance of this screed.

  77. @LG/DR says:

    If the Latino vote was so strong, as you indicate, we would have seen Torliatt beat Rabbitt, righit?

  78. @ Michael Aparicio says:

    I have some questions for Michael Aparicio-

    What,language is approved by you to describe someone entering our country illegaly?

    If the mailer regarding Torliatt’s desire to make Sonoma a sanctuary county was so offensive to “latinos” and the elections were won or lost based on Hispanic voters,why did David Rabbit win?

    Were the people, represented by Gloria Allred,being racist when they went after Meg Whitman for hiring an “undocumented” hispanic housekeeper?

    How many of the people who signed their support for this article receive taxpayer funded subsidies?

    How many signers depend on funding from taxpayers for their livlihood?

    How many are members of La Raza or some other racially motivated group?

    What steps do you propose to curb gang violence and end racial animosity?

    What solutions do you put forth to protect Americans from those entering our country with the intent to do us harm?

    Are you proposing that America abandon it’s soverign status?

    How many people should the U.S. be expected to subsidize at taxpayer expense?

    What do you think drove people to this country? Why is the corruption in their country of origin not addressed?

    Do you believe that lawlessness and chaos will bring peace and prosperity to us all?

    Do you mind people cutting in line in front of you at the store or any other place? Would you be upset if an entire family cut in front of you, then turned around and insulted you?

  79. Clay says:


    I like your idea. I’m thinking to look up some of these folks, and grab a couple lawn chairs, a stereo and a picnic, and go set up in the front or back yard to enjoy the afternoon…..

    I mean, they wouldn’t DARE ask me to leave- I meet all the same qualifications you do- we are not criminal trespassers… we are “overwhelmingly hard working, family-oriented, religious and under-represented people who are seeking a better life….”

    Funny… when you apply the arguments presented in this piece to any other similar situation, it shows just how ludicrous it is….

  80. I love it!

    @Skippy…..regarding the first sentence in your comment….do I have your permission to use it? LOL

  81. Phil Maher says:

    @ Dave Tierra

    Well Dave, based on the paragraph after that, I would say that most of them planning a move to Tennessee is pretty much off the table.

  82. GUEST OPINION: Latino leaders call for end of race-baiting. Ms Laura Gonzalez, your article is a clear example of race-baiting! You are clearly twisting the views of those who you do not agree with and call them racists. You are claiming that most “Latinos” believe as you do and that is so far from the truth.

    While you are defending those who have entered this Country illegally and deliberately choose to ignore the fact there are numerous undocumented aliens who are involved in criminal activity, including murder. While you choose to misinterpret the article you linked us to by making accusations of “hostile caricature”, “serves to mask prejudice against Latinos” and “a cover to fan the flames of ethnic intolerance”, you are a clear reflection of your own words.

    The sad part is, as a community leader….you are the ones who are fanning the flame by reaching out to these people, telling them it’s ok to break laws and that everyone hates “Latinos” because they want Immigration laws to be enforced.

    Personally, I find it offensive and quite an embarrassment that you would assume most “Latino’s” share the same views as you. As an American Puerto Rican I can testify that the majority of my family are Conservative, Libertarian minded, patriotic proud American’s who value the opportunities this great Nation offers. I know families of Cuban, Salvadorian, Nicaraguan, Pilipino, Burmese, Semolina, Mexican….who came to America for opportunities they didn’t have in their own Countries. They went through the proper channels and brought with them their cultures and customs that only enhance this great Nation.

    This lil Puerto Rican does not support your views. I believe our Immigration laws should be enforced throughout the Country. All other countries enforce their Immigration laws….are they racists? I’m not!

  83. David Tierra says:

    “that day is coming. Every year for the next 20 years, half a million Latino youths will reach voting age. These young people will remember being called “illegal” or “anchor babies”

    and then what???

  84. TT says:

    I like how they only have “Like” as an option to this article. Thumb up if you “DIDN”T LIKE” this article.

  85. Judy says:

    I’m sorry but the posts on here are just more than astonishing. For one thing, you’re not even paying attention. Many of you, when referring to the author(s) keep saying “she” as though Laura Gonzales is the only signer on this piece. You don’t even have to look closely to see there are two pictures with names identifying the authors (yes that’s plural) and then a whole list of co-signers. So you lose credibility right away and simply become people who just don’t like Laura Gonzales (or what she says) as opposed to those who actually have a valid point since your desire to lash out at her seems to have completely overridden your ability to grasp the most obvious of details, which is who this message comes from.

    And really?? A thumbs down to someone (one of those co-authors you didn’t notice) who simple (and very politely I might add) offers to answer any questions to the best of his ability? So far 20 of you have done so. Can anyone explain to me why this really nice gesture is worthy of a “thumbs down?” And you wonder why people question your sincerity when you say, “I’m not a racist.” Go figure.

  86. Skippy says:

    Notice how many of the co-signatories to this racist rant list their occupation as Community Activist.
    The Community Activist-in-chief would certainly agree with the message of this blatant accusation of universal racism among non-latinos.
    His plummeting support and recent electoral shellacking should be adequate testimony re: the public’s opinion of Community Activists.
    We’ll take Americans concerned with America from now on, thanks.
    Don’t like it?
    Well, you know what you can always do if you are unhappy where you are.
    Immigrate someplace else.

  87. Phil Maher says:

    To those who disagree with my previous comments- Why is my plight, or my justification for entering into your house “illegally” any different than what you’re proposing we allow in our country? I’m a good an honest person…a family man. All I want is a better life for myself and my children..nothing more than human dignity and a new beginning. Why can’t you share your abundance and good fortune with me? Did it threaten you in some way? Am I not automatically entitled to that, simply by virtue of having made it through your back door?

    Did you learn the traits of hypocrisy and NIMBY-ism here, or did your immigrant ancestors teach it to you?

  88. Disgusted says:

    Want to end race-baiting?, stop publishing rants like these. I am not a racist and am getting tired of being called one.

  89. Jason Valez says:

    They lost me at ‘advocates of racial hatred’. This is the kind of inflamatory rhetoric that isn’t fit to publish. I don’t know anyone who advocates racial hatred except perhaps the authors of this piece.

  90. @LG/DR says:

    Of all of the terrible arguments in this op-ed, these two stand out:

    “Recent polls by the Pew Hispanic Center and a Democracia USA survey found that three out of four Latinos have a bad impression of the GOP, mostly because of its hard stand against immigration policy and its support of Proposition 187. As proof of this, the recent election saw Democratic victories here in California, in part because of Latino voters.”

    Democratic victories in California is not proof of anything involving Proposition 187. We see Democratic victories EVERY YEAR in California. In part because plenty of white voters, too, the majority of any political party in California.

    “Most Latinos believe that the differentiation between “legal” and “illegal” simply serves to mask prejudice against Latinos and is a cover to fan the flames of ethnic intolerance. Otherwise, why would more than six in 10 of us say discrimination is a “major problem”?”

    6/10 Latinos saying discrimination is a major problem does not mean 6/10 Latinos believe the differentiation between legal and illegal serves to mask prejudice against Latinos; it only means that majority believe discrimination is a major problem. Don’t put words into their mouths.

    As usual, Laura is calling anyone racist who doesn’t care for ILLEGAL (criminal) immigrants. I have no problem any race, but I do have a problem with ILLEGAL immigrants, whether they’re Latino, white, black, or purple!

  91. irish says:

    Illegal Alien is not a racist term, supporting it, is racist.

  92. Latino says:

    ”’Most Latinos believe that the differentiation between “legal” and “illegal” simply serves to mask prejudice against Latinos and is a cover to fan the flames of ethnic intolerance.”’

    You probably don’t care that you paint “most Latinos” as racists with this statement. I have friends of all races and this entire article is a politcial rant that take away from all of us who came to this country LEGALLY. Illegal immigrant is very descriptive and the correct term to be using.

  93. As one of the persons who signed this letter, I’ll be happy to try my best to answer any questions you may have about its claims and the pro-David Rabbitt mailer that triggered this Close to Home piece.

  94. Sean says:

    I’d like to first commend Laura for her ability to co-author a letter without the use of profanity.

    I’d like next to remind the rest of the community that Laura is an elected official on the Santa Rosa School Board and David Rosas has made efforts to be elected to Santa Rosa City Council. Remember that when you’re making your decisions at election time. I, for one, do not care to have this sort of blow hard governing my kids’ education.

  95. Dave Madigan says:

    I am not anti-latino. I am anti-illegal alien. I don’t care if the illegal alien is from Central America or from the planet Vulcan….throw the bums out! Why don’t these people protest Mexico’s immigration laws? Mexico considers illegal aliens to be felons! Perhaps Mexico is racist for having such laws?

  96. CommonSense says:

    I agree with Graeme Wellington, from the moment the author made “race bating” the same as speaking against illegal immigration,she lost credibility.
    I’m all for immigration, legal immigration. Legal immigration helps to establish that a person coming into this country knows the basics of law and language, has resources to provide for themselves and any family that comes with them, and means that we have some basic knowledge of the person’s existance in this coutry and the effort that someone goes through to become a citizen helps to establish from the beginning their desire to be a U.S. citizen, not just a person of another country living and working here for the benefit of their own country (no matter where they are coming from). And, though I don’t know the numbers, I’m confident there are many undocumented non-latino populations within the U.S. Undocumented immigration (i.e. illegal by definition) leads to a large segment of the population living isolated from the rest by language and lack of knowledge of the laws and customs of this country. If one wants to change the requirements of legal immigration or create work visa programs for those who want to work here, but not become citizens, that should something they and other groups work towards, but to call a large portion of American’s racist for wanting our laws to be respected and citizenship to mean something, that is race bating in my opinion. And I’d like to know of any country that allows for undocumented immigration en mas under non-emergency (war, etc) circumstances, I can’t think of one, except the U.S.

  97. Phil Maher says:

    I’m hungry, I’m persecuted, I need work, I want a better place in which to raise my family. You have a nice big house that could easily take care of so many of my needs. In fact, your house is so big that you couldn’t possibly hope to guard all the ways in. Using your own logic, does that mean I can simply find one of those unguarded entryways and come in at will? Would you have me arrested? Would I “be there illegally”? Look, not a single racial slur of any kind…no name calling, no hatred whatsoever, just my perspective on what you have and what I see as an opportunity. Does that make my actions right?

  98. Skippy says:

    What a load of racist menudo.
    Nobody cares if you are Mexican. We care if you are an illegal invader. Masking and defending the ILLEGAL part only demonstrates your willful ignorance of the English language, and of the concept of laws. They apply to everyone, regardless of how tough they had it at home; how much they risk to invade or how many crops they harvest in the bright blazing sun.
    We will continue to use the term illegal immigrant as long as we keep being invaded by illegal immigrants. We will use it to describe the flood of Serbian illegal immigrants as soon as we find some. You would be best served by urging your fellow latinos to apply for permission to enter the US. The patience of the lawful is getting very short.
    Deportation on a mass scale is closer than you realize.

  99. Ricardo Sorentino says:

    Just goes to show that LAURA GONZÁLEZ and DAVID ROSAS are part of the problem and have no interest in being part of illegal immigration solution. Seems to be the American way now, to always play the race card and accuse anyone not on the same page of racism.

    Of course, we know that the main reason people play the race card is that neither logic or the facts are on their side. I guess it’s the grown-up version of throwing a temper-tantrum to get your way and further promote the agenda of allowing illegal immigrants into this country at a costs.

    Hope we all like the standard of living of Mexico, because that’s where California is headed not so far in the future. When that happens, I wonder what state Mexico’s illegal immigrants will over-run then…

  100. Graeme Wellington says:

    It isn’t race baiting to be against illegal immigration. From that point on, the spokesperson here has no credibility whatsoever.

    If she can come up with some logical reason why the law should be ignored or changed, I certainly won’t hate her for it.

    But to just keep throwing out there that the people opposed to illegal immigration are racists — forget it. No reason to listen to any more of this woman’s drivel.

  101. David Tierra says:

    oh stop