The Rise of Latino Conservatism
The Rise of Latino Conservatism was a session at the Conservative Political Action Conference sponsored by the American Principles Project and featured speakers Alfonso Aguilar, Grover Norquist, Karyme Lozano, and Mario Lopez.
Alfonso Aguilar: Alfonso Aguilar explained that conservatives have not been consistent enough with conservative Latino movement. The majority of Latinos believe in the family, they're pro-life, they're entrepreneurial and pro-business, and they support free trade, which are all values held among conservatives.
Aguilar explained that some people like to argue that Latinos don't want to learn English, but studies show that Latinos do want to assimilate, it jut takes time. Furthermore, more than a third of Latinos marry outside their ethnicity which shows that they are not bound to their group. However, thre are groups out there that fuel anti-immigration rhetoric, promote abortion, and try to blame Latinos for the so called "population issues."
Latinos are the fastest growing population in America, and without substantial support from this group, the conservative movement cannot grow.
"We are at fault when we allow the other side to capture the immigration issue, we need to continue to be welcoming." - Sarah Palin
Aguilar said that we must:
1. Secure borders and stop drug trafficking
2. Focus on the criminals, we need to go after the right people, not focus on the cleaning ladies
3. Figure out a way for those who are here illegally to become legal, without granting amnesty
4. Create a guest worker plan
5. Promote patriotic assimilation
Grover Norquist: Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform and is on the Board of the NRA. He stated that we as conservatives need to better reach out to the Hispanic community. He explained that Reagan and other people elected at the national level tend to be the most immigrant-friendly.
He also explained that people whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower no longer know the difference between this country and other countries, but immigrants get it. They are the most open to keeping this country free because they don't want this country to become the country they fled from.
Karyme Lozano: Karyme Lozano is an Mexican actress, and is currently an United States resident. She explained that conservatives share the same ideals that this country was founded on. She said that we need to let Latinos know that conservatives can better protect their ideals.
As an actress, she allowed herself to follow a pathway that was different than the values she grew up on; the fame and fortune of Hollywood made her not think about who she really was. She explained that Hollywood just offered her emptiness. However, she found her faith again and realized that only God can give a person true happiness. However, after this transformation, it seemed like doors started closing in Hollywood. She realized that there is a liberal agenda in Hollywood, sponsored by many liberal elites.
Furthermore, as a mother of a 9-yr-old girl, she is very concerned about what is going on in our schools. She explained that the liberal agenda is counseling our children about abortion and trying to undermine parents. Parents want to be at ease when they send their kids to school.
Karyme Lozano closed with saying that non Latino and Latino Conservatives together can defeat the liberals!
Mario H. Lopez: Mario Lopez is the president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund. He started off saying that he personally thinks the debate should be between the conservatives and the libertarians not the conservatives and the liberals.
He went on to explain that we must admit that we have a problem with attaining the conservative Latino vote. Latinos think that the Republicans don't want them here and are afraid to admit that they are conservative and agree with conservative principles when the conservatives are the ones spreading the harsh anti-immigration rhetoric. Lopez said that this harsh anti-immigration rhetoric affected 44 electoral votes in the 2008 election and is why we have Obama as our president now. When Tom Tancredo was asked what he thought about losing the Latino conservative vote, all he had to say was "So be it."
Lopez explained that a lot of people don't understand how cumbersome it is to come to this country legally. A lot of people make decisions most Americans may have made had they been put in the same situation. No one attempts to cross 200 miles of desert because they think it's fun or because they want to spit on America. They think, "Either I stay here and my family starves, or I attempt to go to America and make a life for myself."