There is No ‘Hispanic Position’ on Immigration

March 31st, 2015 2:44 PM

More often than not, it seems as though Univision cannot complete the day’s newscast without mention of at least one immigration-related story. This persistent fixation on the heated topic of immigration blatantly ignores the fact that though the Latino community is affected by it, it is not defined by it.

In view of the upcoming 2016 presidential elections, once again immigration is being portrayed as the sole determinant of a candidate’s ability to woo the Latino voter.

Having recently announced his bid for the White House, it was only a matter of time before Ted Cruz’s “tough” stance on immigration would be cited as evidence for his inability to win over Latino support.

Univision’s Sunday morning program, Al Punto, featured Republican analysts, Alfonso Aguilar and Elizabeth Perez, who were interviewed to speak not only on Cruz, but on all potential White House contenders capturing attention as of late.

Félix de Bedout, filling in for Jorge Ramos, led the line of questioning on this Sunday’s show.  His main line of questioning stemmed from what he deemed the inherent “contradiction of Ted Cruz.” This apparent “contradiction” he cited in all his questions to the Republican analysts was premised on Ted Cruz being of Hispanic origin while having a perceived “tough stance” on immigration.

When asked to comment, Republican analyst Alfonso Aguilar countered Bedout’s characterization and said “I would not call it a contradiction.” He went on further to say that “there is no such thing as a ‘Hispanic’ position on immigration.” Truer words could not have been spoken.

Far beyond being cast in the light of single-issue viewers, the Hispanic population is also misperceived to have one sole position on the issue of immigration itself. Views that deviate from the presupposed ‘Hispanic position’ on immigration are subject to being labeled as “anti-hispanic.”

Republican analyst Elizabeth Perez defended Ted Cruz’s position and when asked why she supported him she responded “because he is one of our own.” She cited that Ted Cruz’s position on immigration was to “respect the laws of this country” and “seeking the best interests of those who attempt to come illegally.”

Ultimately, if you ask any Hispanic what issue is of most importance to them, they will provide you with an array of issues. Ask a Latino what their stance is on immigration and you will likely hear a similar spectrum of responses.


The English-language version of the cited excerpts from Al Punto are below, followed by the original Spanish:

Univision’s Al Punto

March 29, 2015

10:15 a.m. Eastern

DE BEDOUT: What does the figure of Ted Cruz represent for the Republican Party?

AGUILAR: Well, I think, firstly, that it is extraordinary that a Hispanic of such high standing would seek the Republican nomination for the presidency. That shows how the Republican Party is one of diversity. At the same time, he represents a conservative leader that follows the vision of strong politics, limited government, low taxes y finally supports social values like the right to life and traditional marriage.

DE BEDOUT: But we have here, what we could call, a type of contradiction. Though he is of Hispanic origin, he has been tough on the subject of immigration. What can we expect from him in this regard?

AGUILAR: Well I would not call it a contradiction. Obviously I am not in agreement with him on the issue of immigration but there is no such thing as a Hispanic position on immigration. We have Hispanics that do not favor a reform although the majority does favor it.


DE BEDOUT: We are analyzing Ted Cruz’s announcement of his candidacy and the first question is, why do you support Ted Cruz?

PEREZ: Simply because he is one of our own.

DE BEDOUT: But this notion “he is one of our own…” there are those who place him in controversy. I am going to reference the Dream Action Coalition…they have said that though he may have a Hispanic name and immigration in his past, that is where the similarities with the Latino community end. How would you respond?

PEREZ: It is completely the opposite. The fact that he is the son of a Cuban father, who received refuge in the U.S., does not mean he is anti-immigrant. The fact is he is a lawyer, and like all respectable lawyers, he respects the laws of the country he lives in. He promotes respecting your neighbor. It’s completely ill-founded for the Democratic Party, or any other organization, to call Cruz anti-immigrant.

DE BEDOUT: I will continue with what the dreamer organization had to say. They say he wants to end DACA and wants to block DAPA. And his position has been to permanently block the possibility of an immigration reform.

PEREZ: He does not want to block immigration reform. He wants to block the illegal acts that are being committed to enter this country illegally. Put simply, he is looking out for the protection of those people who enter the country illegally.


Original Spanish:

DE BEDOUT: ¿Que representa para el partido republicano la figura de Ted Cruz en la contienda?

AGUILAR: Bueno yo creo que, primero que nada, es extraordinario que un hispano de alto nivel busque la nominación republicana para la presidencia. Demuestra que el partido republicano es uno de diversidad. Al mismo tiempo representa un líder conservador que sigue la visión de una política fuerte, de gobierno limitado, de impuestos bajos y finalmente apoya también los valores sociales y el derecho a la vida y matrimonio tradicional. 

DE BEDOUT: Pero aquí hay, lo que podíamos llamar,  una especie de contradicción, aunque tiene origen Hispano él ha sido muy duro en el tema de inmigración. ¿Qué se puede esperar de el en este tema?

AGUILAR: Bueno yo no le llamo una contradicción. Obviamente yo no estoy de acuerdo con él en el tema de inmigración pero no hay una posición hispana sobre el tema de inmigración. Tenemos a hispanos que no favorecen una reforma, la mayoría si lo favorece.


DE BEDOUT: Estamos analizando este lanzamiento de la figura de Ted Cruz y la primera pregunta es, ¿usted por qué respalda a Ted Cruz?

PEREZ: Simplemente porque es de los nuestros.

DE BEDOUT: Pero ese “de los nuestros” hay quienes lo ponen en controversia. Le voy a citar lo que dice el Dream Action Coailition…ha dicho aunque tenga un nombre hispano e inmigración en su pasado, allí acaban las similitudes con la comunidad Latina, ¿que respondería usted? 

PEREZ: Es completamente lo contrario. El hecho que sea hijo de padre cubano y refugiado en los Estados Unidos, no significa que sea antiinmigrante. El hecho es que el señor cruz es abogado y como todo abogado honorable respeta las leyes del país donde está. Lo que promueve es respetar al prójimo. Es insensato por parte del partido demócrata o cualquier tipo de organización que diga que el señor cruz es anti inmigrante. 

DE BEDOUT: Continuó con lo que dice la organización de soñadores. Dicen que quiere acabar con DACA y quiere bloquear DAPA. Y su posición ha sido de permanente bloqueo a la posibilidad de una reforma migratoria. 

PEREZ: El bloqueo no es de una Forma migratoria. El bloqueo es que se sigan cometiendo actos ilegales para entrar a estados unidos ilegalmente. Simplemente es para la protección de esos inmigrantes que llegan indocumentados.