Hispanic Caucus News

Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For July 2019

What an amazing month the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Podcast has had! The folks who joined us really had some terrific and enlightening things to say during our discussions, including a college engineering student in California, a Democratic candidate running for local office in Pennsylvania, a Puebla-based Democrats Abroad Mexico member, and a union activist in Indiana – all wonderful guests who are making significant differences in their communities. Check out the names below in bold font to see who we spoke to in July.

As a reminder, all of our podcast episodes can be accessed here (or seen with episode summaries here).

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Bianca Vasquez And Her Mission To Promote Latinas In Space Exploration

In a galaxy far, far away, there likely awaits a NASA rocket, probe, satellite or rover with Bianca Vasquez's name to be written on it. With her steadfast determination, there's no question that this Latina is dedicated to fulfilling successful missions of scientific research and human exploration in realms far from Earth. This week, this motivated college student from California and - gasp! - "engineering propulsion intern" joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast and educated us on her terrific organization - the Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE.org) - and how college and university chapters are popping up all over in support of its worthwhile pro-science and pro-women in diversity initiatives. 

Ms. Vasquez also spoke on why having Latinas involved in S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) contributes to a diverse workforce preparing to tackle major issues like climate change and how to best harness the power of green energy. At only 22 years old, Ms. Vasquez is an inspiration to all of us. She's clearly shooting for the stars -- quite possibly in a rocket designed, tested, and built by her own hands! Have a listen to our podcast discussion with this young lady and we're sure you'll be just as impressed about the future of American science and innovation as we are. ¡Sube el volumen! 

"Necesitamos elegir representantes que creen en la importancia de la sciencia para un futuro mejor para nosotros y para nuestros hijos." - Bianca Vasquez (Twitter: @PinkRocketship) 

Sus comentarios en español comienzan a las 20:32 en la conversación. (Ms. Vasquez’s Spanish-language remarks begin at 20:32 into the conversation.) 

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic) and Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

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Under The Electoral Microscope: A Discussion With Sam Stone On Latinx Candidates We Should All Be Aware Of

The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus’ Dee Dee Camhi (she/her/ella) and Michael Ramos (he/him/él) held a terrific discussion about Latinx candidates and upcoming races with one of our all-around knowledgeable caucus colleagues, Dr. Samuel Stone, Esq. When Sam’s not doing bilingual media interviews or teaching university students, he’s doing the tough work of researching candidates and issues. In today’s discussion, Sam took some time to inform us of some Latinx candidates that are likely to grab our attention in preparation for the upcoming 2019 and 2020 elections. In addition to Hispanic Caucus members being aware of Latinx incumbents and Latinx political newcomers, Sam gave his perspective on why all Americans abroad should request their ballot and cast their votes. Good stuff! Before you go celebrate Independence Day, have a listen to this interesting episode to get Sam’s insightful thoughts on Latinx candidates running in current electoral cycles.

“Things are changing. For example, in Philadelphia, there are a number of Latinos running for office… But now, they’re doing more inclusive things such as adding the ‘ñ’ on ballots for candidates’ names because there are so many Hispanic candidates running… and as a country and our Party, we’re seeing great improvements to accommodate Latino candidates.” - Sam Stone

Hispanic Caucus participants in this podcast episode: Dee Dee Camhi (DA Mexico), Nelleke Bruyn (DA Costa Rica), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

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Shaking Up A Local Race: Speaking with Democratic Primary Winner and Latinx City Council Candidate Nicarol Soto

In the eastern part of the Keystone State, there’s a city which historically has had a thriving coal industry, then years later became known as an unwelcoming place for immigrants, and nowadays, ironically, is the home to an increasingly-large Hispanic community -- welcome to the City of Hazleton. With the city currently in debt, minority-owned small businesses seeking to expand economic opportunities, and children limited in participating in youth programs, Nicarol Soto, a Democratic Latina candidate for city council, is ready to roll up her sleeves and move Hazleton forward.

Nicarol joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Podcast in a bilingual discussion to explain what she’s fighting for and why she’s running for public office. In this day and age of media attention largely showering candidates for federal public office, the Hispanic Caucus recognizes the need for overseas voters to devote time to learning more about state and local races before our members request their ballots. Nicarol Soto is one such candidate whom all Hazleton voters living abroad should know: she’s bilingual, she’s a mother, she works hard in a job outside of politics, she has a vision for where the city could potentially be, and she’s an inspiration for all young Latinas who want to make a difference in improving our nation through public service.

You know what to do… grab a beverage of your choice, kick back, and crank up the volume!

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Carlos Colao (DA Spain), Thorin Engeseth (DA Germany), Dee Dee Camhi (DA Mexico), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao.

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​Local Labor Leader Stuart Mora ​W​ith Thoughts ​On Immigration, Organizing ​And Voting

The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus recently had a chance to speak with UNITE HERE's Stuart Mora, of Local 23 in Indianapolis, and heard his thoughts on the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the American Dream and Promise Act, how union workers ​and the Marion County Dems ​are preparing for upcoming elections, and why overseas Americans exercising their right to vote will be critical in beating back the misguided ​​agenda of Republicans. As a​ vocal and highly-active​ ​organizer in the Rust Belt ​working directly with ​women, immigrants and ​the service industry, in addition to having previously lived abroad, Stuart's well-rounded experience in ​analyzing today's political ​climate gives an honest assessment of what's needed ​to move our country forward ​and what a collective voice can achieve. Have a listen to this interesting conversation and be sure to share with all Hoosiers living abroad!

"​Like me, when I was living abroad, you know other Americans abroad where you live. We've got to make sure they're registered to vote, and voting." - Stuart Mora

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic) and Carlos Colao (DA Spain). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao.


Declaración del Caucus Hispano Sobre la Aprobación de Enmiendas a Resoluciones de la Reunión Mundial

El 20 de julio de 2019, los miembros del Comité del Partido Demócrata en el Extranjero (DPCA) se reunieron para debatir y votar sobre varias resoluciones que no pudieron recibir consideración en la reunión mundial de mayo de 2019 en el Distrito Columbia debido a restricciones de tiempo. Una de las medidas aprobadas por los miembros de la DPCA fue una resolución que apoya el “Nuevo Acuerdo Verde” en el Congreso. El Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano de los Demócratas en el Extranjero fue el autor de una enmienda de correcciones técnicas a la resolución que los miembros de la DPCA incluyeron por unanimidad.

El promotor principal de la enmienda, Will Prescott (DA México), declaró: “Me complace que haya habido un gran apoyo entre los miembros con voto global para apoyar esta enmienda que fortalece la resolución Nuevo Acuerdo Verde. No solo el cambio climático es un tema importante para mí y estoy seguro para muchos miembros de nuestro grupo, si no que contar con el respaldo a la enmienda de los líderes mundiales de los Demócratas en el Extranjero es indicativo de que la resolución es la correcta para la aceptación unánime de la membresía global.”

Otra líder del Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano, Alison Maciejewski (DA República Checa), emitió también su opinión: “Alentar a nuestros funcionarios electos a tomar medidas para

salvar el planeta es una obviedad. Con la aparición de los escépticos del clima en contra de la ciencia y la ignorancia voluntaria de los Republicanos en el poder, la raíz de la resolución exige acciones firmes por parte de nuestro Partido para contactar a nuestros miembros del Congreso e instarles a que se comprometan a apoyar H. Res.109 y S. Res. 59 - legislación en apoyo de empleos verdes y de reducción de gases de efecto invernadero.”

El Caucus Hispano espera continuar encontrando formas de fortalecer nuestra Plataforma del Partido en la reunión global de mayo de 2020 programada para llevarse a cabo en Toronto.

El texto completo de la enmienda adoptada por el Caucus Hispano se incluye a continuación.

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ENMIENDA A LA RESOLUCIÓN DEL NUEVO ACUERDO VERDE

Patrocinado por el Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano Global de Demócratas en el Extranjero.

Propuesto por Will Prescott, representante con derecho a voto de la DPCA, Demócratas en el Extranjero México

CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de los Demócratas en el Extranjero del 20 de julio de 2019 que respalda el “Nuevo Acuerdo Verde” hace referencia dos veces a una legislación pendiente en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos, el 116 ° Congreso, titulado “H.R. 109”; y

CONSIDERANDO QUE, la H.R. 109 es en realidad un proyecto de ley relacionado con la inmigración patrocinado por un representante Republicano de Estados Unidos; y

CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que apoya un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde presumiblemente se refiere a H. Res. 109, una resolución que reconoce el deber del gobierno federal de crear un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde, patrocinado por un representante Demócrata de Estados Unidos; y

CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde establece que hay 103 copatrocinadores hasta el 15 de abril de 2019 en referencia a las resoluciones del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde del Senado y la Cámara de Representantes; y

CONSIDERANDO QUE, hay un total de 106 copatrocinadores de las resoluciones del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde en el Senado y la Cámara de Representantes hasta el 13 de julio de 2019,

SE RESUELVE, que la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde reemplazará todas las referencias de “H.R. 109” con “H.Res. 109”; y

SE RESUELVE ADEMÁS, que la resolución de los Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde reemplazará “15 de abril de 2019” con “13 de julio de 2019” y “103 copatrocinadores” con “106 copatrocinadores”


Hispanic Caucus Statement on Passage of Amendment at Global Meeting on Resolutions

On July 20, 2019, the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) members met to debate and vote on several resolutions which were unable to receive consideration at the May 2019 global meeting in the District of Columbia due to time restrictions. One of the measures DPCA members passed was a resolution supporting the “Green New Deal” in Congress. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus’ steering committee authored a technical-corrections amendment to the resolution which DPCA members unanimously included.

The amendment’s primary sponsor, Will Prescott (DA Mexico), stated, “I’m pleased there was strong support among the global voting membership to support this amendment which strengthens the Green New Deal resolution. Not only is climate change a top issue for me and I’m sure for many members of our caucus, but to have the amendment backing of Democrats Abroad’s global leaders is indicative of getting the resolution just right to the global membership’s unanimous acceptance.”

Another leader on the Hispanic Caucus’ steering committee, Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), provided an additional opinion: “Encouraging our elected officials to take action to
save the planet is a no-brainer. With the emergence of anti-science climate skeptics and willful ignorance from Republicans in office, the underlying resolution calls for strong actions by our Party to contact our members of Congress and urge them to sign on to H. Res. 109 and S. Res. 59 – pro-green jobs, pro-reducing greenhouse gases pieces of legislation.”

The Hispanic Caucus looks forward to continuing to find ways of strengthening our Party Platform at the May 2020 global meeting set for Toronto.

The full text of the adopted Hispanic Caucus amendment is below.
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AMENDMENT TO THE GREEN NEW DEAL RESOLUTION

Sponsored by Democrats Abroad Global Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee.
Proposed by Will Prescott, DPCA Voting Representative, Democrats Abroad Mexico

WHEREAS, the July 20, 2019 Democrats Abroad resolution supporting the “Green New Deal” twice makes reference to a piece of legislation pending in the United State House of Representatives, 116th Congress, stated as “H.R. 109”; and

WHEREAS, H.R. 109 is actually an immigration-related bill sponsored by a Republican U.S. representative; and

WHEREAS, the Democrats Abroad resolution supporting a Green New Deal presumably is meant to refer to H. Res. 109, a resolution recognizing the duty of the federal government to create a Green New Deal, sponsored by a Democratic U.S. representative; and

WHEREAS, the Democrats Abroad resolution supporting a Green New Deal states there are 103 cosponsors as of April 15, 2019 in reference to both the Senate and House of Representatives’ Green New Deal resolutions; and

WHEREAS, there are 106 total cosponsors to the Green New Deal resolutions in the Senate and House of Representatives as of July 13, 2019,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Democrats Abroad resolution supporting a Green New Deal shall replace all references of “H.R. 109” with “H. Res. 109”; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Democrats Abroad resolution supporting a Green New Deal shall replace “April 15, 2019” with “July 13, 2019,” and “103 cosponsors” with “106 cosponsors.”


Statement from the Hispanic Caucus Chair and Vice Chair on Acosta Resignation

In response to the July 12, 2019 resignation announcement of U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, who negotiated an incredibly lenient 2008 plea deal involving former Trump confidant and wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the Democrats Abroad (DA) Hispanic Caucus' current leadership offered the following comments:

"Yet again, this scandal-plagued administration is having to spend more time finding political nominees with ethics than actually governing our country. Given Mr. Acosta's controversial nomination when he squeaked by the Senate, he should have never been confirmed by Republicans in the first place. As the only Latino in the Trump Cabinet, it's disappointing to see such a terrible job performance from him both as Labor secretary and in his former role in the U.S. Attorney's office," stated caucus chair Michael Ramos (DA Australia).

The caucus' vice chair, José Miguel Madrigal (DA Costa Rica), added his thoughts. "Donald Trump only added to the swamp by nominating Alex Acosta. Unfortunately for both of them, our caucus and the American people saw right through Acosta's unprofessional behavior and demanded him to step down. The Hispanic Caucus hopes that the next Labor secretary nominee is serious about leading the American workforce, including addressing ongoing workplace injuries and fatalities among U.S. Latino employees."


Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For June 2019

June was a busy month for the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Podcast! We had terrific discussions with several notable Latinx guests: a Berkeley professor, a late-night comedy host, a Red Cross executive, and a foreign affairs in expert in U.S.-Latin American relations. All of the guests offered insightful commentary, and if you’re ready to check ‘em out, feel free to stream or download these episodes at your convenience.

***All of our podcast episodes can be found here at our newly re-designed site.

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June 2, 2019 (Guest: Cristina Mora)

You've heard her several times on NPR, and now, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus was pleased to have G. Cristina Mora, Ph.D., as a guest on our podcast to discuss a range of issues under her expertise. Dr. Mora spoke on Latinos and the potential impacts of next year's census, how we came to use the term "Hispanics," and provided details about her book chronicling Hispanic Americans' rise in political and economic power stemming from years of activism and a push by the media. Check out our conversation with Dr. Mora - and afterward, we're confident you'll agree that the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast once again provides not only a quality educational lesson for all, but legitimate reasons to vote!

Sus comentarios en español comienzan a las 21:02 en la conversación. (Dr. Mora’s Spanish-language remarks begin at 21:02 into the conversation.)

"Siempre, siempre, siempre es importante votar dondequiera que estés - cada voto cuenta." -- G. Cristina Mora, Ph.D. (Twitter: @GCristinaMora)

DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Lori Smith (DA Mexico), Thomas López (DA Australia), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

June 14, 2019 (Guest: Ernie Bustamante)

We all know it's hard to be an activist 24-7 in pushing for societal change and demanding sound policies of our home country. Helping folks relax after a long day is Ernie Bustamante, a Boricua-Chicano mestizo, highly-accomplished Los Angeles-based writer and late-night comedy host who's giving the American public some much-needed social/political laughter to keep all of us sane during the chaotic Trump era. Ernie joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast in discussing his series "Border Patrol," how 2020 presidential candidates each have an effective personal story to tell voters, how the late-night talk show scene recently lacked a Latino presence, and how he eventually decided, "¡Basta - necesitamos más de nosotros!"

Ernie is a great example of a Latinx activist who's highly educated and paying close attention to politics. If any of our members happen to visit the LA area, make sure to check out his free live show at the UCB Theatre (Upright Citizens Brigade's "Inner Sanctum"), located at 5419 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 90027. You can also check out Ernie and his show on Twitter: @votebustamante and @TheLatinoVote. Have a listen to this episode y por favor compártalo con amigos!

DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), Greg Dolezal (DA Vietnam), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

June 21, 2019 (Guest: Jarrett Barrios)

Joining our podcast episode this week was a Latinx superstar who's made a positive difference in every community he's ever lived. Jarrett Barrios, former state legislator on the east coast and now leading the Red Cross on the west coast, is no stranger to working on behalf of the American people. As a nonpartisan guest, he joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast and not only let us know how laser-focused he's been on emergency preparedness and response, but also gave us a fascinating brief history lesson on the Red Cross' international origins. In addition, Jarrett and his team of Red Cross volunteers continue to strive in assisting Latino communities with Spanish-language outreach and welcoming all those affected by natural or human-caused disasters to seek safety in their shelters. Good stuff!

After listening to this insightful conversation, your homework shall consist of: 1) subscribing to our podcast by clicking the "Follow"/iTunes button, 2) following Jarrett (@JarrettBarrios) on Twitter, and 3) sharing this podcast with other Americans living abroad!

(Fun fact: Latinos are more likely to have an O-positive blood type, thereby indicating they are extremely valuable for blood donations due to the universality of O blood and making it the highest in demand. It's important to remember that Latino blood donors make powerful contributions to patients in the emergency room!)

DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Lori Smith (DA Mexico), Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

June 25, 2019 (Guest: Jana Nelson)

This week the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus welcomed polyglot and foreign affairs expert Jana Nelson (Twitter: @anajanaina) as a special guest on our podcast. Jana has considerable experience as a congressional staff member, professional researcher, and working in diplomacy at the State Department. Among her many areas of specialized knowledge, Jana spoke with us about the various services provided by U.S. embassies and consulates which are available to U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad. The Hispanic Caucus was lucky to secure some of Jana's time and get her input on what an ambassador does and what the purpose of an embassy is, the role of Congress as it relates to U.S. embassies and consulates, why it's important for Americans abroad to vote, and several other important items. Please check out Jana's insightful commentary!

DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji), Luis Ore (DA Peru), Melanie García (DA Dominican Republic), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).


Acuerdos Comerciales y Arancelarios de Trump: Desastroso para los Estadounidenses en el Extranjero, Impacto Local y Global

Por: Bernardo Javalquinto, Ph.D.

Prácticamente todas las naciones que comenzaron como una colonia y obtuvieron su independencia se han beneficiado al tener una economía abierta, en oposición a aquellas que optan por políticas comerciales cerradas y “proteccionistas.”  Existe una gran cantidad de evidencia que demuestra que las economías cerradas crean una serie de problemas que afectan negativamente a sus ciudadanos, y muchos desconocen que el daño no solo es aplicable a los ricos y poderosos, sino que se extiende a sus ciudadanos de la clase trabajadora a nivel local. En el caso de la Administración Trump, cada día que pasa nos acerca más a una economía cerrada, y los estadounidenses que viven en el extranjero están viendo de primera mano el daño global que está haciendo EE. UU. amenazando con nuevos aranceles y luchando por demandas comerciales unilaterales.

Seamos claros: una amplia gama de respetados economistas está de acuerdo en que los aranceles de Trump perjudicarán a la mayoría de los estadounidenses.  Estados Unidos era, y sigue siendo, interdependiente de la economía global. A pesar de la crisis financiera de la Era de la Depresión, esta nos dejó grandes enseñanzas sobre economía, mercados, comercio y aranceles. Estados Unidos tradicionalmente ha crecido al ser una de las naciones industrializadas más prósperas, pero ahora se arriesga a dejar de ser económicamente competitiva y nos recuerda las amenazas provocadas durante la Depresión.

Increíblemente, las políticas del Presidente revierten el largo y lento giro de Estados Unidos hacia una economía más abierta.  Los economistas, el Partido Demócrata y el pueblo estadounidense se dan cuenta plenamente de lo que está haciendo actualmente la Administración Trump en materia de comercio y aranceles.  El Sr. Trump cree saberlo todo sobre negocios, pero está claro que su experiencia en los negocios ha dado lugar a políticas que benefician al 1 por ciento con los más altos ingresos y a Wall Street, y no a los trabajadores y las familias de clase media.

Aun más, a medida que la Administración de Trump nos empuja  hacia una economía cerrada, sus políticas comerciales inevitablemente continuarán afectando otros asuntos como la migración.  La administración ya está elevando indirectamente el costo de los bienes y servicios a través de los aranceles pero la economía básica nos dice que cuando los precios comienzan a subir, la inflación sigue su ejemplo.  Esto es significativo porque el poder adquisitivo del pueblo estadounidense disminuye hoy en día debido al hecho de que los precios son más altos para los bienes y servicios importados.  Dado que economistas, académicos y otros que entienden lo que está sucediendo actualmente en la Administración de Trump nos han advertido de una desaceleración económica, es imperativo que actuemos ahora para evitar la tensión emocional de las familias de Estados Unidos que tienen que salir adelante ante peores acuerdos comerciales y arancelarios.  Las economías proteccionistas no permiten una competencia económica justa para mantener un equilibrio en los precios; esto solo crea una economía extremadamente nacionalista que no puede competir con otras economías de libre mercado para ser más eficiente, más innovadora y mantener un crecimiento sostenible a largo plazo..

No nos sorprende que esté ausente en el manual comercial de la administración un plan de ayuda para los estadounidenses de bajos ingresos al ser afectados por los agresivos nuevos aranceles que indudablemente desalentarán aún más la cooperación internacional. Mientras tanto la administración continúa negociando acuerdos comerciales a puerta cerrada a favor de las corporaciones estadounidenses, y a su vez, los lideres de los sindicatos de los trabajadores estadounidenses esperan pacientemente a ver la menor evidencia de que la administración planea seriamente en este siglo 21 incluir protección a los trabajadores.

Para resumir, esta administración está creando políticas en Twitter a las 3 a.m. y no teniendo una discusión seria con el pueblo estadounidense para explicar las razones de los aranceles agresivos que perjudicarán a los estadounidenses tanto en el país como en el extranjero.  Esta administración sigue sin ser transparente al presentar sus planes comerciales a pesar de que el Sr. Trump afirma tener habilidades de negociación “sin precedents”.  Y mientras que la retórica de esta administración afirma promover la protección de los trabajadores estadounidenses, la evidencia demuestra que los únicos que interesan al presidente son los donantes de su campaña.

Por estas razones, invito a todos los ciudadanos de EE. UU. a reflexionar sobre el daño que nuestro país está experimentando con las políticas comerciales y arancelarias de Donald Trump, a menos que, por supuesto, los ciudadanos de Estados Unidos deseen experimentar otra desaceleración económica.

 

El Dr. Bernardo Javalquinto es economista, miembro del Comité de Dirección del Caucus Hispano de Demócratas en el Extranjero y Presidente de Demócratas en el Extranjero de Chile.


Trump’s Trade and Tariffs Deals: Disastrous for Americans Abroad, Local and Global Impact

By: Bernardo Javalquinto, Ph.D.

Virtually every nation which began as a colony and gained independence has benefitted from having an open economy, as opposed to those opting for closed, “protectionist” trade policies. There is a mountain of evidence demonstrating that closed economies carry a number of problems which negatively affect their citizens, and many are unaware that the damage is not only applicable to the wealthy and powerful but rather extends to its working-class citizenry on a local level. In the case of the Trump Administration, every day that passes takes us one step closer to a closed economy, and Americans living abroad are seeing first-hand the global damage being done by the U.S. threatening new tariffs and striving for unilateral trade demands.

Let’s be clear: a wide range of respected economists agree that Trump’s tariffs will hurt most Americans. The United States was – and still is – interdependent with the global economy. Despite the financial crisis of the Depression era, it taught us many lessons about economics, markets, trade, and tariffs. The United States has traditionally thrived in being one of the most prosperous industrialized nations but now risks remaining economically competitive and reminds us of the threats brought on by the Depression era.

Incredibly, the President’s policies reverse America’s long, slow shift towards a more open economy. Economists, the Democratic Party, and the American people fully realize what the Trump Administration is currently doing on trade and tariffs. Mr. Trump believes he is all-knowledgeable on business deals, but it is clear his business experience has led to policies which are beneficial to the top 1 percent of income earners and Wall Street, and not the workers and families of Main Street.

Furthermore, as the Trump Administration pushes us further toward a closed economy, its trade policies will inevitably continue to affect other issues such as migration. The administration is already indirectly raising the cost of goods and services through tariffs, but basic economics tells us that when prices start to rise, inflation follows suit. This is significant because the purchasing power of the American people is decreased nowadays due to the fact that prices are higher for imported goods and services. As economists, academics, and others who understand what is currently happening by the Trump Administration have warned us of an economic slowdown, it is imperative that we act now to avoid the emotional strain of America’s families having to somehow get by on worse trade deals and tariffs. Protectionist economies do not allow for fair economic competition to maintain a balance in prices; it only creates an extremely nationalist economy that is not able to compete with other free-market economies to become more efficient, more innovative, and maintain sustainable growth over time.

Not surprisingly, absent from the administration’s trade playbook is how it intends on helping the lowest-earning Americans from being affected by teasing new tariffs which would undoubtedly further discourage international cooperation. Meanwhile, the administration continues to negotiate trade deals behind closed doors on behalf of corporate America while America’s labor leaders are patiently waiting to see any shred of evidence where the administration is serious about including 21st-century worker protections.

To summarize, this administration is creating 3:00 A.M. policies on Twitter and not having a serious discussion with the American people in explaining the rationale for aggressive tariffs which will hurt Americans both domestically and abroad. This administration continues to not be transparent in detailing trade plans despite Mr. Trump claiming to have “unprecedented” negotiating skills. And while this administration’s rhetoric is about promoting the protection of American workers, evidence shows that the only stakeholders who have the president’s ear are his campaign donors.

For these reasons, I would invite every U.S. citizen to think about the damage that our country is experiencing with Donald Trump’s trade and tariff policies, unless, of course, America’s citizens are yearning to experience another economic slowdown.

 

Dr. Bernardo Javalquinto is an economist, a member of the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee, and the Chair of Democrats Abroad Chile.


TAKE ACTION!

The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus urges all members to contact your U.S. representative and your two U.S. senators regarding the below issue.

Background: One of the lesser talked-about issues of importance is the major lack of Hispanic Americans serving in the U.S. military’s highest officer ranks. It’s unclear as to exactly why that is, but given that Hispanics comprise a large percentage of all U.S. service-members, clearly there needs to be some changes to ensure fairer officer representation of Hispanics and that they are able to fill these top leadership roles. (A broader discussion of this topic can be heard on our podcast episode from May 2019.)

For the purpose of filling out the online forms on the web sites of your members of Congress, see below for a basic template where you simply need to add in your personal details, or modify to your liking.

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Dear Representative ______ / Senator _______,

My name is [your name] and I’m your constituent from [name of home town]. I’m writing because I believe there is an important issue currently happening within our military that needs to be immediately addressed.

When it comes to diversity in our Armed Forces, there are Americans of every color who fill the ranks and serve our nation with pride. However, within the very top officer ranks -- such as generals and admirals -- Hispanic Americans are almost completely absent. This is significant considering that America’s top officers make life and death decisions on the battlefield, contribute to our nation’s national security intelligence, advise strategies to the White House, serve as role models to younger service-members of color, and provide critical input on countless other issues.

Latinos not only comprise a decent percentage of America’s military, both enlisted and officer, but they are also nominated to U.S. military academies, earn Medals of Honor, and are adequately represented in almost all other aspects of the U.S. military. Numerous studies have proven that having diversity in leadership contributes to beneficial outcomes. Why there’s a lack of Hispanic representation among America’s top officer ranks is an important question in which we all deserve to know the answer.

Therefore, I urge you to create a Defense Advisory Committee on Latinos in the Services to formally investigate potential solutions to this lack of diversity such as demanding adequate mentoring, development and promotion of Hispanic American officers.

I respectfully request your response to this message.

Thank you for your consideration,

[your name and contact details]

p.s. I strongly encourage you to read this article from The Hill which directly speaks on this topic: https://thehill.com/latino/398139-latinos-arent-reaching-top-military-positions-study-shows


Declaración del Caucus Hispano sobre la aprobación en la Casa de Representantes de H.R. 6

A principios de esta semana, los Demócratas de la Cámara mantuvieron su promesa hecha desde el comienzo del 116 ° Congreso y aprobaron una solución legislativa para proteger a los Dreamers (Soñadores): niños traídos ilegalmente a Estados Unidos sin culpa propia. La legislación también prevé la protección del estatus migratorio a personas con estado de protección temporal (TPS) y salida forzada diferida (DED) que huyeron de la violencia o desastres naturales en su país de origen. Y dado que estos grupos de  inmigrantes han tenido sus vidas en el caos debido al completo e inmoral cambio de opinión de Donald Trump para terminar con estos programas, H.R. 6 proporcionaría un camino para obtener la ciudadanía estadounidense a estos inmigrantes que trabajan, que pagan impuestos y que sirven en el Ejército y que llaman a los Estados Unidos su hogar.

La propuesta American Dream and Promise Act (Sueño y Promesa de Estados Unidos) está pendiente de consideración por parte del Senado de Estados Unidos. El Caucus Hispano de Demócratas en el Extranjero insta a todos los estadounidenses en el extranjero a: 1) comunicarse con sus dos senadores para apoyar H.R. 6 y para exigir una votación sobre esta legislación atrasada, y, 2) si representado por uno de los 230 demócratas o 7 republicanos que votaron para aprobar el H.R. 6, a contactarlos con un mensaje de agradecimiento por estar en el lado correcto de la historia estadounidense.

Después de la votación de la Cámara, cientos de asistentes en la galería de la Casa irrumpieron en un estruendoso aplauso. Julia Bryan, Presidenta Internacional de Demócratas en el Extranjero, declaró: “Estoy encantada de que la Cámara haya aprobado esta importante ley, apoyando a un grupo de jóvenes adultos a los que debemos sentirnos orgullosos de dar la bienvenida a Estados Unidos como ciudadanos. Insto al Senado a llegar a trabajar y a hacer lo mismo. Los Demócratas en el Extranjero apoyamos a los Dreamers, y continuaremos luchando por una reforma migratoria sensata que acoja a los inmigrantes de la forma en que muchos de nosotros hemos sido acogidos en los países en los que vivimos en todo el mundo.”

Ya hemos visto a esta desvergonzada administración separar familias, enviando inmigrantes indocumentados a países donde a menudo no tienen familiares ni apoyo, no están familiarizados con el idioma local, y se enfrentan a intentos para suprimir libertades tales como la libertad de expresión. Después de años de los Congresos Republicanos que no hacer nada, nuestros legisladores Demócratas electos tomaron medidas decisivas para proteger a los Dreamers y a otros grupos inmigrantes vulnerables que han sido constantemente amenazados con la deportación a países en los que simplemente tienen una conexión limitada o nula.

H.R. 6 no se trata solo de los Dreamers ni de una persona en particular; esto es sobre cuál es la posición de nuestro país para acoger y proteger a los inmigrantes vulnerables que han abrazado nuestra cultura y que han llegado a amar a los Estados Unidos. Con el voto de esta semana sobre H.R. 6, los Demócratas de la Cámara han demostrado su apoyo a los valores simbolizados por la Estatua de la Libertad, que desde hace años ha acogido a grupos de inmigrantes que huyen de países donde atrocidades inhumanas han ocurrido.

El Senado de mayoría Republicana ahora deberá escuchar a la gran mayoría de los estadounidenses que piden la protección inmediata de los miembros de servicio de los Estados Unidos, maestros, médicos y otros inmigrantes en nuestras comunidades, y llevar la propuesta American Dream and Promise Act a votación.


Hispanic Caucus Statement on House Passage of H.R. 6

Earlier this week, House Democrats kept their promise from the beginning of the 116th Congress and passed a legislative solution to protect “Dreamers” – children illegally brought to the United States through no fault of their own. The legislation also provides immigration status protection to individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who fled violence or natural disasters in their country of origin. And because these immigrant groups have had their lives thrown into chaos due to Donald Trump’s complete and immoral flip flop to end these programs, H.R. 6 would provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for these hard-working, tax-paying, military-serving immigrants who call the United States home.

The American Dream and Promise Act is now pending consideration by the U.S. Senate. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus urges all Americans abroad to: 1) contact their two senators to support H.R. 6 and to demand a vote on this long-overdue legislation, and, 2) if represented by one of the 230 Democrats or 7 Republicans who voted to pass H.R. 6, to contact them with a thank-you message for being on the right side of American history.

After the House vote took place, hundreds of attendees in the House gallery erupted into thunderous applause. Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad, stated, “I’m delighted that the House has passed this important piece of legislation, supporting a group of young adults we should be proud to welcome into the U.S. as citizens. I urge the Senate to get to work and do the same.  Democrats Abroad stands with Dreamers, and we will continue to fight for sensible immigration reform that embraces immigrants the way so many of us have been embraced in the countries we live in around the world.”

We have already seen this shameless administration rip families apart, sending undocumented immigrants to countries where they often have no family members or support, no familiarity with the local language, and face efforts to suppress liberties such as freedom of speech. After years of do-nothing Republican Congresses, our elected Democratic lawmakers took decisive action on protecting Dreamers and other vulnerable immigrant groups who have been constantly threatened with deportation to countries in which they simply have limited or no connection.

H.R. 6 is not only about Dreamers nor is it about any particular individual person; this is about where our country stands in welcoming and protecting vulnerable immigrants who have embraced our culture and have come to love the United States. With this week’s vote on H.R. 6, House Democrats are on record as siding with the values symbolized with the Statue of Liberty, which for years has taken in groups of immigrants fleeing countries where inhumane atrocities have occurred.

The Republican-majority Senate must now listen to the vast majority of Americans calling for the immediate protection of U.S. service-members, teachers, doctors, and other immigrants in our home communities, and bring the American Dream and Promise Act up for a vote.