By Armando Bellmas
U.S. Representative Luis Gutiérrez from Illinois recently criticized Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation on the House floor. In the process, Gutiérrez highlighted some facts about Latinos in the United States that are quite amazing and worth sharing.
[Latinos are] growing everywhere.
One-quarter of the children in America are Latino.
500,000 Latinos turn 18 and become eligible to vote every year.
More than 50 million Latinos live in America. Most of us are citizens.
Gutiérrez goes on to talk about the repercussions of Arizona’s, and subsequently Alabama’s, anti-immigration legislation — the kind of “policy to avoid on immigration.” But the main takeaways for me from this speech are the numbers above. They’re staggering and they’re powerful.
For instance, in the 2008 presidential election Barack Obama beat John McCain in North Carolina by 13,692 votes. 2,123,390 to 2,109,698. 13,692 made a difference.
So if we’re going to stop this wave of anti-immigrant legislation in the U.S. — and I truly believe that we can and will — we have to make our voices heard, with our actions, with our dollars, and with our votes.
Numbers matter and we have them