By Alex Gonzalez
One thing is clear, Ted Cruz presumes that Latinos in Texas are not watching the primaries since he keeps using the issues of illegal immigration as a wedge issue between him and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. In his new campaign video, Cruz suggest on illegal immigration by showing the picture of a convicted rapist—the video clearly emphasizes he was born in Mexico (see video) —sentenced to death. However, the case in reality was whether Texas should conduct a second trial because in the first trial the state failed notify the Mexican Consulate, which is protocol followed in international laws. The argument was never about the death sentence, but rather if protocol was followed.
This protocol allows American citizens to have Constitutional due process and legal protection abroad when American Citizens are detaining or arrested in other countries. So the cased Cruz defended before SCOTUS is more about Consular Protection protocol as a mechanism that guarantees the safety of American abroad. And ted, Cruz opposed such protocol. Consequently, the issues that Ted Cruz raises in his campaign has nothing to do with illegal immigration or States Right, but rather how Texas failed to notify the Consulate and may now affect the life of other American abroad when they are detained and sentenced without proper legal representation.
In fact, one of principle reason why Congress passed the Protection of American in Exterior Act in 1883 was to protect Irish-American soldiers that had been detained in Britain accused of “terrorist” acts against private property in the UK. Also, read the statements on why Americans abroad opposed what Ted Cruz is proposing:
“The security of Americans abroad is clearly and directly at risk when the U.S. fails to abide by its international obligations under the VCCR and related consular treaties. Whenever our fellow-citizens are arrested in a foreign country, U.S. consulates provide a list of attorneys and information on the host country’s legal system, offer to contact family or friends, visit on a regular basis, protest mistreatment, monitor jail conditions, and keep the Department of State informed. The United States rightly insists that other countries grant Americans the right to prompt consular notification and access, as required under the VCCR action at home. “
Moreover, It is not clear who Ted Cruz will help as US Senator, but it is clear that is not Latinos in Texas. David Dewhurst who–just like Rick Perry—have been in Texas for generations, and thus, developed a cultural affinity towards Latinos ( 80% Mexican-Americans). Conversely, was born in Calgary, Canada of Cuban émigrés parents. So Cruz does not have a cultural affinity to Latinos in Texas because he does not have cultural kinship towards other Latinos in Texas. A kinship that one can only adopt by interacting with other fellow members of the group; or through a generational cultural appreciation, which Dewhurst and Perry have for Latinos. All Latino Republicans in Texas, ruining and elected official, proudly tout their long history and heritage in the state of Texas to connect with Latinos and “Anglos” alike. But Cruz, on the other hand, won’t even utter a word in Spanish, even though in Texas “Anlgo” candidates often use folksy Spanish word as sign of cultural respect.
Additionally , Ted Cruz’ video is worrying because what he argued has nothing to do with Law or States Rights but, instead, it perpetrate the notion there is a correlation between illegal immigrant “rapists”. Moreover, it disturbing to see how a candidates that is touting himself as family man, can have such sinister plan of portraying Latino immigrants as rapists? Furthermore, is not even clear that Cruz wants to work with other Texans in Congress, or for the interests of Texas for that matter.
According to the Dallas news, Dewhurst has enjoyed “overwhelming support” from groups representing “agriculture, pro-life, small business and law enforcement.” Cruz, meanwhile, touts endorsements from several out-of-state senators he calls “constitutional conservatives,” including Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky. His alignment with those senators — considered leaders of the tea party bloc of the GOP caucus — is a key part of his campaign pitch. The former state solicitor general has not made an overt effort to gain support from Texans in Washington… Cruz, whose campaign did not respond to requests for comment, ruffled feathers last month when he declined to support Sen. John Cornyn , R-Texas, for his bid to become the No. 2 Republican in Senate leadership next year. So who will Ted Cruz be working for in US Senate if he becomes Senator.
Likewise, one Latino Republican in Texas has been asking the GOP candidates to tone down the rhetoric, but Cruz seems to be escalating it. According to Politico, “key Republicans are pushing a change in rhetoric, urging Mitt Romney to shift tactics away from the strident comments he’s made during the primary season in hopes of convincing Hispanic voters that Republicans will give immigrants a fair deal.” And this effort includes Sen. Rubio and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who is leading GOP efforts to take back the Senate. As result, if Cruz is not willing to work with John Cornyn, who is Ted Cruz going to work with, or for whom?
Then, the question for Latino Republicans voting in this primary in Texas is not even whether they should vote for a non-Latino over Latino. The question is should Latino Republicans vote for someone who happens to have Latino surname that has never shown any interest in taking about Issues important to Latinos such as education, immigration, and jobs? Should Latinos vote for someone who has no plan, or desire, to work with other Republicans in Congress to solve our social and economic pressing issues?