Congresswoman Kaptur (D-OH) Still Has Some Lessons to Learn

Dear Congresswoman Kaptur:

Welcome to your new battleground district. I know it's been a difficult road to today's primary. No Democrat wants to go head to head with another Democrat. So allow me to introduce you to Ohio's increasingly relevant and politically organized Latino community.

The first thing you should know is that a large bulk of us Latino Ohioans vote in the new 9th Congressional District, the very same in which you are currently running against Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

Second, while we are a diverse group of folks to be sure, most of us don't accept Democrats who vote against (DREAM) legislation that will benefit our community any more than we tolerate Republicans who vote for (Anti-immigrant) legislation that will harm our community. To Latinos, the two actions are equally revolting.

So, while perhaps you thought it was a good idea to vote against the DREAM Act back in December of 2010--before you had to run in a Latino rich Congressional District--I'd like to point out the obvious: it was both morally and politically a very, very poor decision on your part. 

My best guess: you never got the memo. That must be the reason you went on FOX Toledo's evening news in your (former) congressional district to encourage your constituents to "have eyes on the street", and to turn in persons they suspect are undocumented to the FBI and INS.

News bulletin, Congresswoman: INS was shut down in 2003 and their responsibilities were folded into the Department of Homeland Security's U.S.C.I.S., I.C.E. and C.B.P. Just as I welcome you to the new 9th Congressional District, I give you a warm bienvenidos to the 21st century. I mean, I know you're a federal lawmaker and all, but seriously: ARE YOU JOKING? I.N.S. has been a non-entity for 9 years this month!

More importantly, how incredibly anti-immigrant can you be with your tone? I don't think you could have found a better way to more deeply offend Ohio's Latino constituents than by playing off our most hated racial stereotype? In a state where 99% of residents are here because we're supposed to be, you basically told your "citizen" constituents to go Latino hunting! Or were you thinking they'd start by putting their eyes on somebody else's street? Qu&eacute sabor of Democrat are you anyway: Old Southern?

You won't be surprised then if today we back Congressman Dennis Kucinich. We remember that Kucinich had our backs when he stood with Ohio's Latino community by voting for the DREAM Act. We know that today he continues to stand with our community on issues as diverse as Jobs, Healthcare, Education and Immigration.

Reforms to our immigration policy, in particular, can only come through the halls of Congress. Based on Kucinich's record--both in Congress and in our community--we know we can trust him to vote in the best interests of his Latino constituents.

Congresswoman Kaptur, your anti-DREAM Act vote, your anti-immigrant rhetoric and your intolerable ignorance on national security have caused a great divide between you and much of Ohio's Latino community. When it comes to the halls of Congress, you've voted against us in the past, and you will clearly vote against us in the future. So with all due respect, Congresswoman, today you can count on many of Ohio's Latinos to return these favors.

Now it's our turn to vote against you.