Tag Archive: Hispanics

Anti-immigrant measure fails in Bound Brook

In early 2004, the US Department of Justice sued the borough of Bound Brook for engaging in systematic housing discrimination against Hispanics. The borough and the Justice Department settled the lawsuit out of court shortly thereafter; the settlement required the borough to pay a $30,000 fine and up to $425,000 in damages to victims of discrimination and to implement several policy and administrative measures to ensure future compliance with the Fair Housing Act. City officials’ discriminatory housing practices cost the average Bound Brook family $185.

Yet one Bound Brook councilman still hasn’t given up trying to drive as many Hispanics out of the Borough as he can. Yesterday, Republican Council President Jim Lefkowitz introduced a measure which would require renters to prove to their landlords that they are not illegal immigrants. Fortunately for residents Bound Brook, Lefkowitz’s proposal didn’t get very far. The borough’s Republican Mayor, Carey Pilato, opposes the ordinance, making it impossible for Lefkowitz to pass it without support from at least one Democrat on the evenly divided council.

Bound Brook voters will have a great chance to dump Lefkowitz this fall. Lefkowitz and fellow Republican Margaret Lyons will face Democrats Jean Mangino and Lorraine Call for two borough council seats, including one open seat, this fall. Incumbent Republican Paul Hasting is resigning today and will not be running for re-election. If Democrats succeed in taking just one of the two seats, they will hold a veto-proof 4-2 majority on the borough council.

Latinos in NJ for Obama Part 2: THE Latino Issue.

Props to my brother for the following:

Seton Hall’s Center for Social Justice and the Brazilian Voice filed FOIA litigation today in the District of New Jersey to compel DHS and ICE to release records on ICE home raids in NJ.


Senator Obama:

I am a simple minded voter. Your story and that of your family is what first drew me to your vision for the United States of America. Like the vast majority of Americans (with the exception of bluejersey junkies), I do not know, nor can I possibly absorb or break down, your position on every single imaginable issue dear to the heart of the American electorate. My decision to support you in this election is based purely on the issue that is closest to my heart and the issue that affects ALL Latinos in New Jersey and the United States. My family crossed the border “illegally” from Tijuana to San Diego twenty years ago looking for opportunity. I was but seven years old, but I can still remember the desert sand, the tripwires, the “coyotes”, ducking from border patrol, and crossing a highway towards living the dream that I live today.


My father came to this country from a small village in Africa because he was looking for opportunity. So when I see people who are coming across these borders, whether legally or illegally, I know that the motivation is trying to create a better life for their children and their grandchildren.


The Arizona Republic reports that it’s Obama’s work on issues that touch the Latino community — such as racial profiling — and his personal experience with immigration that makes him a strong bet for these Latino leaders:

John Laredo, former Arizona House Minority Leader, said that the work Obama, who is an Illinois senator, has done against racial profiling and other issues have benefited Latinos…

State Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said Obama’s experience addressing the needs of people of color is documented. “Look at what he’s done for minorities and Latinos in Illinois,” he told Latino voters.

“When you look at education, health care, housing and particularly immigration, Obama has been at the forefront.”

Former State Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez said because Obama’s father was from Kenya, Obama can relate to many Latinos’ desire for immigration reform.

Immigration cuts across all racial and political Latino party lines. Many so called Democrats reveal their true Republican identities when addressing this issue.

Hillary: As one of my former coworkers once exclaimed, “Could you at least pretend to be a Democrat?!”

We’ve got a long way to go

I just read about the results of an AARP study showing that half of Hispanics in New Jersey have to pay full price for their prescription drugs because they lack insurance. To make matters worse, 43% earn less than $20,000 year. I was going to talk about the moral and economic issues of allowing a significant portion of our population to go without health care, but then I read the comments some people had left in the article.

A sampling:

“And just how many of that 50% are here legally?”

“Good…now maybe they’ll go back home and obey our laws.”

“That’s odd, because they sell 80% of the drugs”


“Most hispanics get free medical paid for by the state. Come to Newark and see all the freebies they get. From free medical to free food, free rent even free bus passes. So I dont want to hear it.”

“All they want is free free free—-they don’t think they should pay for anything. Close our borders”

Xenophobia, racism, and pure unadulterated hate. The common thread: “brown/poor people are lazy, selfish, and don’t belong here.”

My wife is a pharmacist, and while I don’t usually like to bring her into things here, her experience is instructive. It completely contradicts the comments you read above.

Customers with insurance frequently complain that their $10, $26 or $40 copays are too expensive and should be, say, $5 instead (that’s a whole discussion for another day). But at least in my wife’s several years of experience, whenever an uninsured customer has come in – often for post-operation antibiotics – nobody has ever complained for having to pay for a prescription. They either pay full price in cash or if they can’t afford it, just walk away quietly. A few will shell out several hundred dollars at a time for cholesterol medicine, but for most that’s completely out of the question.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that these are real people with real dignity and they should be treated as such. Unfortunately, there are those, like the anonymous clowns in the comments, who will project their sense of entitlement onto those they view as inferior to them. And there are those who turn their legitimate frustrations with the health care system into unjust scapegoating of people who are different from them. If we’re still trying to get over these hurdles, we’ve got a long way to go.