Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

UnidosUS backs Biden, Gallego in Arizona and puts focus on ballot measures

By 37ci3 May15,2024


The nation’s largest Latino group endorsed President Joe Biden in Arizona on Tuesday and said the group would work to engage voters to influence potential ballot measures on abortion, the minimum wage and immigration. The group says these measures are equally important It drives Latino voters to the polls.

Janet Murguía, president of UnidosUS and its political arm, the UnidosUS Action Fund, has thrown the group’s support behind Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, endorsing Rep. Ruben Gallego in his U.S. Senate race and Raquel Teran and Kirsten Engel in their House races. All are democrats.

In a highly competitive state, proposed measures include asking voters legalize abortion and raising the minimum wage. The Legislature was also scheduled to vote Tuesday on several proposals, including whether to put a Republican-backed immigration measure on the ballot that would create a state law similar to the Texas law that allows police to detain people in the country illegally. deport them.

Children play outside the polling station
The battleground state also has one of the most watched Senate races in the country.Ty ONeil / AP file

“We are looking at this situation comprehensively,” Murguía said. “Obviously the national presidential election is very important to us, but we see an opportunity to use voter turnout for representation in Congress … and beyond that, the major issues that will affect our society, the minimum wage … and then continuing to fight for women’s reproductive health rights. our struggle.”

Arizona Republicans won the state Supreme Court’s 1864 decision to outlaw abortion and pushed to overturn it. the governor signed the repeal of the law then several Republicans joined Democrats to pass it.

Endorsements can be used not only for one candidate, but also to benefit the community on several fronts across candidates and a number of issues, Murguía said.

UnidosUS announced its endorsement as the state approaches an immigration hotspot. The battle is reminiscent of the atmosphere that prevailed more than a decade ago because of the anti-immigrant measure SB 1070, which allowed police in the state to question whether people were in the country legally for any reason. Known as the “Show Me Your Documents” law, much of this law was ruled by the US Supreme Court to be a federal, not a state, authority in immigration proceedings.

President Joe Biden greets people.
Biden visited Arizona in March to seek support from Latino voters.Jacquelyn Martin / AP file

At the same time, then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio used racial profiling as part of an anti-immigrant campaign, including dressing detained migrants in pink underwear and keeping them in tent camps in hot weather.

UnidosUs joined other organizations in boycotting the state, resulting in lost tourism revenue and business sales.

“This ballot measure will take us backward, not forward,” Enrique Davis Mazlum, Arizona director of the UnidosUS Action Fund, said of the proposed immigration measure. “If approved, it opens the door to discrimination, including racial profiling, for immigrant and Latino Arizonans in places where our community should feel safe, such as schools, churches and hospitals.”

Murguía said the organization and others are “better prepared to push back” against measures deemed harmful to the Latino community.

“I think we’ve found our voice and our voice to be important, and we’ve had a track record of success when we’ve come together and used both,” he said.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, NALEO, projected that 855,000 Arizona voters, or 1 in 4, will be Latino in the November election.

About 814,000 Arizona Latinos voted in 2020, up from 543,000 in 2016, according to UnidosUS’ Hispanic Voter Information Center.

Biden won Arizona in 2020 by 10,457 votes, and Latino voters were critical. His victory upset the historically red state. While Biden won a majority of Hispanic voters, Donald Trump has surged ahead and polls suggest he could do better in this election.

UnidosUS, along with Voto Latino, Mi Familia Vota and the Latino Victory Project, plans to spend $50 million on registration, research, media buys and voter turnout. Davis Mazlum said they would target people without a strong voting history, particularly in urban areas and communities along the US-Mexico border.

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By 37ci3

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