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Ruben Navarrette

Work ethic among US workers elusive

SAN DIEGO — I’ve spent the past few days looking around and wondering: “When did the American worker get so whiny?” A lot of people seem to resent having to work for a living and feel entitled to a smoother ride. Some politicians help make the whine. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts beats the […]

September 07, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Author amplifies Chinese-American experience

SAN DIEGO — This summer’s unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, was a reminder that the country’s dominant racial narrative has been about blacks and whites. As with the larger Hispanic population, this color scheme doesn’t leave much room for Asian-Americans, who now comprise 5.3 percent of the U.S. population and are expected to be 10 percent […]

September 04, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Conservatives in a huff over immigration

SAN DIEGO — Conservatives need to chill out and stop getting worked up over silly things. There is nothing sillier than their claim that California Gov. Jerry Brown is throwing open the doors to illegal immigrants – all because of an off-the-cuff comment the Democrat made that sounded a little too welcoming. On immigration, many […]

August 31, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Poor constituent service no longer acceptable

SAN DIEGO — Many Latino lawmakers have nicknames. In California, we continue the tradition. Often times, we call them “defendant.” In a state where Latinos make up more than 38 percent of the population, it’s shameful to see Latino legislators act as if the rules don’t apply to them. With reckless ways and questionable behavior, […]

August 28, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Advice best left ignored

SAN DIEGO — When it comes to what to do about the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama is getting some bad advice. It came from one of the nation’s leading African-American intellectuals. Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson is a brilliant thinker, skilled communicator and one of America’s most important voices on matters […]

August 24, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Tell the story, don’t be it

SAN DIEGO — Here are four tips for young reporters willing to learn from the mistakes of those caught up in the events of Ferguson, Missouri. Learn how to cover a story without becoming the story. If you want to express opinions, become an opinion writer. But as long as you’re a reporter, keep your […]

August 21, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Critics cross boundaries of identity

Apparently, some of my readers. What sets off many of them is when I refer to myself as a “Mexican-American.” What sets me off is when they have the audacity to confront me over it. The latest skirmish started with a column urging Americans not to emulate Mexico’s strict immigration policies lest we wind up […]

August 17, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

NAHJ called out for coziness

SAN DIEGO — The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is getting good at producing embarrassing headlines. Last year, at the NAHJ’s conference in Anaheim, the organization’s leaders rolled over and allowed one of the panelists – John Perez, then the Democratic speaker of the California Assembly – to exclude Republican political consultant Hector Barajas. Last […]

August 14, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Kristol changes tune on immigration

SAN DIEGO — I used to have a lot of respect for William Kristol when it came to the issue of immigration. In the 1990s, when California voters approved Proposition 187 to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants, Kristol was part of an intellectual cohort of conservatives who pushed back against the nastiness. Along with […]

August 10, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

‘Dreamers’ represent a GOP nightmare

SAN DIEGO — I once used the term “spoiled brats” to describe “dreamers,” those young undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents who demand special accommodations such as the deferred action program that President Barack Obama unveiled in 2012. They’re spoiled because they get seats in the lifeboat and tons of positive media attention. Yet […]

August 07, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Wrong script on immigration

SAN DIEGO — Just because you’re well-known doesn’t mean you’re well-informed. Case in point: Eva Longoria, Mexican-American actress, social commentator and loyal Democrat who once mocked Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for having “silly” ideas. What makes Longoria look silly is that she believes that other Americans care what she thinks about the crisis […]

August 03, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Cruz gets border crisis wrong

SAN DIEGO — Ted Cruz doesn’t “get” immigration. Nor does he understand the need to give due process to refugees. This is clear now that thousands of children from Central America have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. I’ve known the senator from Texas for a dozen years. He’s scary smart. Yet on immigration and asylum – […]

July 31, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Skip comparisons with Mexico

SAN DIEGO — Almost any discussion of how the United States treats uninvited visitors – whether they be child refugees looking for shelter or adult immigrants looking for jobs – will eventually get to the point where someone asks: “What about Mexico?” This was the question put to me recently by Matt Patrick, a conservative […]

July 27, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Rick Perry’s contradiction

SAN DIEGO — It will take more than a new pair of glasses to allow Texas Gov. Rick Perry to see his own hypocrisy as he ponders what should be America’s role in the world. Think of it as a high-stakes game of Texas hold ’em. If we limit our definition of the world to […]

July 24, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Martin O’Malley attacked for showing heart

SAN DIEGO — Just when you think the Obama administration can’t sink any lower, someone puts in a basement. It is terrible at protecting child refugees but has a knack for protecting itself. It does this by targeting critics. That includes Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who recently stated the obvious: that a civilized nation doesn’t […]

July 20, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

America the heartless

SAN DIEGO — Before it’s too late, Americans need to turn their attention back to the children. The lost children of Central America have themselves gotten lost in the fog of debate over what should become of them. Americans started off talking about the kids, but quickly meandered into distracting conversations about politics, blame, history, […]

July 17, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

The crisis of the children

SAN DIEGO — Haven’t those poor border kids suffered enough? They shouldn’t have to be used as political props, dragged into the maddening immigration debate and election-year politicking by both parties. They’re not immigrants. Most of them are refugees. They didn’t come on their own seeking jobs. They were pushed here by circumstance, looking for […]

July 13, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Border crisis evolves into new threat

SAN DIEGO — As we sort through the tale of the estimated 52,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America who have crossed into the United States since October 2013, what is capturing our attention seems to be lagging far behind what is actually happening on the ground. My sources who are familiar with border issues tell […]

July 10, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Giving in to the mob

This Independence Day weekend, memory takes me back to something my father said during a Fourth of July celebration many years ago. Days earlier, authorities had made a gruesome discovery. Coldblooded smugglers had left dozens of migrants to die in a railroad car. My dad and I were at a public event and, at the […]

July 06, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Cold and calculating on immigration

Whenever President Obama acts unilaterally on immigration reform – and it’s not often enough – the reactions on both the right and the left are so predictable. Conservatives will holler that the sky is falling and charge that Obama is acting like a king rather than a president. They’ll insist that, by failing to consult with Congress, […]

July 03, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Hillary Clinton’s immigration misstep

SAN DIEGO — We already knew the immigration issue was a tough one for Republicans. They have a hard time opposing legal status for the undocumented without sounding anti-Hispanic. They insist their leaders take loyalty oaths to oppose an “amnesty,” alienating them from the mainstream. They have to balance supporting a business community that wants […]

June 29, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

How to define an American

SAN DIEGO — It’s a summer night in Washington. On the Mall, across from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, people are sitting on lawn chairs and huddled on blankets staring at a white screen. The feature: “Documented,” the new film by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, one of most famous undocumented immigrants in the country […]

June 26, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Cantor couldn’t have it both ways

SAN DIEGO — Did House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lose his re-election bid in Virginia because he was too soft on immigration, or because he was too hard on immigration? Well, both, actually. My inbox confirms it. Within hours of Cantor’s defeat by insurgent GOP challenger Dave Brat, I got messages from at least a […]

June 22, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Border kids saga continues

SAN DIEGO — Americans are trying to get a handle on the border kids – and what President Barack Obama has called an “urgent humanitarian situation” along the U.S.-Mexico border. Americans want to know why, according to U.S. immigration officials, more than 47,000 young people – most of them from Central America – have streamed […]

June 19, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Here’s to our ‘tios’ on Father’s Day

SAN DIEGO — Father’s Day makes me sentimental. Never mind that the day plays second fiddle to one with a bigger name. Mother’s Day has been an official U.S. holiday since 1914, but Father’s Day has been on the calendar only since 1972. On previous Father’s Days, I’ve reflected on my own father, who is […]

June 15, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Ramos joins the club

SAN DIEGO — For Jorge Ramos, the number 2 figures prominently in his biography. The most popular Latino news anchor in America, who was recently dubbed “the undisputed face of Spanish-language broadcasting,” speaks two languages: Spanish and English. He feels at home in two countries: Mexico, where he was born in 1958; and the United […]

June 12, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Echo-chamber caucus of no use

SAN DIEGO — Someday, those who study Hispanic political power will look back on the first five years of the Obama administration and see it as a high-stakes test for Latino Democrats in Congress. They’ll also conclude that the Hispanic lawmakers failed miserably. Last year, I suggested disbanding the Congressional Hispanic Caucus – a group […]

June 08, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Immigration shell game continues

SAN DIEGO — There was more hocus-pocus recently from the White House on the immigration issue. An overhaul of deportation policies that was due to be unveiled by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in the next several days has been postponed until the end of summer. That is, if it happens at all. The whole […]

June 05, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Are you truly listening?

SAN DIEGO — You may remember Mateo Beltran, the 3-year-old who wanted a cupcake even though his mother, Linda, refused to give him one. In a YouTube video that has now been viewed 14 million times, Mateo pleaded: “Listen Linda, listen.” According to communications experts, not everyone is equally skilled at listening. Several years ago, […]

June 01, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,

Sometimes, you have to push

SAN DIEGO — A little girl can break her daddy’s heart with one question. A few days ago, my 9-year-old daughter – noticing I was in a suit and not my usual, casual attire – asked me where I was going, and I told her. I had been invited to judge a high school debate […]

May 29, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged ,
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