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Coalition Leader: GOP Needs to Articulate Its Message to Latino Entrepreneurs

Barreto: “You have to have something to beat something. You can’t just be against something."

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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June 24, 2014 - 12:06 am
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WASHINGTON – A former Small Business Administration chief says the GOP has many ideas that appeal to Hispanic entrepreneurs but it is not doing a good job in bringing its message to them.

“The Republican Party has good ideas in regards to entrepreneurs,” said Hector Barreto, chairman of the Latino Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit formed in 1995 to represent Latino entrepreneurs and businesses.

To emphasize his point, Barreto relates a story of when President Ronald Reagan was asked to explain the difference between a small businesses and a big business. Reagan’s answer was that a small business could be a big business if government got out of its way.

“The Republican Party is for smart government, not big government. It wants to lower taxes on small businesses, it wants small businesses to grow, and it wants the economy to grow,” Barreto said.

Barreto, who served as the SBA’s administrator for five years, thinks that one of the challenges facing the Republican Party is that it has good ideas but often the party does not have the right spokespeople to spread them or there is a “difference of opinions” within the GOP on issues like immigration.

He says the majority of Americans feel like the nation’s immigration system is broken and the government needs to fix it, but there are people in the Republican Party who believe “we can’t do anything about immigration.”

“When I was in the administration, President Bush wanted to do something about it. We thought we had an opportunity. The economy was better and the unemployment rate was lower. We just felt that it was the right time to do it,” Barreto said. “We got no support on this. Not from Republicans, and not from Democrats because it was a George W. Bush idea. So, then, we just decided to do nothing.”

A recent poll by the American Action Forum showed that 4 out of 5 GOP primary voters support a step-by-step approach to immigration reform, which is the approach that House Republicans have said they prefer.

A Latino Decisions poll of registered Hispanic voters found that they are generally dissatisfied with both parties’ current actions on immigration policy.

Nearly three-quarters of Latino voters say it is “very or extremely important” to pass immigration reform in 2014. Almost half of respondents said they would blame the GOP if reform does not pass, compared to 16 percent blaming Democrats.

The poll also shows that if House Republicans pass immigration reform legislation, more Hispanics say they will consider supporting Republicans. When asked if they had ever voted for a Republican in the past, 49 percent said yes.

President Bush pushed for changes on immigration in 2007, but he was unable to overcome fierce opposition from fellow Republicans who said it was amnesty that rewarded illegal immigrants. Nearly one-third of Senate Democrats voted to block action on the bill.

“I thought to myself at the time that all of those people that are complaining about immigration are just kicking the can down the road,” Barreto said. “Seven years later, the problem hasn’t gotten better, it has gotten worse. So those folks that were totally against it, what have they really gained? Other than the fact that they prevented a solution from moving forward.”

“They are partly responsible for the mess that we are in,” he added.

During his five-year term under President Bush, Barreto expanded the SBA’s small business loan portfolio and pushed financial and business development programs for women and minority-owned business support, guaranteeing loans totaling more than $60 billion.

All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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How many Latinos polled agree the fix needed for immigration is enforcement of existing laws? How many agree Obama should be impeached and prosecuted for his blatant disregard for existing law? The ones who do are true Americans. The ones who don't want to see America reduced to a third world status, which will be the harbinger of slavery to us and the rest of the world.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's a thought. How about we just send a supportive message to entrepreneurs and ignore their skin color.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Naaah, can't do that.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Get specific!!!
Get the Government off the back of the entrepreneur. Be in favor of street trucks and vendors with appropriate rules and in appropriate locations.
Allow the use of our vast expanding decaying vacant buildings with safe modifications however less than full new building codes. Why new structural to hospital specs? Why full ADA? Why blacktop in the neighborhoods with all existing not so built (gravel is fine). Why onerous parking standards in neighborhood areas?
I could continue this line ad infinitum but I think you have the idea.
Neither the businessman not the investor can create new business at the street level with the rules and controls we have (environmental?).
This new, creative and hard working force capable of creating taxes and jobs (and possibly the next "big thing") is pushed underground.

4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's a message to Latino Entrepreneurs:

Keep doing what you've been doing, voting for Progressives/Liberals/Democrats, and watch all that "You never built that" built be taxed and regulated out of existence, all the while the pols and Latino Interest Groups pat you on the head and take more of your money.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a lot to be said for legislators and even presidents who are, in fact, against things without offering something else.
I'm against most current government subsidy programs and I don't want something else in their places.
I'm against Medicare and Medicaid, but I want the private sector to fill the gaps that people choose to fill, not other government programs.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where are these Latino Entrepreneurs? I haven't seen any has anyone else?

Barreto is a RINO.

"[Barreto] says the majority of Americans feel like the nation’s immigration system is broken and the government needs to fix it, but there are people in the Republican Party who believe “we can’t do anything about immigration.”

Our immigration system is NOT 'broken', it is unenforced.

"A recent poll by the American Action Forum showed that 4 out of 5 GOP primary voters support a step-by-step approach to immigration reform, which is the approach that House Republicans have said they prefer."

Typical disingenuous 'spin'. Nothing in this 'push' poll about the borders. House republicans KNOW that Obama and the dems will NOT honor any agreement's provisions they don't like but have agreed to, so it's all bulls**t.

"A Latino Decisions poll of registered Hispanic voters found that they are generally dissatisfied with both parties’ current actions on immigration policy."

Again the only thing wrong with our immigration policy is that its not being enforced. So 'registered Hispanic voters' who are dissatisfied with it, mostly want an open door for their race.

"Nearly three-quarters of Latino voters say it is “very or extremely important” to pass immigration reform in 2014. Almost half of respondents said they would blame the GOP if reform does not pass, compared to 16 percent blaming Democrats."

Since the GOP leadership gives lip service to controlling our borders, Latino voters willingness to assign blame to the GOP indicates a racist motivation of desiring an open border for Latinos.

Open borders is cultural suicide.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
they need to articulate it to....EVERYONE.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
"A recent poll by the American Action Forum showed that 4 out of 5 GOP primary voters support a step-by-step approach to immigration reform, which is the approach that House Republicans have said they prefer."

And that's what is called a "push poll", something that is conducted by and used by very dishonest people.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, Republicans do not need to play ethnic politics. We already have one party too many that does that.

"President Bush pushed for changes on immigration in 2007, but he was unable to overcome fierce opposition from fellow Republicans who said it was amnesty that rewarded illegal immigrants."

Well, that's what it was.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
"You have to have something to beat something."

Five years of aggressive enforcement of current law, plus enhanced penalties for knowingly employing illegals--mandatory jail, all repeat offenses are felonies--before any "reform" sounds like something to me.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
“When I was in the administration, President Bush wanted to do something about it. We thought we had an opportunity. The economy was better and the unemployment rate was lower. We just felt that it was the right time to do it,” Barreto said. “We got no support on this. Not from Republicans, and not from Democrats because it was a George W. Bush idea. So, then, we just decided to do nothing.”"

But my dear amigos, it is not whether the time is right to "do something". It is what you want to do that matters.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
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