As far as historic moments during national political conventions go, the second night of the Democratic National Convention yesterday racked up a couple of them. Number one was what is perhaps the most public appearance ever by an out-of-the-closet undocumented immigrant, 27-year-old Benita Veliz, a college graduate and former high school valedictorian brought to the U.S. as a child who spoke of having "to live almost my entire life knowing I could be deported."
That one took it away. But for people who follow such things, there was another minor milestone, this one involving the speaker Benitez introduced, former TV talk show host Cristina Saralegui.
As the Associated Press pointed out in a piece yesterday, there is a generally accepted blue-red divide between two of the nation's largest Latin American immigrant groups, Mexicans (the largest, who traditionally lean left) and Cubans (the third largest, who traditionally lean right). There is also a stark immigration policy divide. Mexicans who arrive illegally are typically deported if caught, while most Cubans who make it to U.S. soil can legalize thanks to policies rooted in the early days of the Fidel Castro regime. The rise to prominence this year of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, especially as rumors circulated that the Cuban American senator might become a running mate for Mitt Romney, further fueled discussion of the political differences.