Loretta Sanchez finally remembers the Salvadorans in her district

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez finally figured out that Latino voters in her districts aren’t all Mexican Americans, after some dozen years in office.

She announced on Monday the endorsement of a number of Salvadoran and other Central American leaders here in the O.C., including Oscar Dominguez, President of the Salvadoran Business Corridor; Raul Claros, Co-chair of the Latino Coalition;  Isabel Cardenas, President of the Multiethnic Peace and Reconstruction Fund;  Jennifer Carcamo,  Statewide Coordinator of the Union Salvadorena de Estudiantes Universitarios; Hector Moran of the FMLN; and Salvadoran business leaders Tito Rivera, Armando Artiga, Omar Corletto, from the Central American Confederation (COFECA); and Luis Cortez.

That’s great – but her independent opponent, Cecilia Iglesias is from El Salvador and she already had a lot of those endorsements.  What gives?

Well, Sanchez is utterly panicking now that the latest poll figures show her tied with Van Tran, the Republican candidate for her district.  The 5% of the vote that is going to Iglesias is going to determine the victor in the 47th Congressional District, so after a dozen years in office Sanchez finally woke up and started pandering to Central Americans.

Does Sanchez really care about Central Americans?  Beats me, but we have video of her running away from a Santa Ana resident who asked her, at the recent Bill Clinton rally, why deportations have gone up under President Obama.

How many Central Americans have been deported under Obama, with not a word of complaint from Sanchez?  A lot, in fact deportations have doubled in the last ten years, according to the Medill Reports.  As you can see in the chart above, a lot of those deportations have involved Central Americans.  But not a word of protest from Sanchez.  Figures.

It should be noted that Sanchez voted against CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement.  It passed.  Did it help El Salvador?  Here is what I found online:

On December 17, 2004, despite strong opposition from the FMLN, El Salvador became the first country in Central America to ratify the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). El Salvador was also the first country to pass the agreement’s required legislative reforms, implementing CAFTA-DR on March 1, 2006. Some Salvadoran officials have attributed increases in employment, exports, and investment to the agreement’s implementation. Although the country’s apparel exports to the United States declined during the first year CAFTA-DR was in effect, El Salvador saw a 21% rise in non-apparel exports to the United States, with significant increases in ethanol, food stuffs, and metal products. Salvadoran exports to the United States then increased by 10% in 2007 and 9% in 2008 as a result of a slight recovery in textile and apparel exports and an increase in non-traditional exports. U.S. exports to El Salvador have also increased, rising by 16% in 2006, 7.5% in 2007, and 6.5% in 2008.

And here is what El Salvador’s Ambassador to the U.S., René León, says about CAFTA:

“The main reason I came to Washington was to promote trade relations between El Salvador and the United States, with the objective of gaining political consensus on the necessity of a free-trade agreement, and of course we have now done that with passage of CAFTA,” León told The Washington Diplomat, referring to the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

“I think CAFTA is a no-brainer for the United States and Central America,” León said. “One day, the economic history of our region will be divided into before CAFTA and after CAFTA. That’ll be the point of reference.”

According to the ambassador, CAFTA has already generated more than $250 million in direct foreign investment for El Salvador and has boosted exports by 18 percent in the last six months. “It’s also creating a lot of opportunities for Salvadorans living in the U.S., and it’ll strengthen our institutional capacity to deal with labor and environmental issues.”

Sanchez voted against CAFTA.  It barely passed.

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