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October 3rd, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Latino immigrants empowered by vote

Editor’s note: In America follows the fight to win an essential voting bloc in Nevada, a battleground state with one of the fastest-growing Latino populations in the nation. Soledad O’Brien reports in “Latino in America: Courting Their Vote” at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.

By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN

(CNN) - Forty years ago, Balbino and Rosario Guevara didn’t vote. It had nothing to do with Nixon’s landslide or the electoral implosion of the Democratic Party; they were living in El Salvador. And they were simply afraid.

“I had two businesses: a restaurant and store. But then, the politics took a turn for the worse. ... People, even teachers, were being kidnapped. It was terrible,” Balbino Guevara said. “I told my wife, 'I don’t like this. We need to leave.' ”

The Guevaras watched helplessly as the country hurtled toward a brutal civil war. They fled to the United States in the early '70s, and suddenly, the ballot box became a key part of their identity.

It's immigration, stupid, say Latino voters in Nevada

“The first thing we did after we became U.S. citizens was go to the town hall and register to vote,” Rosario Guevara said proudly in her native Spanish. “And we have voted at every single election since.”

The Guevaras became naturalized citizens and embraced voting in a way that was denied their countrymen in El Salvador, hit by electoral violence and fraud and a coup amid the bloody civil war.

“It’s very important to vote. Very, very important,” Rosario said. “I always tell my two daughters to vote, but they don’t listen to me.”

She has been voting since 1992, and her husband cast his first ballot in the following presidential election in 1996. “We even vote in our local town elections,” said Rosario Guevara, who now lives in West New York, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

But that passion isn’t always shared by other Latinos. Balbino Guevara believes that one reason why Latinos vote in smaller proportions to other population groups is the lingering memories of fellow immigrants of what went on in the old country.

“They probably think that the voting process is going to be just like it is in our home countries. For example, in my country, I didn’t vote,” he said. “It didn’t matter if I did or not; they already knew who was going to win the election without my vote.”

The memory of life El Salvador – even though he left before the worst rampages of the government death squads and the violence that killed, by some estimates, about 75,000 people – is still enough to make Balbino shake his head and close his eyes.

He couldn’t wait to leave, even though it meant separation from his wife and baby daughter and having to pay a “coyote” to smuggle him across the Mexican border.

Rosario Guevara was able to reunite with her husband in Brooklyn, New York, a year after he left. She hadn’t wanted to leave. “I was 29 years old when I left. ... I was very young and scared. I didn’t know what to expect. We once dreamed of going back to El Salvador when we retired, but our life is here now.”

Back in El Salvador, Balbino, 77, was a teacher but then became a small-business owner. When he arrived in the U.S., he worked as a porter in a high-rise building in New Jersey and then as a janitor at a Jersey City hospital. Rosario, 75, was a nurse in her home country but worked as a housekeeper to get her residency.

The couple had another daughter and were finally able to bring their elder child to the United States in 1979.

They say they came to the U.S. for a chance at a better life. Evidence of how that life has played out is displayed on the walls of their home. In their bedroom, photos of their wedding and their granddaughter’s quinceañera hang alongside their framed certificates of citizenship, his adorned with a white rosary.

Come November 6, the Guevaras will be doing as they have for past election days: waking very early, picking up Rosario’s brother and any others they’ve persuaded to vote, and heading off to the polls.

West New York - their home for 35 years - is an immigrant hub, with the third-highest percentage of Hispanics in New Jersey. About 78% of the residents are Hispanic, and they add up to 2.5% of the state’s Latino population, the 2010 Census found.

And the Guevaras have a message for their neighbors and any other Latino immigrants who do not vote. “Maybe in your country, your vote didn’t matter, but it does matter here, so you should vote,” Balbino Guevara said.

“It’s like those people that complain about the prices of goods rising,” he said with a laugh. “Well then, you should have voted if you wanted a say.”

But Mitt Romney and others on the GOP ticket do not appear to have much of a chance of winning the Guevara vote, with Balbino declaring, “We always vote for the Democratic Party.”

CNN Poll: Obama at 70% among Latino voters

soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. t8kiteasy

    I am just one small business owner who has hung on over the past 4 years. Got some cash saved up.
    Romney gets elected I will hire 20%.
    Barrack gets elected and like most of the small business owners I know we will immediately layoff 20%.
    Granted that only means two people in my case but for a company of only ten people that is hard to do when you know everyone and personally care about those people. If you think that I would lay people off so I can just make more money you are an idiot and you truly don't get it.

    October 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Americacares88

      You are most likely a young unemployed under educated 30 something .....your sentence structure gives you away...read this.....“Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that Government is best which is most indifferent to mankind’ FDR also fought against power and control hungry big money Republicans. FDR had a fantastic gift of expression.

      October 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Zorena

    The past president build the economy not when Obama came in as President its started way back, what about the low and middle income families, the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer, americans needs a change, health insurance, jobs, education they need changes in these area. Would people just stop about race, the main issue is greed and power and remember everyone in North America are immigrants except the Natives.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • lionel

      Zorena it is about which party is more inclusive.

      The Democratic is a big tent and is inclusive of all and that is why Latinos are attracted to it.

      The GOP wants to build an electric fence for latinos and for them to self-deport. We are not stupid people and we remember what was said.

      Latinos for Obama 2012

      October 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • WhiteLatino

        Lionel, to be fair, the GOP doesn't want to deport Latinos. I am a democrat that doesn't like either side to destort the facts. The GOP wants to deport illegal immigrants (regardless of their ethnicity or race). The GOP is not anit-immigration. The GOP is anti- illegal immigration.

        October 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhiteLatino

      Zorena, 36% of Latinos identify their race as white (according to the Pew Hispanic survey). Remember, Hispanic/Latino is an ethnicity, not a race.

      October 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Natalie Soto

    Some of these comments are so rude and ignorant that makes me sick to my stomach! Yes i agree with Glenda and many others we were all immigrants once. So everyone get your facts straight.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Yessica

    This article hits many points. Yes, they did enter the country illegally but all of us come from illegal ancestry unless Native American. They were legalized, and are now voting as many other legal citizens tend not to do. El Salvador was extremely dangerous at during the '70's to the point where family members never came back home. She does not speak English fluently and has been here for many years, but much of the older generations (i.e grandparents) have a very thick accent or are unable to speak the language. Did anyone ever consider it was the fact of how many jobs were needed for such low wages that were given to them? Or the time they dedicated to their homes? Everyone at the end of the day, is an immigrant. Also, English is not the primary language of the United States.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • DamianKnight

      You stated: "This article hits many points. Yes, they did enter the country illegally but all of us come from illegal ancestry unless Native American."

      Can you please show me a list of laws that were violated by the settlers entering the country? See, in order for something to be illegal, there has to be a law against it. Second, the Native Americans, were, for lack of a better word, right or wrong, conquered. It's a strong difference. Just like why the Mexican and South American predominately speak Spanish...because they were conquered by Spain. I don't believe the Hispanic population is trying to conquer the country. Therefore, it's really disingenuous to compare the European settlers immigration to present day America to what many of the Hispanic immigrants are doing.

      "They were legalized, and are now voting as many other legal citizens tend not to do. El Salvador was extremely dangerous at during the '70's to the point where family members never came back home. She does not speak English fluently and has been here for many years, but much of the older generations (i.e grandparents) have a very thick accent or are unable to speak the language."

      Yes, and this is wrong. They've been here for over 30 years. There is no reason they should not have learned to speak English by now. I mean, let's be honest, children learn to speak in full sentences by four. So even if you say it takes seven times as long for an adult to learn a language, they're still below par. There's no excuse. The only reason they didn't learn English was because it wasn't important enough to them, which is basically a middle finger to the citizens of this country.

      "Did anyone ever consider it was the fact of how many jobs were needed for such low wages that were given to them? Or the time they dedicated to their homes? Everyone at the end of the day, is an immigrant. Also, English is not the primary language of the United States."

      English has been the dominant language in the United States for centuries, mainly because it was settled by the British. Certainly, there have been patches of places that speak different dialects of French (such as Louisiana, which was settled initially by the French). It's only been in the past while that we've started getting Spanish put in there. And why is that? Businesses. They have realized that there is a lot of business to be made off of those who don't speak English so have started catering to them to get their money. This isn't a social statement, it's an economic one.

      I urge you to look at history and look at the Italian immigration to this country. Most learned to speak English because it was necessary to be part of the society. They wanted to be American, not Italians living in America. That's the big difference.

      October 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Glenda

        English may be the dominant language but the point is that it's not the primary language. You try learning a new language in your 30's with 2/3 jobs and raising a family and then come to me and tell me how it went. Heck, i'm trying to learn a new language now and i'm 35 and find it very difficult. Also, he does speak english because even with 2 jobs he managed to go to school just to learn the damn language so i don't know what you mean by below par because that to me means dedication. Having said that, i turn around as a citizen myself and give you the middle finger.

        October 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        Spanish was spoken here before both French and English – and if you live in the Midwest, Alabama or Mississippi, Congratulations – you live in a former province of Cuba; if you live in the Southwest, you live in a former province of Mexico – you historical illiterate.

        October 9, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. jamesr1976

    Mr. and Mrs. Guevara, the United States is going to be just like the 'old country' if the democrats have their way. Please consider changing your party to republican and vote for Mitt Romney. You will find that you have more in common with republicans, hard work, faith, strong family values, integrity, and patriotism. Do it for you children and grandchildren.

    October 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenda

      On behalf of their children and their grandchildren, the Guevaras say NO THANK YOU! OBAMA all the way :-)

      October 4, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    October 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob

    Funny how the GOP and Fox made such a bid deal about voter fraud yet every state that has passed voter ID laws has addmitted they couldn't find a single case of in-person voter ID fraud that their new laws would prevent. You can't steal an election with in-person voter fraud, but you easily could with absentee ballot voting. You could either stuff the ballot box or have a GOP elections official put thousands of ballots in her trunk (like Katherine Harris did in 2000). Yet since most absentee voters are Republican, none of the new voter laws address absentee ballot fraud. What. A. Shock. Then there's that Diebold voting machine in Ohio that recorded more votes for Bush in a Democratic district than there were registered voters. Any new laws to prevent that? No. Of course not.

    October 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Wow amazing how you only include the few minor unproven claims, I guess we can just ignore ACORN, Intimidation by the New Blakc Panthers, Union Thug bitting off a mans finger...16 workers from the John Kerry campaign committed felonies that went unprosecuted by Wisconsin authorities. Typical Lib...Lets not talk about it, lets surpress the truth because if we had to tell them that, the cancer of liberalism will be transparent

      October 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alice

    They moved here in the early 70s and they still don't speak English?

    October 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ImWEBSPY

    I think the GOP is doing a social experiment, Accidently go to war on bad advice and killed and injure100 thousand AMERICANS needlessly. Take our money, jobs, homes, cars, give them to the banks and their friends on the way out of town.
    Then when were really good and poor get us to vote for a Millionaire Mormon who calls us all a bunch of losers to win!
    Sounds about right!

    October 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ImWEBSPY

    Romney and his campaign are racist against poor, Latinos, blacks and the middle class. They waltz around the "N" word saying what their saying is merely joking. Up till now I was thinking of voting for Romney just to get new blood in the white house. But this video that's 5/6 years old being brought out as if its new, and them just wanting the "N" issue front and center.

    No Mr. Romney if all you know is to make racial jokes, and do slight of hand trickery on very important issues affecting my grand parents, you lost my vote! I'm white who will notice in a campaign that pretends all America is only white.

    I noticed your party has low if any Blacks, Aboriginals, Latinos, Asian, and you Say America at fault, no its the company you keep!

    October 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • linsey

      being a white mix, an old lady, pardon me for my spelling and my typing error...i agree with you...my vote will be for obama now because, i can see how inconsistent , disrespectful, lies , rape issues with these republicans...so sad.....

      October 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ImWEBSPY

    On the Campaign Trail:::::::::
    Jon Stewart Showed Mitt's Mother Talking how her husband and his parents were on welfare, from humble beginnings.
    So following that logic, Mitt now says his own father wouldn't vote for him, and even Mitt wouldn't help poor ole DAD!

    October 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jessy

    Monkey see monkey do

    October 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GObama2012

    CNN Moderators - thanks for keeping this forum clean! (And censored.)

    October 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bart Flaster

    47% will care on or before Nov. 4.

    I will show I care Oct. 17 in early voting.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GObama2012

    Yuuuup - thanks! As a person, you're kinda "cute" yourself.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Sagebrush Shorty

    ID? We don' need no stinkin' ID.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Robert

    CLINTON AND OBAMA – THESE MEN ARE CRIMINALS

    Yea, Clinton and Obama dropped our border security so these folks would come in, have their anchor babies, and then become citizens because they are the parents... and then vote Democrat. In that way, Clinton and Obama aided and abeited and even facilitated a Mexican invasion of the USA. Their empowerment means that they have taken political power from those who were here before them. Moreover, their empowerment means that they are using their votes, wich they have never earned, to take away the money of those who were here before them via redistribution of wealth by taxation. It amounts to legalized robery enforced by the barrel of the government's gun. Clinton and Obama are criminals who sold out America for their own political ambitions.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenda

      that's funny, calling me an anchor baby. My parents did not get their citizenship because i was born here. They worked very hard until they were able to get their residency and then their citizenship with the help of the Democrats. WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS so i'm sure somewhere down the line your family had to do the same thing. How quickly people forget. We. Are. All. Immigrants.

      October 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • sekret76

        Yes, yes we are. Some of these comments are disgusting.

        October 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sam

        difference is that we came here LEGALLY. The problem isnt immigrants, the problem is how they do it

        October 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • PASTOR ROSARIO GUEVARA-SOTO

        AMEN TO THAT GLENDA!!!AND AT ROBERT!BECAREFUL THE NEXT HISPANIC TOP JUDGES IN UNITED STATES,..NAME ,"GERALDO ALEJANDRO MARTINEZ DE LOS SANTOS" WONT' PUT YOU IN JAIL BROTHER!!!...OHHOHHHOHHHHOHH..YEAHHH!!!

        October 4, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  18. db

    You are all funny and I appreciate the good laugh. The problem with all these discussions is that IT doesn't matter who you elect. The 16Trillion dollars of debt will have to be dealt with and it doesn't matter who you chose. SO Pres. O will have to do some bad work – can't tax the rich enough to fix the problem (I am not rich by the way) – so if you argue with or for him on that issue alone you fail to address the problem that they will face...what to do and how to do it. So, a chicken in every pot argument is not going to work for either one of them. If they give specifics tonight, you should be open minded enough to hear the truth about this hard reality. There isn't any superman going to fly in and save our butts without alot of hard work. Salud.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • linsey

      agree..when obama walked in, we are already in recession..obama cannot make magic, he inherit the debt from the previous pres.it needs lot of hard work, whoever the pres..it will not be overnight as promised by mitt...no matter who will be the pres, just the support for the troops outside, our country cant make it no more...

      October 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  19. GObama2012

    This is OUR America now. The tide has already turned. The white racist society is becoming less and less with each passing year. Whites (a thankfully dying breed) destroyed a country bravely built on the backs of slave and poor immigrant labor. It's well past time for this bigoted underclass to go away and for OUR people to finally take what is OURS!

    October 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • swagger

      Try dat my homie! We be drinkin dem 40oz that I bought with my Gov't cheese when obama wins! Obama will bring that swagger back to America!

      October 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • PushingBack

      Yes, nobody will see through this thinly veiled deception. You might as well come clean your backing that Mormon tax-evader with the flip-flop history.

      October 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • 85%

      Ya, African Americans seem to be doing a great job in this country now days! 85% of violent crimes by race in US for 2011 is Black crime. Seems Black America dont want to work and have the highest rate of government assistance as well. Check out all the stats on the government websites... You will be amazed at how well the African American population is doing in America! Not racist comments at all, just facts. And Obama opens the doors for the freeloader to leach off taxes too. There's another fact for you.

      October 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • GObama2012

      PushingBack - it appears you've never encountered a non-white that possesses a some intellect. Shud i type n talk lik dis to make it mo beeleevable fo ya homey? You spineless, racist fool... By the way, both political parties still have issues (mainly due to lingering white influence), but I'm voting for the **right** man (Obama) while you and your fellow racists are simply voting for what you think is the **lessor** of two evils (Rondummy). Deep down, you KNOW its true! Comprehend that? (And imagine, I posted this all by ma lil ol sef, dont cha know massa. I'll go eat some watamelln now massa.)

      October 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Typical angry black male, destroying every opportunity he will ever have with his hate. But keeping blame everybody else and see how that works out for you. Wastes talent...

        October 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • linsey

        am a mix white , grandparents from scotland but i can see a lot of beggars are white, it seems some are happy with their way of life, they look robust, energetic but beggars...

        October 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yuuuup

      Hows Africa going? They have a very small population of brits on the southern cape.....
      Not that many whites at all.
      Oh yea. Still a backwater 3rd world country. Funny that you said what you said....

      October 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • brian

        Africa is a continent not a country nimrod

        October 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yuuuup

        Ow. Brain. You are so right!
        You made bro?

        October 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • GObama2012

      *reverse

      October 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yuuuup

      Well that makes it even better. They fail and they have a whole continent full of resources.
      Ill admit, I didnt read the rest of your post....

      October 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yuuuup

      "Your country"
      Thats so cute.

      October 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  20. reader10

    Seems to me that CNN keep encouraging illegals to come here.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  21. reader10

    Can America realy survive a stampede of illegals from South America?

    October 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yuuuup

      They are called "voters" now.... Hahahaha.

      I

      October 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Bill, Bloomington Il

    so they ran away from their problems instead of having pride in their heritage. Now they want their heritage in the United States. Just another problem that liberals think is a solution. She proudly speaks in Spanish so why isnt this article in Spanish?

    October 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Yes, she is so proud to be here (for 40 years), she doesn't bother to speak the primary language of this country.

      October 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Glenda

        actually your wrong... the U.S. as a nation has never declared an official language. look it up.

        October 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • OutPastPluto

      > so they ran away from their problems instead of having pride in their heritage.

      Sounds like all of us actually.

      Even those of us eligible for DAR membership will likely find some "coward" at the root of the family tree.

      October 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bee

      Uhm, pretty much everyone who immigrated to America even the first settlers were escaping from some kind of persecution or violence against them. America is considered a melting pot or more recently a salad bowl because we are a country built on immigrants. America encourages keeping the culture of your homeland to an extent while assimilating to American customs, which are large in part a mixture of cultural traditions from all over the world. I think people on here, even you, are totally missing the point of the article. You are so hung up on the fact that they are LATINO immigrants. The article is trying to encourage people to vote by reminding us that not everyone has the privilege to do so. These people, like immigrants from all over the world, consider the right to vote an honor.

      October 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Chuck

    Pride comes before a fall

    October 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  24. CNN=JOKE

    CNN has employees come on here and type messages like its some random people and also they delete cold hard facts against Obama. You guys SUCK and are sooooooooo bias!!!!!

    October 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillSD33

      What do they say, "Paranoia strikes deep". You can always go back to Faux News, they like your kind!

      October 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  25. obamaphone

    I will vote for Obama because he gave me my free obamaphone! I dont pay one cent!

    October 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Reagan made that happen for you boo boo! Thank him!

      October 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • obamaphone

        Oh yea! I forgot they gave over 1.6 million free cell phones out to people who sit around and dont wanna work, back in those days! My bad!

        October 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  26. mikeM

    Did they come in illegally and thanks to Reagan's amnesty became citizens?
    "Rosario Guevara said proudly in her native Spanish." Don't they speak English? The language of this country?

    October 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenda

      how is is that people don't know that the U.S. as a nation has never declared an official language so English is not the language of this country

      October 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Don't pretend that for that reason it's ok for her to not learn the language taught as our first language in every public school. You know and they should know it is the right thing to do. Geez!

        October 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Glenda

        yes it was thought to us in pre-school but you try coming to this country in your thirties working 2-3 jobs and raising a family and then tell me if it's easy for you to learn another language. I'm 35 trying to learn french with 1 job and no kids and i'm having a hard time. My point is don't judge unless you've been in other people's shoes. You don't know how hard it was back then, immigrants couldn't go to school to learn any language without being scared that they would get deported. Just going to the corner store for some milk could get you deported. don't judge till you have walked in their shoes.

        October 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • linsey

        agree with you glenda baby...but lots of people are ignorant about that..and the repubs are barking now n forever because no matter how they block thosr registration to vote, they will cry in the end like mccain..

        October 8, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  27. ehreval

    "there first acts were shed that fear"

    Do you people even bother *trying* to proofread any more, or do you just let MS Word do it for you??? Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of English would blink at that sentence.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  28. slyfamilystone

    The unions, public employees, state & local government employees, federal employees, teachers and county workers will all vote for Obama, because they do not wnat their generous benefits eliminated by the taxpayers who pay their way. It is unsustainable people!!!

    October 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      It's want not wnat....we will pay for you as well! You need it. Signed an American taxpayer.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kev13

        Well I'm another American taxpayer who does not WANT to provide such ridiculous benefits. Union workers should do what the rest of us have to do – work hard to prove your worth and earn your benefits.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama2012

      What do you mean, "you people"?

      October 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrl

      And here is the fun thing with that... the STATES set the S&L budgets for their employees... and can undo their contracts... so they vote obummer, and get shunned in any red state. I have no issue with that – let the blue states go into poverty.

      October 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  29. goatskull

    In El Salvador, Balbino and Rosario Guevara were too afraid to vote. As U.S. citizens, there first acts were shed that fear: "And we have voted at every single election
    It troubles me that a professional who makes his or her living via the written word does not know the difference between there and their.
    this country's education system is in serious trouble.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kev13

      Excellent point!

      October 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  30. ayala

    No citizeno, no voteo!

    October 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jamie

    Romneyhood ....... Give to the Rich take from the poor

    October 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      What are you, 12 years old? How do you "take from the poor?" They don't have anything to take! Stop repeating what what you hear on CNN, and do your own homework.

      October 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • hey

      thats obama moron take from everyone give to anyone who puts their hands out.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Jamie

    Romney ....... No honesty no integrity

    October 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jamie

    Romney and Ryan ...... Laurel and Hardy of the 2102 Presidential campaign

    October 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • fayedunaway

      Their performance at the three debates will tell the story! Stay tuned!

      October 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  34. FG54

    The key word for this whole article should NOT be 'Latino', the key word must be 'LEGAL'. The heading should read 'Legal immigrants empowered by vote'. Once it is LEGAL everything else does not and should not matter.
    It is OK to mention it for those who care, but not as an all important fact. It is just a fact, that some legal immigrants happen to be Latino, no more than that.
    By mentioning 'Latino' first, CNN as usual tries to spin it into a 'race' related issue, there is none.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • simivalley

      Exactly- well said!!! LEGAL is the operative word. Like said earlier, no citizeno, no voteo!!

      October 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kev13

      Well stated. We – the legal citizens of this great nation – should not be forced to have our tax dollars spent to translate our ballots into foreign languages.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikeM

      How do you know they were legal. He hired a coyote. But Reagan gave amnesty to all the illegals to benefit rich corporations.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • pam

      CNN just wants to highlight something like this to help bury the story of how we just lost another border agent to illegals, probably because of fast and furious yet again.

      October 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Rom-No!

    Lies...just another service the Republican Party offers!

    October 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      That's right! Obama/Biden 2012

      October 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Andrea

    My parents were both grown adults when we immigrated to America and became legal citizens. They are very proud of their heritage too but they also learned the language and became productive citizens giving back to the country. Can you even speak English Mr and Mrs Guevara or do you continue to vote Democratic so you can just be taken care of and never have to learn the language?

    October 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Saffrondawg

      Did you even read the article? These people worked from day 1 at jobs well below their potential because it was what they could find. They are now in their 70s. What is your problem?

      October 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kev13

        Ok, did you read the article?
        One: It does state that they worked, but it doesn't say from day 1.
        Two: The first second quote from Rosario is "said proudly in her native Spanish." This would lead any sensible person to reason that she still does not speak English fluently. And I just love how CNN says that she "proudly" spoke in Spanish. Really?
        Three: The husband Balbino was an ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT!! I don't care how poor the situation was in his homeland, he came here ILLEGALLY and should NEVER have become a US citizen without first having been arrested and sent home.

        October 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1twinsfan

      I have to say one of the best things about the US is the freedom to speak whatever language you want. English was not the first language here and Spanish beat it to our shores quite a few years earlier.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kev13

        I comdend you on your post, but would like to carry that thought a little further. Spanish did arrive first in the "New World" but it was English settlers that established the first settlements. English tarditions and language formed the basis of the colonies and the eventual creation of the new federal government. So you see, English quickly usurped Spanish.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Perhaps you didn't bother to read the article. These people were professionals back in El Salvador. They are not ignorant people. Many immigrants have to take lower level jobs when they first come here. And, by the way, many well educated, professional people vote Democrat because they care about ALL the people in this country rather tham just themselves and their own kind.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kev13

        Kate, yes this couple "were professionals back in El Salvador." Many professionals from other countries do not receive the same training that is required here in the USA, so it is not uncommon for professionals to come into this country (as LEGAL citizens) and be unable to continue their practice. I will also speculate that there was (and probably still is) a "language barrier. As for your statement that, "They are not ignorant people" simply because they were professionals in their home country is speculative. I can just as easily argue that they are ignorant because the wife is speaking in English during the interview

        October 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • simivalley

      Right Andrea! So you are LEGAL, but are you contributing to be a citizen, or taking ffrom those who are working hard each day to pay your way?

      October 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kev13

      Ah Katie...may you someday learn to write with proper English grammar. But I digress. I see no reason for the hostile comments you made when all Andrea was trying to state was that it is sad that naturalized citizens such as the Guevara's cannot speak English. Now how does that make Andrea a racist? Really...you should think before you write.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • INDEPENDENT

      Wow, what a difference a short time makes, girlie. You should calm down and read what Mr. Romney has in store for your middle class(?) life. No more tax deductions for you so the wealthy can get tax breaks......Shame on you for forgetting why people come here in the first place.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kev13

        Independent: You should re-read then Romney's tax plan. He actual offers cuts across the board which benefit the middle class and closes tax loop holes.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • INDEPENDENT

        Kev13 – Maybe you should read more. Fortune Magazine concluded that GOP math does not add up....How can we have across the board tax cuts with the deficit, and 2 wars....They conclude GOP will eliminate the middle class tax deductions.....That is probably the only thing we have going for us. Why do you think GOP will not explain it in detail? Other business journals stress the same thing....Middle Class loses, again. Good for you if you're in the top 1%, but most of us are not.

        October 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenda

      I'll answer this for you being that he is my father. My father worked 2 jobs and went to school part-time just so he can learn English. He was mocked by everyone because of his accent so he only speaks it when necessary. My mother on the other hand had no schooling in english because she was too busy with 2 jobs on her own plus raising her children. She certainly understands the language. They don't just sit back and wait for any handouts. They have worked very hard in this country since the day they arrived. If it wasn't for their bravery i wouldn't have been born in this country so i applaud them. As a society we need to learn not to pass judgement on others without walking in their shoes. Immigration is a big deal for me and In the end we should all try to remember that we are all immigrants. i'll say that again... we are all immigrants.

      "Can you even speak English Mr and Mrs Guevara or do you continue to vote Democratic so you can just be taken care of and never have to learn the language?"

      October 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • AnneSD

        I am glad you stand up for your parents. They sound like the kind of immigrants we need in this country to keep us growing, both economically and as a society. Now listen to your mother and VOTE!!

        October 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Glenda

        Thank you ANNSD, i'm very proud of them.

        October 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Kevin get over yourself. You get the point! My apologies on It .....again it's folk like you and what's her name that give the white race a bad name. So what if they don't speak English....they made their point. Obama/Biden 2012!

      October 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kev13

        Now Katie, I do not believe that my comments gave the white race a bad name. In fact I think my comments were very fair. It is sad that we allow naturalized citizens (one of whom was (and still is) an ILLEGAL immigrant) citizenship when in fact they cannot speak English. Why should tax payer money be spent on translating ballots, signs, etc. into foreign languages?

        October 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Glenda

        This goes to Kev down below... the U.S. as a nation has never declared an official language. look it up. Therefore, English is NOT the official language.

        October 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  37. ug

    Just another spin by the libs...be proud to vote...vote Romney.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Ahhh that's a big negative!

      October 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  38. No Clue

    This is exactly why I am not a registered voter. After watching all of the political ads on television and hearing all the drama and lies from all the crooks I dont trust any of them to run the country. But there is 1 ad on television I do like and would vote for and its the gecko from Geico. He makes more sense than all these other monkeys I wouldnt trust with a potato gun. Peace out and good luck on ur vote decision LOL

    October 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lokari

      Well, if you're not voting, I trust we can count on you not complaining about the election outcome and the four years that follow it. Because if you don't exercise your right to vote, you give up the right to complain.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • snowdogg

        The non-voters will complain anyway.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kev13

      You definitely have no clue then! Good luck in life.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  39. LBAM

    Lovely. Though I am not Spanish, I see myself in them. I love these folks... Then again, I love all Spanish speaking people...

    October 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • INDEPENDENT

      We all came from somewhere. Can you just imagine what our ancestors had to endure? Most people want to be successful and proud, not the 47% or the 30% the GOP states. And, some that wealthy that do NOT pay taxes – that's just wrong, they are the leeches – middle class supports them.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kev13

        Ah Independent. Where do I start with your latest diarrhea of the mouth? Yes, we call did "come from somewhere" but I know for example that my ancestors came here LEGALLY. They had a sponsor (i.e. a family member who LEGALLY immigrated here before them whom gauranteed to be their guardian and to help them get their footing – NOT the government). They attended public schools and studied hard, they got jobs and worked hard, they saved money, and made something of themselves. And I would like to think that many of those posting today have similar stories. Mr. G was (and still is) an ILLEGAL immigrant. See the difference?

        And then for your diatribe on the wealthy, I am greatly confused. Do you personally know any wealthy persons that do not pay taxes? They actually do pay taxes – maybe not in the form of payroll taxes because maybe they are retired, but taxes on ones investments are extremely high – much higher than those in the middle and lower classes – I assure you.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lion Head

        Kev13 you must be a big moron. How did your ancestors' benefactors came to America because I am sure they are not originally native Americans. Sure they must have been illegals before they legalized. Whether you like it or not America is and remains immigration nation. It doesn't matter how and when you enter America. What matters is you find a way to legalize yourself as you live here.

        October 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Scott

    OUTSTANDING Mr & Mrs. Guevara! A very belated "Welcome" both as LEGAL immigrants and now as fellow Americans! As both of you know so well, this is a great country to live in.

    To the komrade libs. Mr & Mrs. Guevara did it the correct, i.e. LEGAL way. They LEGALLY entered our country and then decided to become U. S. Citizens.

    Scott

    October 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reading Comprehension

      Scott.
      You need a little help with reading comprehension although I doubt that it matters to you whether they came here legally or illegally. Illegally explains why they vote for democrats.
      Reread the passage below:
      "He couldn’t wait to leave, even though it meant separation from his wife and baby daughter and having to pay a “coyote” to smuggle him across the Mexican border."

      October 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • 1twinsfan

        You know Mexico has a southern border, too, right?

        October 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kate

        In the midst of the kind of civil war El Salvador went through, you would probably have grabbed at any chance you could to get out of that country. It was far worse for men and boys. The impoortant thing is that these people went on to become legal citizens and have led productive lives.

        October 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kev13

      Actually Scott, Mr. G came here ILLEGALLY. He was improperly granted citizenship. There is nothing to celebrate here.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Well...

    except for the fact they ran away instead. Then came here to tell us how to do things.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      What??? They didn't tell you what to do, they said they were voting democrat.....duh!

      October 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  42. WVirginia

    According to the Pew Hispanic survey, 36% of Latinos identify their race as white. Remember, Hispanic/Latino is an ethnicity, not a race. Half (51%) identify their race as "some other race" and 3% say their race is black. Balbino and Rosario Guevara are an inspiration like all other Latinos who respected our laws and legally immigrated to the USA.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • phil

      I guess you didn't bother to read the entire article, huh? I've never known anyone who came in legally via a "coyote" to smuggle him across the border. I alwasy read the whole article before I comment, I suggest you do the same WVirgina.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kev13

      WVirginia: You state, "Balbino and Rosario Guevara are an inspiration like all other Latinos who respected our laws and legally immigrated to the USA." The article clear states, "He [Balbino] couldn’t wait to leave, even though it meant separation from his wife and baby daughter and having to pay a “coyote” to smuggle him across the Mexican border." So being an ILLEGAL immigrant is not against the law?

      October 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  43. steve

    Do they actually have people at CNN who can write? "As U.S. citizens, there first acts were shed that fear:" Is not a good example.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  44. Glenda

    Awesome article! I also agree that older latinos are afraid to vote because they feel like it's just as corrupted as their country.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  45. sekret76

    II have been very dis-enamored with the voting system in this country but after reading this article, I might consider voting this year. Balbino and Rosario Guevara are an inspiration like all other Latinos that came to better theirs and their family's life.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |