U.S. Jews and Latinos form unlikely bond over immigration policy

Even as health care reform twists in the wind, immigration policy looms as the next big political debate, and Hispanics and Jews are moving to the forefront in a burgeoning political alliance.

The next three months are seen as critical in the fight for immigration reform, but the weakening of the Democrats, grip on Congress with the recent loss of a key Massachusetts Senate seat does not bode well for the passage of reform legislation.

The Jewish-Latino alliance on immigration issues builds on the heritage and experience of the Jewish community and on the enthusiasm and urgent needs of the Hispanic community, which has a strong interest in issues of family unification and the status of the some 12 million illegal immigrants, most of them from Latin America.

But Jewish activists also see the joint work as an opening for cooperation with the Hispanic community on other issues, such as Israel.

"If we want to engage with the Latino community on issues that are of concern for us, including Israel, we need to engage on issues that bother their community," said Gideon Aronoff, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. "We want to create growing bonds with the Latino community, and we cannot create these bonds if we are indifferent to the issues that are of concern to them." READ FULL STORY

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