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Pat McMahon

Updated Nov 13, 2012 - 10:18 pm

Big Latino turnout forcing politicians to listen

How to get something done in America: vote!

It doesn’t always work, especially not the first time you try to change policy by showing up at the polls, but given time and the gathering of like-minded voters, you can become who Arlo Guthrie was talking about in the song “Alice’s Restaurant:” you can become part of a movement.

That’s one of the things that happened one week ago. Latinos didn’t just talk or demonstrate or complain about not being represented, they voted. Boy, did they ever.

They kicked some elephant butt and got the donkey’s attention with a two-by-four up side the head. Suddenly, both sides are talking about immigration reform and they’re not just talking as they have been for ages.

Democrats have heard the call of the mariachi trumpets and are considering immigration reform as a top priority and Republicans — those who want to keep their jobs — seem to already be deciding that they will have to go beyond the dreaded letter “a” for amnesty.

And if that means that, sooner rather than later, 11 million of our law-abiding Latino neighbors can come out of the shadows, I say “arriba!”

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