Democracia USA (D-USA) is one of the fastest-growing open-borders organizations in America. It was founded in 2004 as a Florida voter-registration project (called “Mi Familia Vota”) by the People for the American Way (PFAW) Foundation and the SEIU–founded Center for Immigrant Democracy. In 2008, D-USA became an affiliated corporation of the National Council of La Raza.
Operating alongside its sister group Democracia Ahora, D-USA has grown exponentially since its founding. Whereas it had only six employees in 2004, today its staff consists of more than fifty full-time workers in offices based in Washington DC, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New Mexico – all places that have seen a considerable growth in their respective Hispanic populations in recent years.
D-USA claims that in 2004 it registered some 72,000 new Hispanic voters “through canvassing and media outreach.” It also worked in a purportedly “non-partisan manner” to “ensure that the newly registered voters turned out at the polls on Election Day.” In addition to its election-related work during its inaugural year, D-USA focused on “identifying, training, and engaging Hispanic leaders” through its Leadership Academy, which teaches skills such as “public speaking and community organizing.”
In 2006 D-USA registered another 105,000 new Hispanic voters in Arizona, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This work was carried out by approximately 500 on-the-ground canvassers and organizers.
One of D-USA’s major ongoing initiatives is its Latin American Family Partnership, funded by the Ford Foundation, PFAW, and the SEIU-affiliated Unite with Dignity to help immigrant communities become more “civically engaged and mobilized.” D-USA is also part of the We Are America Alliance, and is a member organization of the Center for Community Change’s massive Reform Immigration for American campaign.
Jorge Mursuli founded D-USA and currently serves as its President and CEO. He also holds a number of key positions in the environmentalist movement, serving as a board member of both the Natural Resources Defense Council‘s Action Fund and the League of Conservation Voters. Described by Drummond Pike of the Tides Center as “the most important organizer of Latino voter issues,” Mursuli seeks to create “a pathway to a national progressive Hispanic vote.” He launched his highest-profile campaign in September 2009, when he and D-USA condemned then-CNN television host Lou Dobbs — a strong opponent of illegal immigration — as a purveyor of “misinformation and offensive commentary about the Latino community.” When Dobbs eventually resigned from CNN in November 2009, Mursuli claimed “victory for immigrants, for Latinos, and for America.” Mursuli also advised other public figures and media personalities to be wary:
“Mr. Dobbs’ announcement [of resignation] should be a wake-up alarm for all those who are infusing America’s much-needed health-insurance and immigration-reform debates with inflammatory propaganda. The Nativist enthusiasts can keep pressing snooze [i.e., the proverbial”snooze” button on an alarm clock], but they are the only ones sleeping through the alarm. It is they who will be left behind.”