Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What are Obama's REAL Intentions Regarding Immigration?

Mr. Obama PLEASE, if you want the Latino Vote, you need to push for reasonable immigration reform - and take seriously the needs of the DREAMers.



Obama courts Hispanic vote on fundraising tour of the west  - London Guardian

President enlists support of Antonio Banderas and Eva Longoria as he moves to shore up crucial support from Latino voters
Barack Obama in Nevada
Barack Obama walks with the Bonilla family in Nevada on his fundraising tour of the west Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Barack Obama is using a three-day visit to the West to raise funds for the 2012 White House race and to shore up the Latino vote that could prove pivotal to his re-election chances.

Obama won 67% of the Latino vote in the 2008 election campaign. But a Gallup poll this summer showed support among Latinos, upset over the failure of the president to reform immigration laws and hit disproportionately hard by unemployment, had dropped to 48%.

Over the last few months, he has made a belated effort to court Latinos, from inviting Hispanic journalists to the White House for a round-table to high-profile speeches at gatherings.

On Monday night, he attended a fund-raising party in Los Angeles co-hosted by actors Antonio Banderas and Eva Longoria. It was attended by about 120 donors from the Latino community, each paying at least $5,000 to attend.

The event attracted some criticism from within the Latino community, with some saying he should be meeting people struggling with unemployment or facing deportation or the loss of their homes rather than actors and celebrities.

At the party, Obama promised to deliver on his promises on immigration reform. He said people tended to forget how much he had accomplished: he had completed 60% of promises he made during the 2008 election campaign.
"I'm pretty confident we can get the other 40% done in the next five years," he told the guests.

Pollsters predict that the drop in support among Latinos, if repeated in next year's election, could see Obama lose swing states such as Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, which he took last time.

He could also lose Florida, where the Latinos are predominantly of Cuban origin and strongly Republican. Lose Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, and Obama would be on his way to being a one-term president.

"The Hispanic vote is going to be a lot trickier for Obama this time," Brad Coker, a pollster based in Jacksonville, Florida and head of Mason-Dixon polling, said today. "It is going to be a significant influence on the outcome but it is too early yet to say exactly where."

The Banderas-Longoria party was the first such purely Latino fund-raising event Obama has attended. Also present were the comedian George Lopez, and mayors Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Julian Castro of San Antonio.

Villaraigosa blamed Congress rather than the president for the failure to enact immigration reform, including the proposed Dream legislation that would have offered a route to citizenship for the young. "President Obama does not have a vote in Congress. President Obama has been supportive of comprehensive immigration reform. ......He has called on the Congress to do their job and to fix the broken immigration system, " Villraigosa said.  "The fact that they've failed to do that is not his responsibility or his fault, if you will. It's theirs."

While there is sympathy in the Latino community for that view, there is also a widespread feeling that Obama has failed to make immigration a priority and might have pushed it through during the early part of his presidency, when the Democrats controlled both the Senate and the House.

Such views were passionately expressed by Latino activists at a conference in DC last month, 'Take Back the American Dream'. They contrasted Obama's rhetoric with the actions of his administration and one statistic stood out, the level of deportations.

Federal government figures show the administration was on course to outstrip George W. Bush in terms of deportation. Obama has deported just over 1 million while Bush's administration deported 1.57 million: but that took Bush eight years while Obama has been in office just three years.

Faced with a wave of outrage, the White House has ordered a slowdown.

While there is disillusionment with Obama, there is little sign of an exodus of Latinos to the Republicans because of their anti-immigration rhetoric.

Among those seeking the Republican nomination to take on Obama next year, the Texas governor Rick Perry could win some Latino support because he opposes creation of a wall along the Mexican border and has offered the children of illegal immigrants the same chance of an education as citizens.

But the other candidates have been strident, including Herman Cain, who upset Latinos by suggesting an electrified fence along the border to kill Mexicans, though he later said it was a joke. MORE

No comments: