Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Appeal to Hispanics, Obama Promises to Push Immigration Reform

In the final week leading up to the midterm elections, President Barack Obama is encouraging Hispanic voters to turn their frustration over stalled immigration reform against Republicans on Election Day.

Hispanics make up a crucial voting bloc in several battleground states and Democrats are hoping to pick up voters turned off by anti-immigrant discourse.

In a radio interview that aired on Univision on Monday, Mr. Obama sought to assure Hispanics that he would push an immigration overhaul after the midterm elections, despite fierce Republican opposition.

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”

Referring specifically to Republicans such as Senator John McCain, who are stressing border security and supporting strict immigration laws like Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration measure, Mr. Obama said, “Those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.”

In a pitch for Senator Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, who locked in a dead heat with his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle, Mr. Obama warned voters that Ms. Angle “is completely opposed to comprehensive immigration reform.” He also denounced an ad encouraging Nevada’s Latinos to stay home on Election Day as “cynical.”

Democrats have put forth a number of proposals over the past year aimed at overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, but talks floundered after Senator Lindsey Graham, the lone Republican willing to work with them on the issues, walked away from the talks during a dispute over energy policy.

The Justice Department successfully sued Arizona over its immigration bill, arguing that it interfered with the federal government’s role in enforcing immigration laws. However, Arizona has appealed the ruling.

Comparing the immigration fight to African Americans’ decades-long struggle to gain civil rights, Mr. Obama said, “instead of us giving up, we just have to keep working until it gets done. I’m gonna keep my promise on immigration reform,” Mr. Obama said.

The interview was taped Friday in Los Angeles for a show hosted by Eddie “Piolin” Soltero. Mr. Sotelo’s radio show is immensely popular among California Hispanics. At the start of the interview, the Mexican-American comedian gave Mr. Obama “multiple” choices of what to discuss.

“A.) Immigration reform, B) Immigration Reform, C.) Immigration reform, D.) All of the above.” Mr. Obama took D. “Absolutely,” the president said.


Recent posts on the CIS blog below

See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.

1. Prospects Are Dim for More Data on USCIS' Immigration Appeals Cases

2. It's Not Illegal, But ...

3. Immigration Court Caseload Climbs – and Offers New Data Source

4. GAO's Shoddy Report on Border Patrol Operations on Federal Land

5. Court Case Illustrates Both Chain Migration and Enforcement Problems

6. Mayorkas to USCIS Staff: Just Say Yes – Or Else!

7. BIA Splits Hairs on Ski Resort Bribery Case

8. ICE's Mission Melt 4: Houston, We Have a Problem

9. President Obama's Silent Immigration Amnesty, Part II: The Consequences of Ignoring Broken Windows

10. Rare Occurrence: A Balanced Immigration Panel

11. The Use of Self-Created Ignorance as a USCIS Defense Mechanism

12. President Obama's Silent Immigration Amnesty, Part I: Ignoring Broken Windows

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