From a number of perspectives, the takeaway from last week’s election is that immigration reform is an important issue that Congress and President Obama must deal with in his second term. The agenda was best seen in influential swing states California, Colorado, Nevada, New York, New Mexico and Florida, where Latino voters made their voices heard.
Overall, President Obama won 75 percent of the Latino electorate, a new record topping the President Clinton’s 72 percent in the 1996 election. At the same time, much is being made of Mitt Romney’s failure to connect with Latino voters. Given the message perceived from the Republican Party (as anti-immigrant) it was not surprising that Latino voters pummeled the GOP. Moreover, it behooves Congressional leaders (Democrats and Republicans alike) to discuss an immigration reform plan that both parties can agree on. This is critical not only to make use of political capital, but most people believe that the current immigration system is hopelessly broken.
It appears that they are already taking heed to voters’ mandates. Senators Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced that they are working on a comprehensive plan that will include stronger border security, truncated procedures for qualified candidates, and a path towards citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States.
In August, President Obama issued an executive order that stopped the deportation of young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. While this signaled another departure from the conservative hardliners in the Republican Party, it underscores the importance of developing new legislation to address growing immigration concerns.
In the meantime, time will tell as to when reform will be addressed.
Source: LatinoSpot.com, Immigration Reform 2012, If the Democrats don push hard enough on reform, will they lose Latino support in 2016?November 13, 2012