Politicians Have Split Personalities Over Immigration Reform

It is no secret that politicians speak out of both sides of their mouths. It’s a great pity they can’t be relied upon when it comes to immigration reform.

No matter who you listen to, the issues are the same nationwide, but they are talked about differently, phrased differently and right to the very last vote, uniformly ignored later. Right now, the issue is not so much the economy, immigration reform, education, or health care, it is getting re-elected. In other words, don’t count on a hill of beans getting done any time soon. Frankly, don’t count on anything getting done, even after the election. Words of promise no longer seem to carry the import they once used to carry. Gone are the days when a man’s word was gold. Now a politician’s word is smoke and mirrors.

What’s going on lately with regard to immigration reform? It is hard to tell reading the news, but nonetheless, many of the candidates are going full tilt ahead to garner the Latino vote. Take Mitt Romney’s perhaps tongue-in-cheek comment about what he could do to encourage them to vote Republican. If feels if he can swing that vote, he would pretty much be the frontrunner. However, what he does, should he get there, will be the acid test.

It’s not rocket science to figure out the Latino vote is close to 9 percent of the whole electorate, and rising. Without doing the math, you just know it’s a large figure, which means their vote packs a punch. It got Obama to the White House, and it can take him out or put him back in. Of course, Obama is vying for the Latinos again as well, albeit from a somewhat leveraged position. However, he hasn’t made good on his immigration reform promises, so you can bet this election will hold some surprises, many of which may not be good.

The overall irony is that candidates, even those espousing a hard line on immigration, are trying to win favor with the Hispanic vote. Just how do you do that? Ask someone to vote for you when you voted to have them booted out of the country, put up killer border security and broke up families to deport someone? If anyone has an answer to that, it would be interesting to hear it. And the ultimate affront to Hispanic voters?

They have to listen to half baked promises from loose cannons that want them gone from the U.S. and decide whether or not to trust them. That would be a tough decision to make. Oddly, most of the politicos chasing the Latin voters don’t see that their real positions when they get to the Hill are hurting their chances of securing the very votes they need. It’s that, or they are so myopic they are missing the point, in which case, no one should vote for them.

For now, Spanish speaking voters get to listen to political ads in Spanish, with the politician even speaking Spanish to make a point. And the point is? The point is they couldn’t be bothered to make any kind of concession like that in the past, not until they wanted to run for election and land the Latin vote. The electorate is not stupid, but one wonders about politicians at times.

Sally Odell – Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, PA is an immigration lawyer in Miami with immigration law offices in Orlando and Miami Florida. To learn more, visit http://www.rifkinandfoxisicoff.com.

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