The 2012 Presidential election has put into sharp focus how important comprehensive immigration reform is to the U.S. Latino population. The Republican party, critics say, must now reexamine how the party will approach immigration reform if they want to retain a significant number of Latinos going forward. The record Latino turnout to vote for President Barack Obama gave a massive margin and win for the incumbent Democratic president.
As Kansas Senator Jerry Moran stated, it is increasingly clear that, for Republicans to even get close to the majority again, they have to examine how they approach issues important to minority and Latino voters. And there may be a slight sea change; top House Republicans were reportedly examining small immigration changes recently, including altering some visa rules to allow a number of highly educated, tech-based workers into the U.S.
Meanwhile the onus is on President Obama to make good on his promises to the Latino community. “The Latino giant is wide awake, cranky and taking names,” stated Eliseo Medina, a leader of Latino mobilization during the election and the secretary-treasurer for the Service Employees International Union.
President Obama has publically stated that he believes immigration reform will be addressed within the next year, with a broad proposal launched in early 2013.
Obama had stated during his first term that he would introduce a bill on comprehensive immigration reform, but he did not follow through. He later stated that he could not garner enough Republican support. In early 2012, Obama launched the DREAM Act to allow young immigrants who met certain criteria to stay in the U.S.
Vice President Joseph Biden has stated that he believes the next four years will show major reforms in immigration policy. Latino activists have been demanding a sweeping immigration bill not unlike the one Congress tried to pass in both 2006 and 2007, one that Republicans called an “amnesty bill” and that proved divisive for both parties.
With the Latino votes overwhelmingly going to the Democratic party in this latest election (Republican Mitt Romney only received 27 percent of the Latino vote), the U.S. Latino population has shown it has become a political force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the topic of immigration reform communities to be a bipartisan hot button issue.
A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at http://www.visatous.com.