COMMENTARY | Immigration will be a topic of discussion in the presidential general election. Last week, President Obama rolled out a new immigration plan that would allow children under the age of 30 who came to the United States illegally to get work permits. The idea is one that many Hispanic Americans would probably look on favorably when they go to cast their votes in November. Now likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney has discussed how he feels about the issue. According to Reuters, Romney said he would “replace and supersede” Obama’s order allowing hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children by their parents to avoid being deported.
Can Romney Appeal to Hispanic Voters?
Romney needs to be able to secure a large portion of the Hispanic vote to become victorious in November and win the presidential election. One issue that he faces is that GOP governors like Jan Brewer have been creating tough pieces of legislation that impact immigrants. Her infamous law where people would have had to show their immigration papers proving their immigration status made headlines and offended many people. The Republican Party tends to be one that is seen as anti-immigration so many Hispanic people look more favorably on presidential candidates with more liberal views on the issue.
President Obama’s decision to take action was one that will probably be one that sticks out in the minds of Hispanic voters in November. The move could be seen as an olive branch to children who came to the country not of their own free will. President Obama has been a staunch supporter of another piece of immigration legislation called the Dream Act which would help immigrants to attend local colleges and universities. The Act was never passed though because Republicans in the House did not support it. The Act was not supported by Romney either, which could spell big trouble for him with voters.
Can Obama Win the Hispanic Vote?
President Obama could win a majority of the Hispanic vote if he continues to support immigration laws that Hispanics favor. He has always been someone who comes off as caring for illegal immigrants and the situation that they face when they enter the country illegally. Most immigrants enter the country to seek out a better life and escape poverty and extreme living conditions. By helping people be able to come out of the shadows, he could help to secure his chance of being re-elected president.