Latino voters: ultimate determining factor?

Presidential Debate Round 2: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney

Last night’s heated debate was the  second in a 3-round face-off  between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.

The candidates spoke about their platforms on the economy, tax cuts, job creation, education, the attacks on Lybia, healthcare, women’s rights, Pell grants, and for once, immigration.

Mitt Romney was the first to speak on the immigration issue, stating that the  United States is “a nation of immigrants” and that “we welcome legal immigrants into this country.”  He went on to say that “the kids of those that came here illegally… should have a pathway to become a permanent resident of the United States and military service, for instance, is one way they would have that kind of pathway to become a permanent resident”. 

But isn’t this the same candidate who said during his party’s nominee race that he would veto the DREAM Act at first chance, and had previously stated that:

“I very firmly believe that we have to make sure that we enforce our borders, that we have an employment verification system, and that those people who have come here illegally do not get an advantage to become permanent residents, they do not get a special pathway.” – Mitt Romney 6/3/2007 Manchester, NH

Why the sudden change in position?  Is it, perhaps, because the Romney campaign is beginning to understand that the Latino voter block is a largely significant factor in deciding who wins the Presidential title on November 6?

Recent polls show that President Barack Obama leads by 66% within the Latino voter community, compared to the 31% percent that Romney has won overall across the U.S.

So the public is left to wonder: is Mitt Romney’s strategy to win the Latino vote to play musical chairs with his stances on issues like immigartion?  Does he sincerely believe that Latino voters will have forgotten his brown-face stunt on Univision by now or the fact that he has disrespected the community by joking (behind closed-doors at a private fundraiser) that if he were Latino, his chances of winning the election would be better?

We’re sorry you feel that way, Mitt, but the Latino community has spoken loud and clear:  President Barack Obama- we’ve got his back.

During his term, Obama has managed to do everything in his power and has sought cooperation from Congress to mobilize the issue of comprehensive immigration reform.

His administration passed Deferred Action, the program that allows young immigrants to stay in the United States and gives them permission to work legally.  The President stated that his immigration policy includes “streamlining the legal immigration system and making it easier and cheaper for people who are waiting in line and obeying the laws to come to the U.S.”

Obama continued to defend his stance on the issue by asserting that he seeks to help those who are harmless and useful to the nation:

“If we’re going to go after folks who are here illegally, we should do it smartly and go after folks who are criminals, gang bangers, people who are hurting the community, not after students, not after folks who are here just because they’re trying to figure out how to feed their families. And that’s what we’ve done.”– Barack Obama 10/16/12 Long Island, NY

This portion of the debate ended with Obama making the promise that he “…can deliver … to get comprehensive immigration reform done” and Romney evading further questions by switching the topic to pensions and China.



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