News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 7, 2012: With less than two months before the November 6th Presidential election, the heat is on to win over Latino and immigrant voters, with both parties trotting out brown faces at their conventions while ensuring immigration occupied a place on their platform statements.
The Republicans made sure Marco Rubio got prime time focus in Tampa, Florida, as they tried their best to massage the Latino and immigrant votes. The Democrats for their part retorted on September 4th with Julian Castro.
The young San Antonio Mayor became the first Latino to ever give a key note address to the Democratic convention in prime time and his story about his Mexican grandmother who worked as a maid and his rise from humble beginnings to mayor was one that many immigrants could relate to.
But while both sides have been laying it on thick about the immigrant roots of many in public office and the many immigrants who have helped build America, the reality is that both sides have been guilty of shunning real immigration reform.
Rhetoric has dominated most of the debate – both from the left and right. While Democrats again insist that they “are strongly committed to enacting comprehensive immigration reform that supports our economic goals and reflects our values as both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants,” the reality is that under their control of both the House and the Senate, the issue was hardly dealt with. In fact, it was under the Democratic control of the Senate that the much-touted Dream Act failed to pass, forcing President Obama, in his bid to appease the Latino bloc, to change the administration’s policy to now defer deportation on young undocumented migrants.
Of course this came after his record of the most deportations ever, under a sitting President.
But the right wing GOP has touted a more deplorable stance against immigration reform, with even their own party faithful shuddering and scolding them for the hard nosed stance. Their solution of self-deportation and more enforcement is laughable at best.
So where exactly do the parties stand on immigration, beyond the rhetoric?
Democrats’ positions are as follows:
• DREAM Act and comprehensive reform.
• A Path for undocumented migrants’ to earn citizenship.
• Reform the U.S. CI.S. to reduce immigrant backlog and
• Protect immigrants from exploitation by employers.
Republicans policies are as follows:
• No amnesty, self-deportation only.
• Make E-verify mandatory nationwide.
• Use biometric data to better track foreign travelers.
• Only legal immigrants through tightly controlled borders and
• Reform & toughen immigration system to emphasize family and skilled migrants only.
Now it’s up to the voters to decide which party should get their vote if this issue is of importance to you. For me, the choice is clear. I would rather go with a leader who makes promises and despite the challenges, delivers partly, than a leader who has flip flopped from day one on the issue. Now in order to win over the Tea Party conservative base, Mitt Romney insists he is for self-deportation; slams the President for making Deferred Enforcement a reality and then touts an as yet undisclosed plan to make a more permanent solution for the young undocumented happen under his watch should he be elected.
The alternative is not the option, given the rhetoric and blatant racism the right continues to spew. Immigrants have a clear choice come November 6th. Give President Obama another term and then hold his and Democrats feet to the fire to make sure they deliver on the promise of immigration reform once and for all.