What about Immigration?

28 08 2008

From Feet in Two Worlds:

While Obama’s voter registration drive will target Americans all of backgrounds, the Obama campaign has previously pledged 20 million dollars on Latino outreach efforts including voter registration and paid media. The campaign has 400 Latino organizers and is training hundreds of volunteers to increase turnout among Latinos in key battleground states. In New Mexico alone, where an estimated 40,000 registered Latino voters didn’t got to the polls in 2004, Figueroa said the campaign has 29 field offices staffed by Latinos.

As interesting as that is, we are still left with the question why very few at the convention have said anything about immigration and hope to win over Latino voters. According to a December 2007 Pew Hispanic Center poll, 53 percent of all Latinos worry about being deported mainly because of harsher immigration enforcement measures, 75 percent of all Latinos disapprove of workplace raids, and 64 percent of all Latinos said the debate over immigration policy and the failure of Congress to enact an immigration reform bill have made life more difficult for them to live in the U.S.

And ever since mid-2005 more than 60 percent of all Americans have consistently said immigration is a good thing for the country.

Yet even with this summer’s newspapers filled with news about raids across the nation causing people to flee into the shadows and disrupting families, factory workers being exploited at meat packing plants, detainees dying in ICE custody, so little has been said about immigration at the Democratic Convention in Denver.

Its as if Democrats feel as if they can stay mum on the topic and still win over Latino voters simply because so many Republicans and other conservatives are willing to race bait the immigration issue. I realize that Barack Obama has been polling well among Latino voters lately, and thereby creating less of an incentive to be as forceful in his support for comprehensive immigration reform, and path to citizenship in particular, but the Dems cannot afford to maintain this silence and still energize Latino voters. That’s just not going to do it in November against McCain.




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