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Human Rights

The Changing Electorate and What it Means for Immigration

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by Jose Raul Gonzalez, BSW Student

Last Tuesday’s election losses for Republicans have been an embarrassment and their Mitt Romney “self-deportation” immigration solution.  Hispanic voters, the largest growing demographics, voted for President Obama in numbers above the 70 percent mark.  Many influential Republicans like former Florida governor Jeb Bush have advised his party to take a new stance on Latinos and immigration.

Even GOP House Speaker John Boehner has started to call for comprehensive immigration reform, something he has not advocated for in the past.  The extreme right has even delved into the political forum of immigration which was taboo for them since immigration reform was tantamount to amnesty.  Remember that the far right holds immigration reform, and entitlement programs with a condescending contempt not worthy of any elected official working for the people of the United States.  Now it seems that conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity is advocating for a “pathway to citizenship” for otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants.

Courtesy of Mother Jones

The tide is turning and political futures are at stake now.  Many are changing their rhetoric to a softer stance not wanting to be the ones on their way to political suicide if they continue to denigrate the growing Hispanic electorate.

President Obama racked up a presidential victory with a 71-27 percent edge over Romney among Latinos, but on Election Day, the state of Maryland became the first to approve a measure that allows some undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition.

The pressure has been applied and now it is incumbent for the Republicans to change their past extremism to a more moderate stance and for the Democrats to finally deliver on this controversial issue.

It is interesting to see what exactly will take shape if any reform is indeed passed.  Will the “Dream Act” effort that was defeated in 2010 finally become a reality for many struggling youths whom by virtue and deeds are as American as any of us who are born citizens?  The people have spoken with their votes and they have defined what it means.  This country is changing and we as a nation must change to reflect the ever growing electorate and to preserve the greatness we all feel as Americans!

 

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