Obama Speaks About Immigration Reform In Response to Fox News Latino Poll
A Fox News Latino poll conducted under Latin Insights was released on Monday, March 5 and consisted of 1,200 likely Latino voters in the U.S. The poll showed that 73 percent think Obama’s performance in office is satisfactory and more than half support his work to reform healthcare and the economy.
Approximately half of those questioned consider jobs and the economy a huge factor when voting for the next president. Although the economy seems to be a hot issue for Latinos, the study also demonstrated that immigration reform is more of a personal issue and than it is a political one. More than 80 percent want to see a path for undocumented immigrants to legalize their status, but only 12 percent regard immigration as a high priority when voting.
About 82 percent believe that undocumented workers are more willing to do work that Americans are not. In addition, nine out of ten support the DREAM Act, which would give conditional temporary residency and eventually permanent residency and U.S. citizenship to undocumented immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for most of their lives.
Majority of the poll voters also said that if they needed to make a decision to vote for a president right at this moment, they would vote for Obama over any of the Republican candidates, who all have expressed a need for tougher regulations and policies on immigration.
“The question for most Latinos is not whether they want more immigration or less immigration,” said Allert Brown-Gort, associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. “It has to do not so much with the [candidate’s] stance on immigration, but the attitude that Latinos perceive that Republicans have of Latinos when they talk about immigration.”
In response to the poll’s indication that Obama holds a favorable lead over other GOP candidates, Obama said, “When I came into office I said, ‘I’m going to push to get this done.’ We didn’t. The reason we haven’t got it done is because what used to be a bipartisan issue, agreement that we should fix this, ended up becoming a partisan issue.”
Included in Obama’s response on immigration reform is the need to prevent companies from exploiting the work of undocumented workers and a effective and efficient path for undocumented workers to get U.S. citizenship.
“Like most Americans, Latinos want a balanced immigration policy— one that combines smart enforcement with a path to citizenship,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of American’s Voice, an organization fighting for less harsh immigration policies. “What they don’t like is when opportunistic politicians try to bully immigrants out of the country and demonize people who are working hard to build a better life for their families.”
While the poll showed that Latinos are more likely to vote for a Democrat than a Republican, Jennifer Korn, executive director of the Hispanic Leadership Network said, “President Obama talks a good game, but he hasn’t delivered… It’s such an easy thing to do— blame Republicans. He had a Democrat, veto-proof Congress for his first two years, and he didn’t seize upon that.”