President Obama and the Importance of the Latino Vote

By Marcelino Quiñonez

There is a growing trend among Latino Activists who have preached not to support President Obama’s reelection campaign because of his lack of effort in regards to comprehensive immigration reform. In an interview with Jorge Ramos from Univision, then candidate Obama promised comprehensive immigration reform within his first year in office. This drove a record 9.7 million Latino voters on Election Day to the polls. It’s been 3 years and the activists are still waiting for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the country. The notion of not supporting President Obama in November is ill conceived.

We must remember this is the same President who has dealt with a non-supporting congress and senate. As the President himself has said, if he pointed at the sun and called it sun, members of the senate would still deny he was pointing at the sun. The President has had no support whatsoever in his efforts to transform the nation and yet, he’s accomplished plenty.

Because of President Obama’s efforts and beliefs in diversity, we have our first ever Latina/o court Judge in the Supreme Court thanks to Judge Sonya Sotomayor. When Arizona’s SB 1070 law was even proposed, the President spoke out against the law in the Rose Garden the same day the law was signed. A week into the law becoming law, the Justice Department under the direction of President Obama sued the state of Arizona. We are all aware of the animosity between President Obama and Governor Brewer. This indirectly must result from the President’s views on immigration.

The President has also proposed an immigration rule change that will keep American families together by cutting bureaucratic wait times and relieving undue hardship on U.S. citizens who are unfairly separated from their loved ones, this was proposed in January of 2012. The President has on several occasions called on his senate and congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

Now, we must take into consideration the following. The current US population is over 310 million people. Of those 310 million, according to the Pew Hispanic Center only 21.7 million are Latinos will be eligible to vote. I sincerely doubt all 21 million Latinos eligible to vote have comprehensive immigration reform as their top priority. Instead I feel they can relate more to the concerns of mainstream Americans who have jobs and healthcare as their top priority. The President made history in 2010 by making congress and the senate work together on what has now been called Obama Care, the point is, in 2014 after years and years of Health Care Reform promises by several Presidents, President Obama delivered. Equally important, we are no longer in the recession we were in the day President Obama took office, he’s steered the economic car in the right direction.

Finally, this President supports the DREAM Act and his opponent has told Dream Act students to their face he would veto the bill if passed. There is really nothing activists can argue, the President has fought with a “NO” Congress and has yet changed the direction of the country. This Latino supports President Obama.