Obama and Romney woo Latino voters

Obama and Romney woo Latino voters






The two men who want to be president of the United States are courting the Latino vote.

This week President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke at the conference of NALEO, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed officials.

For those who weren't there, including myself, you can see excerpts of their speeches in the videos bellow. Romney spoke Thursday and Obama on Friday.

As expected the immigration issue was front and center. In an attempt to woo Latino voters the Obama administration last week announced that it would not deport undocumented youth. It will implement the basics of the DREAM Act that would allow as many as 800,000 youth who were brought here by their parents to seek work permits if they meet certain conditions.

“I refused to keep looking deserving young people in the eye and telling them, ‘Tough luck, the politics are too hard,’ ” Obama said at NALEO.

Romney, who once advocated that the undocumented self-deport, has been very carefully rewording his positions on immigration.

He said he would offer green cards to youth who serve in the military and earn post-graduate degrees. These are some of the conditions of the DREAM Act, which proposed giving legal status to undocumented youth who served two years in the military or completed two years of college. I guess Romney would give them a green card if they complete a master's or a PhD.

During the Republican campaign Romney had said he would veto the DREAM Act.

He appears to be softening his position because he knows that he needs at least 25 percent of the Latino vote to win.

Romney was vague in explaining his immigration policy.

"I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner,” Romney said at NALEO. “We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it.”

Romney also hasn't addressed whether he would overturn Obama's immigration order impacting undocumented youth.

So who should Latino voters trust?

Obama has not delivered on his promise for immigration reform. Granted he hasn't received help from Republicans and even some Democrats  Congress. This latest measure to help undocumented youth is significant but it is not a permanent solution.

It can't be ignored that President Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants than any president in recent history - over one million.

Romney took an anti-immigrant stance during the Republican campaign but now he is trying to be a moderate on immigration. It doesn't ring true.

Many Latino voters will be faced with voting for the lesser of two evils.


Filed under: Hispanic, immigration, politics

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