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High Deportation Rate Could Hurt Obama’s Reelection Chances

There are less than five months left until we go to the voting booths to select America’s new president and so, naturally, the stakes are getting higher and speculation is ceaseless. While historically, the immigrant community has generally sided with the democratic party for their traditionally friendlier views in immigration—exceptions exist of course, especially amongst Cuban nationals who tend to vote Republican—this time around the incumbent democratic administration has the disadvantage of being perceived as having failed to deliver on its promise to end the deportation of those undocumented immigrants who do not pose a threat to society. This disappointment among Latino voters could seriously undermine the president’s chances of being re-elected given that this demographic is a critical one that he depends on to win.

There are less than five months left until we go to the voting booths to select America’s new president and so, naturally, the stakes are getting higher and speculation is ceaseless. While historically, the immigrant community has generally sided with the democratic party for their traditionally friendlier views in immigration—exceptions exist of course, especially amongst Cuban nationals who tend to vote Republican—this time around the incumbent democratic administration has the disadvantage of being perceived as having failed to deliver on its promise to end the deportation of those undocumented immigrants who do not pose a threat to society. This disappointment among Latino voters could seriously undermine the president’s chances of being re-elected given that this demographic is a critical one that he depends on to win.

FIRM has agreed that there seems to be a significant “enthusiasm gap” among Latino voters this year given that there are so many issues—including the poor economy, slow rate of employment growth, and immigration enforcement—that need to be factored in before filling out the ballot. “We are experiencing a feeling of deep disappointment. The Latino community is desperate for an administration and a president that will fight for them,” and Obama’s track record in that department is anything but stellar—giving rise to doubts whether he may in fact be the perfect candidate to help bring about comprehensive immigration overhaul. For too long, people of all ages and of all nationalities who are active members of our society who participate in community activities, people such as Marvin Corado from Florida who came to the U.S. from Guatemala in 2000 when he was a teenager and had a daughter who was born in the U.S.; just as all the young and undocumented people who came to this country as young children by their parents and now seek to become fully productive participants in this country by attaining college degrees or enlisting in the military—it is precisely these kinds of people who, along with immigrant activists, are pushing for more lenient treatment under the new deportation policy of prosecutorial discretion and who patiently hope and dream of their immigration status being fixed. Because so many expectations are demanded of our nation’s leader and because there are so many stakes on the line, this second time around Obama’s triumphs and failures will be weighed and judged heavily before going to the voting booths. We will have to wait and see whether Obama’s promise of change holds true to everyone and whether his vision for the future resonates with the people.

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