Obama and the latin vote
Without overwhelming majorities in brown constituencies, re-electing Barack Obama will be difficult indeed. White support for the president is dropping, and even African American support is softening. Latino support for the president, according to an authoritative February 2011 survey by Latino Decisions and impreMe, is around 70%. But that number, they caution, “...does not translate into automatic votes for 2012...” The second part of that poll reveals that while Republicans are gaining no ground in Latino communities, only 43% of Latino voters are certain they will support Barack Obama next year.
The White House knows it's in deep trouble.
“My sources in DC tell me that when the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for the President Obama to use his executive authority to suspend or alter the so-called “Secure Communities” program under which hundreds of workplace raids and countless incidents of profiling, indiscriminate roundups, detentions and deportations have occurred, the White House responded by working the phones, calling up key House Democrats and cautioning them to keep their distance from the caucus on this.
“The president is running around the country, showing up at town hall meetings claiming that federal policies are only deporting criminals, but everybody knows it's not true. At one meeting a young woman, a college student stood up and pulled out her own deportation order to show the president. The president is convening panels of Latino celebrities, asking them to spread the word about the good work he's doing for our people. But it's not working, not as well as he needs it to. There is a solid and growing base of people and organizations in our communities who just aren't buying it.
“There are moves to silence critics of the administration on this, to deny them access to publication and broadcast, to cut funding and such. But I think those efforts will fail. The number of imprisoned, brutally separated and terrorized families and communities is just so great that Latinos even in unions, in community groups and such that normally constitute the informal infrastructure of the Democratic party can't ignore them.
“At some point the White House will either have to try to divide us, or step to the table and negotiate. When that happens, the two minimum demands, neither of which Obama needs Republican support to meet, will be to stop the deportations of DREAM Act students, and to cut off funding for the “Secure Communities Act. Maybe we'll even get to remove the many punitive elements of so-called “comprehensive immigration reform” as well. We just have to stand against this White House, and Latinos are showing some backbone, I'm an optimist, I think we can.”