September 2012 | Click here to download PDF With polling that shows Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in a virtual tie, Florida may be the most hotly contested state in the presidential election. To understand what will happen there this November, it’s necessary to get to know Florida’s large, growing, and diversifying bloc of Latino [...]
America’s Voice Research on Immigration Reform
In the Presidential race, Nevada is considered a battleground state. Nevada also has a competitive Senate race, which pits incumbent Senator Dean Heller (R), who was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Senator John Ensign’s retirement, against U.S. Representative Shelley Berkeley (D). Also, two of the four House races are viewed as competitive. As in 2010, Latino voters will play a determinative role this cycle in Nevada.
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a mixed ruling on June 25, 2012, in the U.S. government’s challenge to Arizona’s notorious racial profiling law, SB 1070. In a 5-3 decision, with Justice Kagan recusing herself, the court struck down three of the four Arizona provisions that the federal government had challenged, holding that these provisions are clearly preempted by federal law.
A special report in the March/April issue of Mother Jones, called “Inside The Self-Deportation Movement,” documents how “self-deportation” has been the rallying cry for a coordinated effort led by close Romney adviser Kris Kobach and state legislators in Arizona, Alabama and other states—an effort to make undocumented immigrants as miserable as possible to force them to leave.
Conventional wisdom holds that voters, especially Republican voters, are relentlessly hardline when it comes to immigration policy and reform. Polls that present false choices over immigration—asking whether the government should focus on enforcing immigration laws OR legalizing undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria—only serve to confirm that flawed analysis.
Florida’s Latino community has long been a powerful force in state politics, constituting 13% of registered voters. Every four years they are a force in national elections as well, and the Latino vote is a huge factor in Florida’s “swing state” status.
As Republicans continue to embrace hard-right positions on immigration, the Party is distancing itself not only from the legacy of Ronald Reagan and other past Republican leaders, but also from Latino voters in numerous states that are shaping up to be key 2012 battlegrounds.
The Obama Administration has recently announced that it will start allowing spouses and children of U.S. citizens, who are eligible for legal status, to apply for family unity waivers in the United States.