Obama Broke His Promise to Latinos
Why are we still supporting him?
By CARMEN VELASQUEZ, Politico
September 08, 2014
When Barack Obama and I last sat down in 2006, I refused to shake his hand. Today, I still won’t. His announcement last weekend that he would delay executive action on immigration is his fifth broken promise to Latinos on this all-important issue for our community. He has been blind to the pain of the 1,100 deportations our communities face every day and the anguish our families feel as they are swung back and forth as political pawns.
The question for us Latinos – especially the nearly 24 million of us eligible to vote – is, what to do about this? How can we ensure that the fastest-growing demographic in the country isn’t taken for granted by Democrats who purport to be our allies but often dash our hopes in the face of the least bit of political pressure? There are no obvious or even satisfactory answers, but one thing is clear: We’ve been slapped in the face one too many times by this president. And it probably won’t be the last: Obama has a long record of betraying Latinos – and it predates his days in the White House.
In the run-up to his second election, Obama vowed that immigration would be the top priority in his second term. Latinos made their mark on election night 2012, and many voted with the plights of their undocumented mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and best friends in mind. We delivered for Obama, with 71 percent of us supporting the president. Only 27 percent favored Mitt Romney – a lower percentage than Republican candidates received in the last three presidential elections. Our votes made a difference: We helped Obama win the key states of Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Colorado.
We believed in Obama’s “Audacity of Hope.” We put him back in the White House expecting him to keep his end of the bargain – finally.
Last weekend, Obama backed off his most recent promise to push immigration reform through executive action to protect vulnerable Senate Democrats who would otherwise come under fire during the upcoming midterms. But by trying to shield those lawmakers, he may have harmed others.
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois Reps. Brad Schneider and Bill Foster – all Democrats who have kept their promises to the Latino community and consistently supported reform – will face reelection and risk losing if disaffected Latinos refuse to show up at the polls. Between now and the midterms, more than 60,000 Latinos and immigrants will very likely be separated from their loved ones and thousands of U.S. citizen children will be left without a mother or a father before the president acts. Most of these human beings have lived in the United States for more than a decade and do backbreaking work that Americans do not want to do, contributing to and growing industries that Americans cannot do without. All they ask is for a chance to get right with the law, legally enter the workforce and stay together with their families. Obama’s broken promise and delayed action will mean many of them will be deported.
Their suffering and that of their families, friends and children should weigh on the consciences of the president and the Democrats who encouraged Obama to put off – again and again and again and again and again – the push for immigration reform.
As for our own plan of action? It’s hard for me to imagine many of us voting for Republicans, who have at times been downright hostile to immigrant communities. But maybe Latinos in places like Colorado, Florida, Arkansas and North Carolina – states with closely contested Senate or governor’s races – should sit this election out. Maybe only by paying a price at the polls will Democrats finally stop throwing us under the bus.
No One is Happy with Obama When it Comes to Immigration
By: Jon Walker, Firedog Lake
Tuesday September 9, 2014 12:23 pm
President Obama’s immigration strategy makes no sense to me.
For political reasons Obama delayed his promised executive actions on immigration – even though this executive orders seems to be more popular than his current complete lack of leadership
In an attempt to find compromise Obama has instead adopted an immigration strategy that makes no one happy. He already upset people on the right with some of his positions and by initially saying he would take executive action. Yet by breaking his promise to take executive action by the end of the summer he also managed to anger people on the left without winning over any conservatives. Even people who don’t care that much about the issue are still left with the impression Obama is cynical and dishonest.
It is impressive to see a politician adopt the strategy of first taking the political hit by announcing a controversial plan, and then getting none of the rewards by also lying to your supporters.