Photo: Dream Action Coalition
The Dream Action Coalition which serves as a voice for undocumented youth and the lobbying arm of the dream movement issued the follow statement on the progress of comprehensive immigration reform discussions:
While it is a positive development seeing the President and Republican leaders speak cordially on immigration, it is unfortunate that the trio have their priorities backwards. We hope they understand that the priority for Latinos is family reunification and not more border security. We hope the President doesn’t fall for this.
During the 2012 election, the economy was certainly of importance to Latinos; however, a pro-immigrant candidate was a deciding factor when voting for President Obama. Indeed, Latinos overwhelmingly voted for practical and humane immigration reform not contingent on border security, which is why 71% of Latinos voted for President Obama and Democrats. This was more apparent in battleground states like Florida, Nevada, and Colorado.
The President, in fact, has provided his blue print indicating that he supports a practical and clear path to citizenship not contingent on a “secured border.” DREAMers will continue to remind the Latino electorate who is putting political ambition ahead of unifying families who have suffered due to a broken immigration system. There are countless reports indicating historic low crime rates at border states and low unauthorized crossings. The focus on immigration reform should be updating not militarizing our immigration system.
President Obama’s current record number of deportation should compel him to avoid focusing on enforcement. With the question of legacy looming in President Obama’s second term, he can choose a legacy of uniting families and real reform or a legacy of broken families and capitulation to the extreme right on immigration. For Republicans, like Senator McCain, focusing on enforcement will not fare well electorally in light of the growing influence of Latinos in Arizona and Texas.