Photo: Hispanic vote
The Hispanic vote could be decisive in this year’s elections in Arizona, where voters will choose a new governor, attorney general and superintendent of education.
“The Hispanic vote will be of great importance, since it could help win an election,” the Arizona director of Mi Familia Vota, Raquel Teran, told Efe.
“All these offices are extremely important, they have an impact on the daily life of all Hispanics in Arizona,” she said.
She noted that a good example of their impact was the election of Gov. Jan Brewer, who with her signature enacted the anti-immigrant law SB 1070 in 2010.
That legislation made the state the epicenter of America’s immigration debate by seeking to criminalize the presence of undocumented immigrants.
Though the U.S. Supreme Court struck down some parts of the law, it allowed the notorious “show me your papers” provision to stand.
That provision requires law enforcement officers to verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country without authorization.
The Republican governor also signed an executive order in 2012 that bans awarding driver’s licenses to young people who are undocumented, even though they are sheltered by the federal Deferred Action program.
In addition, current Attorney General Tom Horne sued Phoenix community colleges for allowing undocumented students to pay tuition at the cheaper in-state rate.
“There you see the importance of the Hispanic community electing candidates who represent their needs, regardless of the political party they represent,” Teran said.
Latinos are estimated to make up 16 percent of the Arizona electorate, while Mi Familia Vota estimates that the state has roughly 350,000 Hispanics eligible to vote but who still have not registered.