New momentum for path to citizenship, but it won’t be easy

The Washington Post, 11/09/2012

A growing number of conservatives are softening their views on immigration in the wake of President Obama’s dominating performance among Hispanic voters, giving new momentum to a years-long push by advocates to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.

Yet even as officials in both parties pledged to make overhauling immigration a top goal in the coming months, it became clear Friday that the issue remains thorny for each side.

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Fla. GOPers: Mitt needs immigration plan

Politico, 6/21/2012

The consensus among Republican strategists in this key state: Mitt Romney needs  a clear immigration policy, and fast.

President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that he would stop deportation  of some young illegal immigrants put the presumptive Republican presidential  nominee on the defensive with a key constituency. Romney hasn’t clearly stated  whether he would revoke the presidential order if he wins in November,  explaining only that he prefers a comprehensive approach to immigration reform…

He will address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed  Officials here on Thursday afternoon. But Romney’s speech is expected to only  touch on immigration while the main focus will be the economy, which polls say  is still the No. 1 issue for Hispanic voters, like the rest of the nation.
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Hispanics poised for big gains on Hill

Politico, 2/16/12

Hispanics are poised for major gains in Congress this fall, ensuring a boost to their clout on Capitol Hill.

Latinos are positioned to seize at least a handful of new House seats, thanks to redistricting. California has three new Hispanic-majority districts, and Texas, depending on the final outcome of legal wrangling over congressional maps, is expected to have one or two. Democrats also are fielding at least six strong Hispanic recruits in other districts currently represented by white members. And the GOP has a high-profile candidate of its own in former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who’s trying to unseat Rep. Lois Capps, a white Democrat.

Taken together, the Hispanic delegation could see its ranks swell. Hispanic lawmakers currently hold 25 House seats, according to The Almanac of American Politics, and after the election, that number could reach well over 30.

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Many immigrants face election decisions on both sides of border

The Dallas Morning News, 2/11/12

Claudia Torrescano grows more optimistic about her life as a naturalized U.S. citizen as the years go by. The radio broadcaster has a successful talk show for women. The 45-year-old mother of four is involved in the PTA. She doesn’t rule out running for school board someday.

But, just as she mused about whether to vote for a guy named Mitt or an incumbent named Barack, a woman named Josefina emerged. That’s Josefina Vázquez Mota, the first woman presidential candidate for a major Mexican political party. “I felt like I was about to step further back from Mexico, and along comes Vázquez Mota,” said Torrescano, who like many naturalized U.S. citizens can also vote in Mexico’s elections.

Every dozen years, U.S. and Mexican presidential election cycles coincide, but this year is the first time that Mexican immigrants with U.S. citizenship can vote for U.S. candidates and also vote in Mexico’s election by absentee ballot. Some, like Torrescano, will actually travel back to their home states to vote in the federal elections.

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Jeb Bush, op-ed: Four ways Republicans can win Hispanics back

The Washington Post, 1/25/12

In the 15 states that are likely to decide who controls the White House and the Senate in 2013, Hispanic voters will represent the margin of victory. For the Republican Party, the stakes could not be greater. Just eight years after the party’s successful effort to woo Hispanic voters in 2004, this community — the fastest-growing group in the United States, according to census data — has drifted away.

Although Democrats hold the edge, Republicans have an opportunity. We also have a record of winning Hispanic voters in certain statewide and national elections. Here are four suggestions on how Republican candidates can regain momentum with the most powerful swing voters.

First, we need to recognize this is not a monochromatic community but, rather, a deeply diverse one. Hispanics in this country include Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and many others. Some came here 50 years ago to make a better life; others came last year. Some have lots of education, some have none. The traditional Republican emphasis on the importance of the individual has never been more relevant.

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Latino poll: Obama cruising past GOP

Politico, 11/9/11

Hispanics are decisively backing President Barack Obama over his Republican rivals in the 2012 election, but over half say they’re less enthusiastic about him then they were in 2008, according to a new poll Wednesday.

A Univision News/Latino Decisions poll shows Obama would handily beat his GOP challengers among Hispanics, with registered voters saying they prefer the president by two-to-one margins over Herman Cain, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Obama is favored by Hispanic voters 65 percent to 22 percent compared to Cain, 67 percent to 24 percent over Romney and 68 percent to 21 percent on Perry, according to the poll.

But the president faces a stark enthusiasm gap with Latinos in 2012 — 53 percent say they are less excited about Obama now than they were in 2008. And just 47 percent of registered Hispanic voters told pollsters they were “very enthusiastic” about casting their ballot next year, with the same percentage saying they were more excited to vote in 2008. Only 32 percent of say they’re more enthusiastic about the 2012 election.

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