Immigration a key issue thanks to Latinos

ImmigrationThe United States has no less than 52 million Latino citizens, around 24 million of whom are eligible to vote – and a great many of them are none too thrilled with the immigration policies of either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.

In an election struggle that will conclude on November 6th and which many are saying is just too close to call at present, the immigration issue has been key to both candidates who are battling to get every single vote that they can.  Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been critical of a bill to give rights to undocumented immigrants, with a study from polling body Latino Decisiones showing that his support from Latinos is barely 20%.

In contrast, Obama has 71% of Latinos supporting him, but he is also facing Hispanic disappointment in him for his failure to fulfill a 2008 election promise for comprehensive immigration reform, although he has just, in the last few months, announced measures to at least partly legalize young Hispanics.

University of New Mexico political science professor Gabriel Sanchez is astonished by the level of support that Obama does have considering the disappointment many feel in him for his failure to go ahead with comprehensive immigration reform, and believes that there is just one reason for it.  “Ï think it’s because they have a choice between Obama, who talks a lot but doesn’t do much, and the ‘self-deportation’ as an immigration policy choice,” he says.