Some immigration advocates believe that if President Obama is not re-elected, immigrants in general and Latinos, in particular, may suffer under the administration of Mitt Romney. According to Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz, Latinos would suffer if President Obama is not re-elected. Munoz is the highest-ranking woman is Hispanic descent in the current administration and she made her remarks at the recent Nevada Women Vote 2012 Summit. According to Munoz, Romney would not support programs that Latinos help and would not fight against laws similar to Arizona’s controversial immigration legislation. President Obama has already spoken out against the Arizona law and has spoken in favor of legislation such as the DREAM Act, which would help many undocumented immigrants. According to Munoz, affordable health care and college financial aid would also be cut back under Romney.
Critics of President Obama have pointed out that deportations are at all-time high under his administration and have also noted that some of the promised wide-spread immigration reform that President Obama promised has not come through. This has led some experts to speculate that President Obama will lose some favor among Latino voters, who may be wooed by Romney’s promises of jobs and economic recovery.
Munoz does not agree, stating that the majority of Latino voters will support Obama. She also hit back at critics speaking about deportation. She noted that the resources for deportation are established by Congress, and the Executive Office is to spend the resources. She also noted that the deferred action plan for qualified young immigrants and the mandate on enforcement for undocumented criminals have meant that fewer law-abiding undocumented immigrants are currently being deported.
Munoz also defended the Secure Communities program. The controversial program, allows law enforcement authorities to check federal databases for information about those they have detained. If those apprehended are found to be in violation of immigration laws, they are handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Critics of the program say that Secure Communities targets non-criminal undocumented immigrants and leaves them languishing in the legal system, sometimes for many months. Munoz has received much criticism for her defense of the program. Defenders of Munoz note that she works behind the scenes and within the Washington political system to make life better for immigrants.
Munoz has stated that it is not only the written policies of the parties that is significant but also the actions. She notes that the recent deferred action program, as well as the presence of Latinos such as herself in the administration, show what the administration represents. She noted that Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, Ken Salazar, Julian Castro, and others show the role of Latinos in the administration. Republicans have been critiqued for their mostly Caucasian delegate demographic.