Monday, November 07, 2011

Ears Were Burned

Yesterday, I pointed out the foolishness of the GOP candidates' trashing the "illegals" to prove their bona fides as conservatives. All that does is push one of the fasting growing demographics in the nation towards the Democrats. It's not, however, a done deal for the Democrats when it comes to the Latino vote, far from it, as members of the administration discovered this weekend during a visit to California's Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties).

Obama administration officials ventured to the Inland Empire on Saturday for a policy summit with Latinos, getting an earful from residents stung by the region's flattened economy and critical of Washington's failure to reform the nation's immigration system. ...

The economic wounds from the recession remain raw in a region where fortunes plummeted with the crash of the housing market and construction industry. Once a haven for Latino immigrants looking for housing construction jobs, unemployment now hovers around 14% in San Bernardino County and 13% in Riverside County. ...

Nationwide, the Latino unemployment rate is just over 13%, compared with the national average of about 9%. Nearly a quarter of the 51 million Latinos in the U.S. live in poverty, compared with 15% for the nation as a whole.

San Bernardino, a city where Latinos account for 6 of every 10 residents, has the second-highest poverty rate among the nation's major cities. A U.S. Census report released in September showed that 34.7% of city residents live below the poverty line

Those attending the meeting agreed that President Obama inherited an economic mess from the Bush administration, but most felt the new president should have put a jobs program together right from the start instead of squandering his leverage on health care reform.

And, of course, the issue which galls this community most deeply is immigration reform which hasn't even begun to be addressed by the White House.

But in 2008, Obama promised to push for comprehensive immigration reforms that would provide a path to legal status for the estimated 10 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, and so far there has been no legislation.

Instead, the administration has deported more immigrants than the Bush administration, nearly 1 million over the past three years.

Daniel Guzman, an immigrant rights activist, said Obama has been an "absolute failure" on immigration reform and is losing support among Latino voters. Obama's approval rating among Latinos was 51% in a recent Pew Research poll, compared with 58% a year ago.
[Emphasis added]

The 2012 election is not going to be a walk in the park for either party, but the Democrats can't afford to lose any more core constituents, which is what will happen if the White House doesn't start paying attention.

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Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Daniel Guzman, an immigrant rights activist, said Obama has been an "absolute failure" on immigration reform...

And most everything else I care about.

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a candidate who was even more politically savvy than Bill Clinton, Barack Obama is remarkably naive if he thinks that people don't every so often check out the window to see what reality says.

4:27 PM  

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