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As DNC Ignores Immigration, NCLR Straw Poll Shows It’s the Most Important Issue to Latino Voters

by Mahwish Khan on 07/27/2011 at 10:40am

Campus ProgressOn Friday of last week, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), announced a new Spanish-language ad (embedded below along with a translated script), highlighting “the President’s commitment to the Hispanic community and setting the record straight.” The ad mentions healthcare, education, and economic aid. Somehow, and not surprisingly, there was no mention at all of immigration reform.

Hmm.

At the beginning of this year’s NCLR conference (that just concluded yesterday), attendees were asked what issues matter most to them and how well they think President Obama has been addressing them. The straw poll’s results hammer at the point that poll after poll after poll have shown: 

Immigration overwhelmingly trumps both the economy and education as the most important issue for Latinos, according to a recent poll of 547 supporters and attendees at the 2011 NCLR Annual Conference.  Almost half (45 percent) of all respondents chose immigration as the top issue, as opposed to jobs and the economy (25 percent), education (21 percent), and health care (6 percent)… 

The straw poll, conducted in partnership with Lake Research Partners and Revolution Messaging via text message, also revealed attendees’ attitudes about President Barack Obama and provided insight into the 2012 elections.  While nearly 80 percent of respondents said that they plan on voting for Obama in the upcoming election, only 29 percent “strongly approved” of the president’s job performance, whereas 44 percent “somewhat approved” and 27 percent “disapproved.”

“With the election just a little more than a year away, Conference participants are looking first and foremost to support and represent the Latino community,” added Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. 

That’s right. The one issue that remains the most important to the Hispanic community was not included in this 30-second Obama promo. It might have been because the only record Obama has been able to break so far on immigration has been the one on deportations. Yesterday, it was announced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez at an immigration rally in front of the White House that the day marks the President’s 1 millionth deportation. As the infographic to the right will show (care of Campus Progress), the number of noncriminal undocumented immigrants deported yearly far exceeds the number of criminal immigrants, despite the Administration’s claim to be targeting “the worst of the worst.” Some of those deported are DREAM Act eligible youth, and as “un-American” as it is to rip families apart, the Administration has been doing plenty of that as well.

From the Press statement that was released by the DNC:

President Obama has always been and will always be committed to the Hispanic Community and fighting for their priorities.

We’re still waiting, Mr. President. Early in his campaign, Obama promised voters comprehensive immigration reform. He vowed to be the President that would make it “a top priority” in his first year as President of the United States of America, even if it was “politically unpopular.”

Now, when DREAMers ask him to end their pain, the regular response has become “I can’t bypass Congress”  — a point again reiterated when he spoke during NCLR’s Monday luncheon.  Even though he has the power to grant administrative relief to DREAMers and other eligible undocumented workers so that they can be safe from deportation as long as he remains President, Obama has still not taken action to protect all from deportation.

At the very least, the DNC is being honest — if, in a slightly dishonest way. It’s pretty obvious that Obama’s “record” on immigration is not stellar. However, the DNC has opted to take the ignore-it-while-we-can-in-the-hopes-things-will-get-better route, rather than face the facts, take action, and own up to the promises the President has made. If they don’t, the Hispanic community surely will. And no promo video, no matter how long, and no matter how full of Obama’s accomplishments will make the community forget the promise for comprehensive reform.

Come 2012, they might just make the DNC and Obama wish they hadn’t either.

Watch the video here:

TITLE: “En quien confiar”

SCRIPT:

CG: ANUNCIO DE ATAQUE REPUBLICANO
VO: Detrás de los anuncios que pretenden preocuparse por nuestros hijos…
CG: AGENDA REPUBLICANA: ACABAR CON LA GARANTÍA DE MEDICARE / REBAJAS DE IMPUESTOS PARA LOS RICOS
VO: …están los Republicanos quienes quieren poner fin a la garantía de Medicare mientras protegen las bajadas de impuestos para los más ricos.
CG: HISTORIAL DE OBAMA: SEGURO PARA NUESTROS NIÑOS
VO: Fue el Presidente quien extendió el seguro médico para nuestros niños…
CG: HISTORIAL DE OBAMA: AYUDA FINANCIERA PARA ESTUDIANTES
VO: la ayuda financiera para estudiantes…
CG: HISTORIAL DE OBAMA: REBAJAS DE IMPUESTOS PARA LA CLASE MEDIA
VO: Y rebajó los impuestos para la clase media.
VO: Sabemos en quien confiar y en quien no. Porque es nuestro trabajo proteger a nuestras familias.
VO: El Comité Nacional Demócrata es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

CG: REPUBLICAN ATTACK AD
VO: Behind the ads that pretend to care about our children…
CG: REPUBLICAN AGENDA: END MEDICARE GUARANTEE / TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH
VO: It’s the Republicans who would end the Medicare guarantee while protecting tax cuts for the very rich.
CG: OBAMA RECORD: INSURANCE FOR OUR KIDS
VO: It was the President who extended health insurance to our children…
CG: OBAMA RECORD: FINANCIAL AID FOR STUDENTS
VO: Financial aid for students…
CG: OBAMA RECORD: MIDDLE-CLASS TAX CUTS
VO: And cut taxes for the middle class.
VO: We know who to trust, and who we can’t. Because it’s our job to protect our families.
VO: The Democratic National Committee is responsible for the content of this ad.

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