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Today, a conservative group released a new Spanish-language ad targeting Latino voters in Nevada and blasting President Obama as “Deporter-in-Chief” — referring to the President’s immigration enforcement record. The group behind the ad, Nevada Hispanics, is associated with the conservative and pro-Republican organizations American Principles in Action and the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the new ad and its underlying motivations:
We have been and will continue to be critical of President Obama for his immigration enforcement record. While the President’s important announcement to provide deferred action for DREAMers is a major step forward, the President needs to go beyond DREAMer relief to both focus enforcement on the “worst of the worst” and to fight for a legislative breakthrough on immigration reform.
But the agenda of people behind today’s ad is to elect Mitt Romney, the candidate who promises to be the “Self-Deporter in Chief.” Romney’s “self-deportation” goal is to drive millions of immigrants from the country through an approach that combines state laws such as Arizona’s and Alabama’s with federal laws such as mandatory E-Verify. Meanwhile, Romney rejects immigration reform that would include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and has pledged to veto the DREAM Act. The bottom line is that while many Latino voters find Obama’s immigration record somewhat disappointing, most Latino voters find Romney’s immigration stances downright terrifying.
The backers of the new ad either think the Latino community is too naive to know the difference between the candidates or they think this effort will suppress the Latino vote. Either way it’s cynical and desperate. Instead of attacking a President that stood up for DREAMers and stood up to Arizona and Alabama, the people behind this ad should be attacking Republicans – such as Romney – who back the mass expulsion of undocumented immigrants and have helped to consolidate their party’s image as anti-immigrant and anti-Latino.