Here’s an important release from today’s media call, organized by Reform Immigration FOR America, in which a bipartisan coalition came together to tell Congress to deliver on real immigration reform like the common-sense DREAM Act, which would allow immigrant youth to obtain citizenship through two years of college or military service and the food security and farmworker legislation known as AgJobs.
For Immediate Release
November 10th, 2010
Latino Voters Tell Congress: Deliver Real Immigration Solutions Like DREAM and AgJOBS
Midterm Elections a Preview of Increased Latino Clout, Lessons for Both Parties
Washington D.C. – Today a bipartisan coalition of major immigration reform leaders gathered on a national telephonic press conference to discuss the decisive political impact of the Latino and immigrant vote in the mid-term elections. Latino voters made clear that they want real solutions on immigration reform and substantive leadership from Congress. They want leaders in both parties to take on the DREAM Act, AgJOBS and comprehensive immigration reform – and Congress should view the lame duck session as their first opportunity – as a result of the political landscape shaped by Latino voters.
Tuesday’s elections exposed that Democrats and Republicans can’t win if they don’t engage Latino voters with the right positions on immigration reform, which has become a litmus test issue for these voters. The results also revealed the growing power of the Latino electorate who want real solutions on immigration reform, not trumped up rhetoric and demagoguery from some or empty promises from others.
Eliseo Medina, International Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose organization participated in massive Latino voter engagement efforts, explained what drove immigrant and Latino voters to the polls. “When attacked, Latino voters surge,” said Medina. “There is no question that campaigns characterized by deep disrespect of Latino voters fueled turnout across the Western states—and played the decisive role in re-electing Senator Reid in Nevada, electing Senator Bennet and Governor Hickenlooper in Colorado and Governor Brown and Senator Boxer in California. Like all Americans, the #1 issue that matters to Latino voters is jobs and the economy. But the issue of immigration—which has been characterized by hateful, deeply disrespectful rhetoric in the past year—comes as a very close second. In the coming year, Latino voters will be looking very closely at how a Republican-led Congress addresses immigration and a host of other key issues.”