Yesterdays Republican presidential debate made it quite clear to the viewers that not one Republican candidate has any interest in resolving the immense problems caused by the millions of undocumented immigrants. Not one recognized the benefits that these millions of people have brought to this country and to the economy. Not one mentions the Dream Act, let alone comprehensive immigration reform. Romney who is quick to throw out the fact that his father was a Mexican and that he is pro-immigrants yet, he says that “self deportation” is an option. What he means by “self deportation” is that if the government makes life intolerable for the undocumented immigrant, by not allowing them to work legally, not granting driver’s license and always making them look back as they walk, they will eventually, just leave. What a ridiculous and simplistic resolution for a very complicated problem; to make undocumented immigrants and their legal resident families suffer so that eventfully, maybe, they “self-deport.”
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum dittoed Mr. Romney's position by stating, "self-deportation is a "possible solution."
Texas congressman Ron Paul put in his 2 cents by saying that the US spends too much time "worrying about the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan," and should "use some of those resources on our own border."
But the debate really became interesting when Mr. Gingrich, who insisted the US cannot rationally deport millions of people, some who have lived here for decades was forced to defend his portrayal of Mr. Romney as "anti-immigrant."
"The idea that I'm anti-immigrant is repulsive," yelled Romney. "You can say we disagree on certain policies, but to say that enforcing the US law to protect our borders, to welcome people here legally, to expand legal immigration, as I approve, that that's somehow anti-immigrant is simply the kind of over-the-top rhetoric that has characterized American politics for too long." But no matter what he says, it’s difficult to forget that he recently said that if he became the president, he would veto the Dream Act.
But Gingrich is no better. His so called immigration reform is simply to permit “grandmothers and grandfathers’ who have lived here decades the right to live her, but they would not become U.S. citizens. He never mentioned the Dream Act or comprehensive immigration reform.
In fact, not one of them mentioned comprehensive immigration reform, the dream act or efforts at reducing deportation for non-criminal undocumented immigrants.
Following the debate it became apparent that not one republican candidate has any interest in the immigrant community. This will be their downfall in the November election.
The power of Latino voters will become apparent and should give Democrats the edge in the election. The 2010 Census revealed that during the past decade the Latino population has nearly doubled in Nevada, Virginia, and North Carolina. In Indiana and Ohio, there was a 60 percent or more increase.
Obama won all five of those states in 2008 and these same states are likely to be a decisive factor in the fall election.
“What the Census figures suggest is that the road to White House in 2012 may well go through the Hispanic community” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, an advocacy group that favors allowing illegal immigrants to work toward U.S. citizenship.