Big Turnout Leads to Big Predictions of Immigration Reform

By Peter Malof, Public News Service

EL PASO, Texas – As political analysts debate whether this week’s election results will ease the gridlock in Washington, D.C., some are predicting a quick breakthrough on at least one major issue. Immigration reform has been blocked in recent years – primarily by a Republican base that wants to seal the border first. That stance alienated enough Latino voters to help propel Democrats to a national victory this week, according to Adriana Cadena, statewide coordinator of the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance. She says Hispanic voters will not be satisfied with anything less than comprehensive reforms.

“That means providing venues through which people who are here undocumented can become U.S. citizens. There’s really no other option, and the time is now.”

The debate is already heating up. Some conservative activists say they will continue fighting what they see as amnesty for millions who are in the country illegally, but other Republicans are calling for a reexamination of their party’s relationship to the growing Latino electorate. President Obama, meanwhile, wants reforms enacted soon, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promises to introduce a bill in the coming year.

Cadena thinks the election was a wake-up call for politicians, who now recognize that the large Latino turnout – 10 percent of the total – was only the beginning.

“There’s going to be a continued increase of Latino participation at the polls. For many years, people have been waiting for the “sleeping giant” to wake up. It has been years in the making, and it will continue to grow.”

Even though 69 percent of Latinos nationally voted Democratic, she says that support cannot be taken for granted. While the Obama administration over the past year eased up on deporting certain undocumented immigrants, many advocates are upset with the President for not trying harder to pass more comprehensive reform, as promised, during his first term.

Both parties, Cadena insists, will need to get serious about immigrant concerns if they expect to win Hispanic voters in the future.

“If they continue along this path of being anti-immigrant, they’re going to be on the wrong side of history. They have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to gain if they actually treat Latinos with dignity and respect.”

Cadena does not buy the argument that reform must wait until the border is secure. She points out that President Obama deported a record number of undocumented immigrants during his first four years, and that the number of unauthorized border crossings is lower than it has been in decades.

This article was first published in Public News Service.

The Public News Service (PNS) provides reporting on a wide range of social, community, and environmental issues for mainstream and alternative media that amplifies progressive voices, is easy to use and has a proven track record of success. Supported by over 400 nonprofit organizations and other contributors, PNS provides high-quality news on public issues and current affairs.

[Photo by NewsTaco]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

How a harsh criticism turned ‘Coco’ into Pixar’s most uniquely made movie yet

Victor Landa November 17, 2017

Director Lee Unkrich was hot off the box office success and Oscar win for 2010’s “Toy Story 3” when he delved into making a movie that focused on the Mexican […]

Trump Administration Targets and then Mocks Immigrant with Prosthetic Leg

Victor Landa November 15, 2017

A 20-year-old undocumented immigrant with prosthetic leg and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status has been detained by federal immigration agents and held without charges for over a month, treated inhumanely […]

More Latinas are becoming teachers and reshaping our nation’s classrooms

Victor Landa November 29, 2017

The growth of the Latino population in the United States will have a lasting cultural and intellectual impact beyond the arts, food, and celebrations. More and more, Latinas are becoming […]

As Numbers Grow, Recognizing Generations Of Latino Veterans

Victor Landa November 10, 2017

As the nation honors its veterans, government officials point to the growing numbers of Latinos in the military, while Hispanic scholars and historians remind us of the generations of Latino […]

U.S Hispanic Chamber Leader Who Has Had Turbulent Relationship With Trump May Be Ousted

Victor Landa November 22, 2017

The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) is moving behind the scenes to oust its prominent president Javier Palomarez over allegations that he misused the organization’s money for his personal […]

How Indie Latinx Comic Book Authors Are Capturing the Latinx Experience

Victor Landa November 13, 2017

Back in 2010, comics creator Javier Hernandez was walking around San Francisco with his friend Ricardo Padilla when he had an idea: Why don’t they build a comics convention focusing […]

Half of Latino Immigrant Characters on TV Are Portrayed as Criminals, Study Finds

Victor Landa November 1, 2017

Define American, the immigration nonprofit founded by Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, has released its first-ever media reference guide for writers, directors, and producers concerning Latino immigrant characters. Immigrants and […]

Could Hispanic vote push Lupe Valdez into Texas Governor’s Office?

Victor Landa December 8, 2017

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is running as a Democratic candidate for Texas Governor after a year of speaking out on big state issues– particularly the controversial sanctuary cities ban. Experts says […]