Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mitt Romney will win no Hispanic support for his Dream Act stance

Republican front runner emphasizes his stern opposition to pending legislation

A few days ago I posted on a recent Pew presidential preference poll conducted among likely U.S. voters of Hispanic origin (see link at bottom). Not surprisingly, it showed Barack Obama crushing both Mitt Romney and Texas gov. Rick Perry by a solid 3-1 margin. Some experts say that no candidate can win the White House without capturing at least 40% of the total Hispanic vote cast. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 there were about 50.5 million Hispanics living in the United States, including almost 32 million persons of Mexican ancestry. Not all are registered voters, but many are. Four out of five Mexicans are legally documented, or they are U.S. citizens.

Which brings us to the Dream Act. The proposed legislation, the full name of which is the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, has been around in various forms for more than a decade, since 2001. It is intended to address the issue of the millions of foreign-born young people who arrived in the United States before their 16th birthday, and who are classified as illegal immigrants under current law. Brought to the U.S. by their parents, they are now undocumented persons who encounter almost insurmountable problems in life. They can't get a social security number, they may be unable even to obtain a drivers' license, and qualifying for scholarships or educational aid is almost certainly out of the question. The majority of those who would benefit from the Act -- which has never passed Congress -- are of Hispanic origin, and most are Mexicans.

The latest version of the Dream Act, which has been under consideration since May 2011, would provide conditional permanent residency to all persons of good moral character (no criminal convictions) who arrived in the U.S. as a minor (under age 16), who have lived continuously in the country for five years before the law's enactment date and who have graduated from a U.S. high school. Such persons would be become eligible for permanent residency if, within a six year period, they completed at least two years in the military and received an honorable discharge, or completed at least two years of school at a four year institution which offers a bachelor's degree. The bill would include illegals up to age 35.

Campaigning this past weekend in Iowa, where the Republican primary caucuses are underway at this hour, Mitt Romney said that he opposes most of the current Dream Act provisions, and would veto it in its present form if it arrived on his desk as president. He particularly objects to any form of public funding for the educational expenses of illegal immigrants, according to remarks made during an interview. Romney said that the only section of the bill he supports is the provision pertaining to military service. The front running candidate believes that a tour of duty in the armed forces should be the exclusive method by which young undocumenteds can acquire permanent U.S. residency. "I want to do away with unlawful immigration by protecting lawful immigration," said Romney.

Obama crushes all Republican opponents in Hispanic preference poll http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/12/despite-deportations-obama-crushes.html

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