What Mitt Romney Could Do to Connect with Hispanics
One of the key things to watch in this week's Republican national convention in
According to an
To make things worse for Romney, the Republican platform scheduled to be approved at the convention has adopted a hard line on immigration, calling among other things for a fence along the entire U.S.-
While the platform will include language supporting a guest-worker program, anti-immigration extremists persuaded the Platform Committee to use the term "illegal alien" instead of "illegal immigrant" throughout the document, according to an
In an effort to win over more Hispanics - and get closer to the 40 percent of the Hispanic vote that former President
The Latino speakers will try to project the image of the
Their main goal will be to counteract Romney's image among many Hispanics as a multi-millionaire who is a candidate of the rich, and whose anti-immigration rhetoric often comes across as hostile to all Latinos.
Among the things that Romney could do:
_He could make headlines, and show some spine, by chastising anti-immigration extremists within his party who keep perpetuating the myth that we can deport up to 12 million undocumented residents, and by taking distance from his fellow Republicans who claim, among other things, that undocumented immigrants bring dangerous diseases to this country.
_He should acknowledge that many "illegal" immigrants enter this country illegally because, under the outdated current immigration rules, they can't obtain a legal entry visa to work in jobs that Americans won't take.
_He could state that, if elected, he would not rescind Obama's recent executive action to grant a two-year temporary residency to up to 1.7 million undocumented Dream Act-eligible students who were brought to the country by their parents as infants.
_He could shift away from his previous calls for "self-deportation" of all undocumented immigrants - a plan that Latino leaders say would amount to making life impossible for undocumented residents until they leave the country voluntarily, and that would in effect hurt all Hispanics regardless of their legal status.
My opinion: The fact that Romney picked Ryan over several Spanish speakers - including Rubio and
Most likely, the Romney team believes the nationwide Hispanic vote is irrelevant, since most Latinos live in states such as
Barring more economic bad news, I doubt this will work. Romney's decision to bank his political future on his party's anti-immigration right wing makes him come across as no friend of Latinos. It will cost him to lose the Hispanic vote - and perhaps the election, too.
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What Mitt Romney Could Do to Connect with Hispanics | Politics
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