Immigration hopes rest with Democratic party resurgence

Jose Coronado

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The results of the midterm elections are out and there is some bad news for the Democratic Party and President Obama. The Republicans now control both the Senate and the House of Representatives. For Latinos, Obama’s year has not just been terrible, but hopeless. The first minority President, who was largely supported by Latinos in the elections of 2008 and 2012, has failed consistently to improve the lives of Latinos and has taken few actions to stop deportations of family members of U.S. citizens.

“[Obama] says he does not have the executive authority to do that, other attorneys simply do not agree with that,” wrote Univision journalist Sergio Ramos.

In my opinion, although the Republicans have not approved any of the immigration reforms that the Democratic Party has proposed, the Democrats could at least be honest with Latinos and say that the Republicans are the ones keeping them from passing any reform. During the Obama administration, more than two million immigrants have been deported, destroying millions of families. Each day I find more cases of college students that came to the United States as toddlers and now are being deported. The most shocking story was about a Harvard student who came to the United States as a toddler and had to return to Mexico to take care of his mother. Now he can’t return to the United States,even though he was accepted at one of the best universities in the world.

The Latino community keeps waiting for a president that will support immigration reform and give security to millions of families. I personally have family members in the United States that are illegal, and I have talked with many Mexicans across the country; their biggest dream is an amnesty like the one Ronald Reagan declared in 1986. Latinos are honest and hardworking people –– most of them have succeeded in this country without help from any government or big organization. Maybe they broke the law to get here, but their contributions to this country have been huge, and it is unfair that they are being deported or put in jail just because they do not have papers.

Latinos are huge believers in the American Dream. We believe in it because we have seen our peers succeed, and year after year we see that our role in this country get bigger. In New Haven, Conn., I met a guy who owned the only Mexican Restaurant at Yale; in Chicago I met a Mexican businessman who could barely read and write when he arrived, and he now owns four restaurants and is incredibly wealthy. I take huge pride when I see athletes with Latino last names like Romo or Gonzalez. It is impossible to define “American” without mentioning Latinos.

Latinos can only hope for the best now; they are between a Democratic Party that has not changed the immigration laws significantly and a Republican Congress with many Tea Party members that are against immigration. Also, immigration is not the most important problem right now. ISIS and Ebola are probably going to be more important issues for Congress than immigration reform, leaving Latinos a vision of another hopeless six months. 

2016 could be a big year for Latinos. If the new Republican senators and representatives propose more laws against illegal immigrants, Democrats will have more support from Latinos in the next election. The fact is that in 2004 George Bush won 44 percent of the Latino vote and in 2012 Mitt Romney just received 27 percent of it. Although the Democratic Party has failed Latinos repeatedly, it is their only option for now.

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