The latino community is more powerful than ever. This is true - not only in California, but throughout the country. A recent study by the Pew Research Center estimated that eligible U.S. latino voters will reach 27.3 million by election day, or roughly 12% of all U.S. voters. This increase of about 40% since 2008 may prove determinative in who will occupy the White House in 2017.
Unfortunately for the GOP and the country - the Republicans have chosen to pander to their ever narrowing base by bashing all immigrants. It started with Mexicans, but their attacks soon expanded to include other immigrant groups, even war refugees. Regardless of who eventually captures the Republican nomination, their nominee will be hamstrung by vitriolic and racist statements made throughout the presidential campaign.
On the Democratic side - though the vision is commendable, the actions remain despicable. The Obama administration's ICE raids announced over the Christmas holidays are just the latest reminder that both parties have victimized the immigrant communities for political gains. This has to stop.
Immigrant voters all over this country deserve a clear answer as to how our government is going to solve the immigration problem. It is no longer enough to hear proclamations on how the other side wont cooperate. Going forward, politicians of all stripes must have solid solutions on how to overcome the impasse.
Clearly, our advocacy cant be limited to the presidential elections. The litmus test must be applied to every congressional office as well. If we the people manage to fire enough nay sayers on election day, the rest of the political pack will heed the call - to reform our immigration laws immediately and ease the suffering of countless immigrant families for the foreseeable future.