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Latinos upset with Obama but back him over GOP

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Despite Latinos' mounting disapproval of President Obama for his administration’s immigration policies, a majority of the demographic would still prefer to see him in the White House over his Republican challengers, according to a new study conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The study found that 59 percent of Latinos disapprove of Obama's handling of illegal immigrants in this country while 27 percent approve. The center estimates that about 81 percent of the 11.2 million illegal immigrants in the country are of Hispanic descent, although the group accounted for 97 percent of the immigrants deported in 2010.

“Deportations have reached record levels under President Obama, rising to an annual average of nearly 400,000 since 2009, about 30 percent higher than the annual average during the second term of the Bush administration and about double the annual average during George W. Bush’s first term,” according to the report.

But despite the outcry, the same study shows Latinos still back the president more than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. In hypothetical match-ups against the two candidates, Obama currently enjoys a 68 percent to 23 percent advantage over Romney and a 69 percent to 23 percent advantage over Perry.

A study by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials revealed that the country will have an estimated 12.2 million Latino voters in 2012, an increase of about 26 percent from 2008.

Immigration has been an Achilles' heel for Perry, who saw his support among some Republicans plummet after being criticized for an in-state tuition bill he signed in 2001. The bill allows illegal immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates at Texas universities provided they graduated from a Texas high school and have lived in the state for three years.

Perry has since tried to solidify his tough-on-immigration bona fides by campaigning with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” in the country is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice after it alleged Arpaio and his staff engaged in policies that unfairly targeted Latinos.

And despite the attacks from the right on Perry by those who label him soft on illegal immigrants, the state’s longest-serving governor has also drawn the ire of the Latino community in Texas after prioritizing a measure during the 2011 legislative session that would have banned so-called sanctuary cities. The legislation, which failed to pass twice despite Perry declaring it emergency legislation, would have denied state funds to entities that prohibited local law enforcement officers from inquiring into the immigration status of people arrested or detained.

The continued support for Obama over any GOP candidate, however, could be seen as a “lesser of two evils” choice. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), removed a record 397,000 people from the U.S. last fiscal year, up from 392,000 the year before, which was also a record. The figures are in line with the Obama administration’s increased enforcement since 2009, which has resulted in more prosecutions in three years than President George W. Bush's administration accomplished in two terms.

The president has been dubbed by some immigrants rights groups the “deporter-in-chief” because of the policy. Even recent policy shifts, which include an emphasis on prioritizing removal efforts on criminals and the use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases, have been criticized by advocates as nothing more than window dressing. They point to the expansion of Secure Communities, which compares the fingerprints of people in police custody against a federal database to determine if the individuals are eligible for deportation under federal immigration laws, and Obama’s failure to push comprehensive immigration reform as proof that the president’s actions have not matched his 2008 campaign rhetoric.

But the administration defends the policies and uses them to fight back against Republican rivals, including Perry, who insist the border is not secure. The DHS released end-of-year statistics this month showing that apprehensions of illegal crossers have hit their lowest point in decades. Some 340,250 illegal immigrants were apprehended nationwide during the 2011 fiscal year, compared with 463,380 in 2010. There were about 327,580 apprehensions on the southwest border, including about 119,000 in Texas and 129,000 in Arizona. California and New Mexico saw 72,600 and 6,900 apprehensions, respectively. The administration says the dip reflects that fewer would-be crossers are making the attempt to breach this country’s border.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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8
271 comments
Jan 4, 2012, 5:57 pm
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Aye carumba. Its so disheartening that Latinos disapprove of deportations. What the #**#^ do you expect the U.S. to do with illegal border jumpers. If your ethnicity trumps the sovereignty and laws of your country then I wish we could add these unamericans to the deportation list.

7
179 comments
Jan 4, 2012, 3:03 pm
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Just in California, L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich States the illegal alien cost is $550 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for healthcare, the total cost for illegal immigrants to just Los Angeles County taxpayers exceeds $1.6 billion dollars a year. These costs do not include the hundreds of millions of dollars for schools.

Notably is the Liberal press using a different stance to promote the millions of illegal migrants and immigrants already here—saying that it’s good for the economy or asserting these people pay taxes.  Yes many do, but they are using either stolen Social Security numbers from innocent citizens, or an IRS number known as an ITIN number. A substantial motivation is they have no alternative, if they want to get a payroll job? Then according to the ‘Heritage Foundation’ the amount of $113 Billion dollars goes to supplementing illegal aliens by hard-pressed taxpayers and every year that amount is rising.

As released by the IRS, illegal immigrants are returned 4.5 Billion in child/parent tax credits on fraudulent documentation. Little known to most readers is that these foreign invaders send out of the country annually to foreign banks, between 40-46 billion dollars. Yes! They do pay taxes, but it hardly has any impact on the money that is extorted from federal and state taxpayers for children of illegal aliens and drains state treasuries, without compensation. Money going to educate, the massive health care deficit and an overpopulated prison system filled with drug dealers, killers, molesters, pedophiles and a growing proportion of hit and run drunken drivers; those that are caught.

The Tea Party doesn’t discriminate against any nationality or race, this is an offensive plan by the Democrats to undermine the alternative party who are strictly against illegal immigration, but openly welcomes those who patiently legally wait their turn, in becoming part of the opportunity that is America.

If Obama remains president and reigns supreme for another term, he will rescind the immigration laws that make us safe from drug dealers, drunken hit & run drivers and a whole mess of criminals reaching American soil. Demand your politician’s co-sponsor the ‘Legal Workforce Bill, known statewide, Mandatory E-Verify. Stop the occupation of our country from other nations, before it’s too late. You can by calling your Senator and Congress person in Congress at 202-224-3121. Our countries laws are being undermined and our sovereignty trashed by Obama’s mules in the Department of IN-Justice. Join a constitutional-oriented TEA PARTY near you. Make sure Obama becomes a one term president, before his Liberal henchman erodes away the US Constitution. Join the non-profit pro-sovereignty organization. NUMBERSUSA. Be on your guard as illegal aliens have vote and will again in 2012, unless we institute that every voter posses picture ID—which can be authenticated. After the true double fence is built along the border, then at such times a uniform ‘Guest Worker’ program can be enacted by Congress. The TEA PARTY believes in an immigration ‘Point System’ like Europe, Australia and New Zealand, that welcomes highly skilled workers with exception background in Engineering, the Sciences and Mathematics. We must be more selective and enforce the laws as legislated in the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli bill.

6
179 comments
Jan 4, 2012, 3:01 pm
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Rep. Michele Bachmann, has the best stance on illegal immigration, but sadly she has stepped down as a presidential candidate. Although Bachman has left the race, she will still carry the banner of the TEA PARTY.  As Senators and House members are regurgitated so to speak for reelection. We must insist that they will follow the laws passed down to us by our founding fathers? Not the Socialist movement by President Obama and his rat patrol, assaulting the sovereign rights of individual states. Every politician should promise to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which is the promise to tens of millions of TEA PARTY members of freedom and liberty. To restrain a government out of control and shrink it; to rewrite the antique current tax code and replacing it with a fair and equitable tax for all and no special advantages for those in power; open up our abundant oil deposits and tell the environmentalists, ‘to put a sock in it.’
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich surprised his audience at a town hall meeting in Naples, Florida in November. He said, “I am not for a path to citizenship for anybody who got here illegally… But I am for a path to legality for those people whose ties run so deeply in America that it would truly be a tragedy to try and rip their family apart.” But Rick Perry, the Texas governor has not only granted illegal aliens to pay the lower, in-state tuition at state colleges and universities, he also proposed legislation that allows them to receive tax-payer supported state education grants. In August the Obama administration began a new policy that subject to the illegal alien apprehended, only those with severe criminal records would be deported. Perry at a campaign stop in New Hampshire told the crowd that under his administration, “I call this a horrific policy, but the Obama administration has a catch and release policy where non-violent illegal aliens are released into the general public today. My policy will be to detain and to deport every illegal alien that we apprehend. That is how we stop that issue.”

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Bob Daemmerich/Texas Tribune

President Obama speaks to a crowd at the University of Texas on Aug. 9, 2010.

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