President Obama, referred to as “deporter-in-chief” by the nation’s largest latino organization, plans to deport hundreds of families, a move that could shake up the politics of the 2016 elections surrounding immigration. Obama’s move is a sign that Democrats are feeling bullish after Donald Trump’s rhetoric, but it could back fire.
In 2014, the National Council of La Raza declared President Obama “the deporter-in-chief” after pointing out Obama has deported more people than any previous president. Now the president is planning to deport hundreds of families, a move that could shake up the immigration debate and open an opportunity for Republicans.
The move by the president indicates Democrats are counting on Donald Trump’s rhetoric to keep the Latinos on their side, and it will likely work as long as Trump keeps the spot light on him. However, if the GOP can turn off Trump for just a minute, they could potentially shore up Latino voters who are passionate about immigration reform.
After all, the GOP has plenty of ammunition to draw from.
The last political party to pass an immigration reform policy was the Republican Party under the much revered Ronald Regan. And if those who benefited from the Republican Party’s immigration reform had children, they would be well above the voting age by now.
Who else would be in a better in a position to rally the Latino vote behind the Republican Party than their own parents, uncles, and cousins who now enjoy legal status because of the GOP?
Then there is former President George W. Bush’s strong record on immigration and who was liked by many Latino voters. Bush spent two years pushing for immigration reform. It was a top priority during his second term. He also rejected the idea of deporting every illegal immigrant.
“It is neither wise, nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the U.S. and send them back across the border,” Bush said.
Bush’s immigration reform proposal passed the House but was defeated in the Senate. Vermont Senator and Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was one of those Senators who voted to kill the bill.
But all the ammunition available to the GOP to shore up the Latino vote is useless as long as all we hear is Trump. As my mother who benefited from Ronald Regan’s immigration reform likes to say when talking about Trump, that Trump(a) needs to be quiet (the correct spelling is trompa and the term is Spanish slang for mouth).