Obama Immigration Executive Orders Update: Hillary Clinton's Latino Support Drops Heavily If Executive Actions Not Renewed
President Barack Obama's latest immigration executive action is only temporary and could be expired in 2017 when the next president is sworn into office, but based on new polling data, immigration will remain an important topic for the Latino community during the 2016 presidential election.
Polling data conducted by Latino Decisions for Presente.org, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), and Mi Familia Vota revealed the odds for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to win the election could depend on the Latino vote and her stance on immigration. Although Clinton has treaded carefully on the topic of immigration, Latino Decisions found support for her could drop by nearly 48 percent if she does not renew Obama's executive action.
If the circumstance was Clinton not renewing Obama's executive action in 2017 for legal work permits for undocumented immigrants, 37 percent of Latinos would still support her while 55 percent made it clear not to vote for the former New York senator.
If the circumstance was Clinton would renew Obama's executive action, Clinton's odds to win the Latino vote increased to 85 percent while 11 percent said they were unlikely.
With 64 percent of Latino respondents stating they know an undocumented immigrant, 73 percent of Latinos said they would support Obama to use additional executive orders especially for the remaining undocumented immigrants not covered in his Nov. 20 national address. While 34 percent of Latino respondents said they don't know an undocumented immigrant, 21 percent also stated they will not support Obama if he issued another executive action.
According to Presente.org Managing Director Mariana Ruiz, the poll was conducted to show how "crucial to capture the Latino community's position" on the issues.
Latino Decisions Co-Founder Matt Barreto noted immigration was the top issue among Latinos leading up to the 2014 midterm election. For the 2016 election season, Barreto said immigration will be important for two reasons. The first reason is to see the Republican Party's handling on potentially passing comprehensive immigration reform as they will have the majority in Congress. If no legislation is passed, then the next president has to decide if Obama's immigration executive actions should be renewed or expired in 2017.
Barreto told Latin Post that none of the Republican Party's potential presidential candidates will match President George W. Bush's 2004 Latino turnout, and 80 percent of Latinos showed opposition towards the GOP if they succeed with efforts to defund or revert executive actions.
"Their positioning on the executive action ... is an important question they have to answer," said Barreto, adding Republicans should learn from 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's mistakes on appealing to the Latino community.
Mi Familia Vota Executive Director Ben Monterroso acknowledged that Republicans who do not support immigration reforms are not only hurting themselves but their political party.
"This survey makes it abundantly clear that Latino voters will support presidential candidates committed to keeping President Obama's executive actions on immigration policy in place. This poll also evidences the importance of immigration policy and immigrant rights to Latino voters in the context of the 2016 Presidential election," said NALAAC Executive Director Oscar Chacon in a statement. "If Republican or Democratic presidential candidates hope to attract Latino voters to their respective camps in 2016, they will need to come up with just solutions to our broken, obsolete and inhumane immigration policy."
The Latino Decisions poll was conducted between Nov. 20 and Nov. 22 including 405 Latino registered voters nationwide.
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