Saturday, June 16, 2012

Does Obama's immigration decision matter?

(Disclaimer: I'm not Latino, and I'm embarrassed to say I don't know anyone who's Latino, so the following is entirely conjecture)

President Obama issued an executive order which ends deportation of young illegal immigrants if they were brought here by their families and have graduated high school or served in the military.  While I wholeheartedly agree with the order, I wonder how much of an impact it will have on the election.  Of course, all the people directly affected by the order are unable to vote, so he won't gain an electoral advantage from them.  He is presumably counting on Latino citizens to be more likely to vote for him, but I don't know how much of an effect the order will have for them.

I would be amazingly pissed to be a Latino citizen in Arizona or another state where I'd have to worry about being pulled over for being brown.  Given the limited nature of the executive order (only young immigrants who graduated or served in the military), it won't keep cowboy police officers from continuing to hassle minorities, because there are still lots of illegal immigrants not covered by the order.  Citizens might know illegals affected by the policy, so Obama would get some benefit from that, but it doesn't seem like the order will have enough of an effect on people's day-to-day lives to move a lot of votes.

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