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Obama’s Immigration Policy Reform Helps Democrats But Benefits for Hispanics Remain to be Seen

HispanicIt has been approximately one month since Barack Obama announced his plan to allow amnesty to eligible undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States and in that time it appear as though the Democratic Party is on the upswing following a less-than-favorable midterm election. The reason is not because the President’s plan for deferred deportation went over well with the general public. In fact, the plan was overwhelmingly opposed by the vast majority of American adults according to several polls. Where it is popular, however, is with the nation’s Hispanic community which is decidedly relevant and which has proven that it clearly has a vested interest in the issue.

Increased Support Among Hispanics

The reason Democrats will benefit from such overwhelming support from a “minority” group is that the Hispanic community in the US is only a minority in the technical sense of the word. That is to say, they are hardly a minority anymore and when it comes to immigration reform, they are the ones who care about the issue. That is enough to make them a collective force in how things play out. According to a poll conducted by Pew Research recently, more than 80 percent of Hispanics said they supported the President’s plan. In another Gallup poll, nearly 54 percent expressed support for the plan.

As a result, Obama’s approval rating among Hispanic adults has increased with polls showing that it is currently in the mid-60 percentile after spending the better part of the last several months in the low-50 percentile. The increase in approval rating among this particular targeted demographic is virtually unprecedented. He did win about 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2012 election but through the course of the two years between then and the immigration policy announcement last month, his approval number dropped roughly 20 points. This was seen by the Democratic Party in general and by the Obama administration in particular as a means by which this important demographic could be won back.

Any Victory is a Good Victory

Many on both sides of the aisle in Washington consider it a small victory for the President and his Party, but still a victory nonetheless. Democrats admittedly will not be able to rest on the laurels thereof for very long and in all likelihood the veritable honeymoon that resulted from the announcement of the plan has already begun to wane. While this may not do much for the Obama administration for the remainder of his term, it does indicate that Democratic voters who have shied away from supporting Obama over the course of his presidency may in fact return to a pre-Obama level of support for the Party before the 2016 elections.

Despite the good news among political officials, many still wonder if the announcement was more a genuine attempt to help undocumented immigrants or rather to garner much needed support from an increasingly relevant demographic. Already there has been some uproar from immigration advocates who say that the President’s plan does not do enough to support the cause of the Hispanic community because not enough undocumented immigrants are eligible for the provision. Only time will tell how things play out.

If you or someone you know is in need of legal counsel regarding an immigration issue, please contact the immigration attorneys at the Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas or call their offices at 512-215-5225.