Las Vegas, NV – One year ago tomorrow, President Barack Obama used his executive authority to establish historic new protections for undocumented immigrants by expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and starting the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program to help keep families together through deportation relief. The next day, he laid out a compelling case for his actions to fix our broken immigration system and live up to our shared values as Americans here in Las Vegas at Del Sol High School.
The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush would all dismantle the President’s executive actions on immigration. Ending these protections would return us to a failed system that hurts our economy and tears immigrant families apart. At the same time, Republicans are blocking the President’s executive orders in federal courts and still obstructing bipartisan immigration reform in Congress.
This is an issue that directly impacts thousands of Nevada families. According to the Pew Research Center, Nevada has the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants of any U.S. state. Nevada also has the highest share of undocumented immigrants in the labor force and the highest share of students with undocumented immigrant parents.
“One year since President Obama established DAPA and expanded DACA to provide relief for millions of immigrant families, every single Republican presidential candidate is hell-bent on reversing these critical protections if they make it to the White House. Whether it’s Marco Rubio’s vow to end DACA or Donald Trump’s mass deportation pledge, the Republican message to undocumented immigrants in Nevada and across the country is clear: you are not wanted here. Instead of working with Democrats on immigration reform that will strengthen the economy and ensure that undocumented workers are paying taxes and contributing to social programs, Republicans are more interested in preserving a broken immigration system to pander to their primary voters.” — Nevada State Democratic Party Press Secretary Stewart Boss
In 2012, much was made of the fact that Mitt Romney lost the Hispanic vote by 44 points. According to recent modeling by Latino Decisions, a Republican candidate will have to garner at least 45 percent of the Hispanic vote in Nevada to compete. With so much offensive rhetoric flying around the campaign trail this year, the GOP’s struggles have gotten even worse. The view that Republicans are hostile to the Latino community has spiked dramatically according to a new survey of Latino voters in battleground states.
With the 2016 Republican presidential candidates feuding over their extreme, hardline immigration positions, Bloomberg reports that Republican strategists are getting increasingly nervous:
Cruz’s comments, on a program with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, set off a war of words between the two senators, both children of immigrants, with each arguing the other was soft on illegal immigration. And that is raising concerns among some party strategists that the high-profile fight could further alienate Latino and Asian-American voters, wrecking the party’s chances in a general election where 30 percent of the electorate is projected to be non-white.
“This is disaster on all kinds of different levels,” said John Feehery, a veteran Republican strategist and lobbyist. “I’ve always been concerned that if we don’t get immigration right we have no chance to win this. And right now it doesn’t look like we are getting it right or we’re going to get it right.”
Republican strategists are nervous that a race to the right on immigration—already a vulnerable issue for the party with Latino and Asian-American voters—could sink them in the general election.