All the news last week didn’t change the fact that Hispanics don’t put immigration as their number one priority. Instead, they are most concerned with jobs and health coverage. President Obama may want to review the most recent Gallup poll and perhaps take a pivot toward jobs during this election season.
Maybe this is a prime opportunity for Mitt Romney and the Republicans to chip away at some of the Latino support for the current president. In fact, many would argue that current events should already help draw the strongly Catholic minority toward the Conservative side of the ballot. Hispanics may be surprised that their beliefs: conservative religious, importance of families, and strong work ethic are very in line with the GOP platform. Additionally, Republicans are not against immigration, instead they are trying to control a tsunami of illegal border crossings when so many others are waiting to enter the country through legal channels. After all, this is a country made up of immigrants.
Hispanics may also be surprised to learn that unions, who once worked hard to benefit the underpaid workers, now seem to be focused more on preserving their strength and leaders benefits and less concerned with the individuals. The caste system of places like Mexico, though less defined than some countries still make it difficult for the poor to rise to a higher bracket. Understanding this, immigrants from Central America (and Cuba especially), should be wary of a party that pushes entitlement programs. Handouts don’t encourage personal responsibility. Instead they promote a lackadaisical attitude which takes away the desire for a better life and replaces it with an acceptance of the status quo and continued dependence on others. In the end, as in Cuba, the government owns you and everything you do. Contrast this to the many small businesses owned and operated by minorities. Independence, hard work, and the idea of growing as big as one wishes are more in line with Republican ideals than Democrats.
Now is the time for Republicans to reach out to this large voting group and let them know this is not a rich versus poor campaign but one pushing for more personal responsibility and individual rights. Job opportunities for all are a priority of the GOP.
Born here or immigrants, Hispanics we know are usually not looking for a hand out but rather the opportunity to live the American Dream.