The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama Meeting With ‘Influential Hispanics’ on Immigration


CBS News’ Mark Knoller, examining Obama’s schedule for the day: “Also: Pres. Obama will renew his commitment to ‘immigration reform’ in meeting with those the WH calls ‘influential Hispanics.’”

1) He had two years with a heavily Democratic House and Senate, and didn’t do it. Even Markos Moulitsas is looking back at Obama’s explicit pledges from 2008 taking shots at Obama for “campaign promises were blatantly broken as Obama focused on other things, like the botched health care debate, cap and trade, and endless negotiations with Republicans who were engaged in a blatant and malicious campaign to stymie” blah blah blah, you get the idea.

2) So in the White House’s perspective, only “influential Hispanics” have an interest in immigration reform? Isn’t this an issue that effects just about every American and just about every immigrant/aspiring American from every corner of the world?

Looking at the available numbers for the legal immigration process, the “Hispanic” world is only a fraction of the immigration picture. According to DHS data, in 2010, the country with the most persons naturalized to become U.S. citizens was indeed Mexico, with 10.8 percent. But the next four countries were in Asia: India with 9.9 percent, the Philippines with 5.7 percent, China with 5.5 percent, and Vietnam with 3.1 percent. Collectively, Asia represented 40.6 percent, while South America was only 9.4 percent, Central America was 4.1 percent, and “Other North America” – which excludes Central America and the Caribbean – was 12.2 percent. (Keep in mind, that figure also includes Canadians.) There is some fluxuation from year to year – in 2008, Mexicans made up 22.2 percent of U.S. naturalizations – but Asia and Africa are becoming proportionally larger share of our legal immigrant population

Obviously, our southern border with Mexico means that a disproportionate share of illegal immigration issues deal with that country. But Obama’s never been big on a border fence, and the current administration approach is… unclear. Texas Democrats are complaining that their state doesn’t have enough unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for the job and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, obviously, finds Obama’s efforts almost laughable:


I wonder if those “Travel Not Recommended” signs will come up in today’s meeting.

Tags: Barack Obama , Immigration Reform


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