The incident at a rally here on Saturday was only the latest time members of a group of young, undocumented immigrants who call themselves Dreamers have aggressively confronted Mrs. Clinton.
Behind the public confrontations is a quieter but concerted effort by a critical bloc of young Latinos to urge others like them not to automatically support Mrs. Clinton in an increasingly likely 2016 presidential campaign.
“If you’re going to pick politics over our families, you should know that you can’t take this constituency for granted,” said Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream, the largest national network of young undocumented immigrants.
The targeting of Mrs. Clinton comes amid growing disillusionment about Mr. Obama’s failure to enact immigration change and his handling of the arrival of thousands of Central American children on the United States border. The four members of the Dream Organizing Network who attended the rally here on Saturday urged Mrs. Clinton to support executive action to stop deportations.
Justice Department and Homeland Security officials are sending to the White House their final recommendations on what immigration executive actions should look like, according to four sources who have been briefed on the timeline…
There is growing concern about the range under consideration among activists. The bipartisan Senate bill included protections for about 8 million undocumented immigrants and some, like Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez who has been active in the immigration debate, have called for the administration to extend deferment to 3 to 5 million people. Two sources said the numbers they have heard fall below expectations, with one saying it is in the “low 7 figures” and another saying it is “3 million.”…
“We’ve been repeatedly disappointed and disrespected by this administration,” said Lorella Praeli of United We Dream, which plans to hold a press conference Wednesday explaining the organization defines successful administrative actions as including protections for the parents of DREAMers. “The administration has significant work to do to get right with the Latino and immigrant community.”…
“We’re going to have a fight on our hands with Republicans and need every part of the movement to be enthusiastic and lean into this fight,” veteran immigration advocate Frank Sharry said. “He’s not going to get criticized any less for somehow trying to go smaller.”
“You’d think that this administration, at this point in time, would want to do the right thing” in guaranteeing due process to children, said Mary Meg McCarthy of the Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center. In some ways, she said, their rights were actually better protected under George W. Bush: “The head of ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] at that time, Julie Myers, really believed in access to legal counsel, so there was at least that recognition.”…
With Bush, Nuñez said, “we kind of knew where he was coming from. His party hamstrung him in the end,’’ and the immigration reform he pushed for never came close to happening then, either. “But Obama says both things’’ — making promises and then pulling back from them when the political calculus changes — “and that’s what I find most frustrating.” After promising executive action on immigration by the end of this summer, “he came back to the immigration community and said, ‘Oops.’ ’’ Obama says he is waiting until after the upcoming election to act.
Many Latinos feel that four Democratic Senate candidates in close races—in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina—have chosen reelection over Latino interests. They feel Obama has done the same as his vulnerable colleagues, delaying executive action that could defer the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants…
“There is no question that the failure of the president to keep his promise yet again is demobilizing Latino voters,” said Gary Segura, cofounder of Latino Decisions, a polling and research firm. “There’s just no question in that. The enthusiasm rate has dropped. People are frustrated—actually, they’re more than frustrated. They’re angry.”
Segura has no doubt that a number of potential Latino votes for Democrats will be left on the table as a consequence of the president’s delay. It doesn’t mean Latinos are voting for Republicans. And it doesn’t mean there’s a massive boycott (though at least one group, Presente Action, is calling for Latinos to leave the Senate box unchecked in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina). Rather, these votes left uncast nationwide can be chocked up to a lack of enthusiasm…
“A lot of people are now looking at the alternative,” Executive Director Daniel Garza said. “They’re back at the crossroads, and I believe that’s what’s happening in America, that the Latino vote is back at the crossroads.”
Hispanic voters also may not like some of the liberal causes championed by Colorado’s Democrats. After they passed highly restrictive gun regulations, two state senators were recalled by voters, including Angela Giron who represented a previously Democratic district in 42 percent Hispanic Pueblo County.
In the Senate race, Udall has concentrated heavily on Republicans’ “war on women” and opposes any limits on late-term abortions. The moderately liberal Denver Post, endorsing Gardner, said Udall’s “obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.”
Evidently issues dear to the heart of affluent gentry liberals — gun control, environmental restrictions, abortion absolutism — are not all that appealing to many Hispanic voters. Another example: Abortion absolutist Wendy Davis lost 26 Hispanic counties to a nuisance candidate in Texas’s May Democratic primary. Some Hispanics own guns; others seek work in industries shut down by environmentalists…
The Obama Democrats have treated Hispanics as a passive and reliable source of votes. They have not delivered on issues Hispanics care about and instead have advanced the pet causes of gentry liberals. The evidence from Colorado, California and Texas suggests Hispanics may be noticing.
This number jumped out at me from the new Washington Post/ABC News poll: It showed that, among Latinos, 50 percent say it doesn’t matter who wins the Senate come November. And among those who do think it will matter, twice as many say it would be a good thing (30 percent) if the GOP took over as say it would be a bad thing (15 percent).
This is a demographic, we will remind you, that voted 71-27 for President Obama just two years ago. And only 15 percent are concerned about a GOP-controlled Senate.
While there is a fairly big margin of error (plus/minus 10 points) in this sub-sample, those are still striking numbers — and they comport nicely with the idea of Hispanics’ declining faith in the Democratic Party. And if you can’t get voters to believe something will change, it’s hard to make a convincing case to get them to vote.
Key House Republicans say congressional action on immigration is much more likely if Republicans take control of the Senate.
The effort, two Republicans say, would likely involve individual measures rather than a broad, comprehensive bill favored by Democrats.
“I actually think it’s more likely, if we take the Senate, that we will have immigration reform,” said Rep. Raul Labrador. “We will be able to do it on a step-by-step approach like most Republicans have been asking to do and I think the American people want.”…
“We’ll work with whoever leads the effort to ameliorate the president’s harsh deportation record,” Cesar Vargas, who heads Dream Action Coalition, said. “The question for us is, if the Senate bill was already draconian, what is this package going to lack?”
“It’s unconstitutional, illegal, and we don’t support it,” Priebus replied when a Tea Party activist asked him about the president’s plans for an executive amnesty on a conference call hosted by TheTeaParty.net on Monday evening.
“I don’t support it. It is wrong,” Priebus said. “It is un-American for a president to try and do such a thing. I want to make it clear: There is no part of me, there is not a molecule in my body that agrees with the president on executive amnesty.”
Priebus promised the hundreds of activists on the call that the Republican Party, if it takes the Senate on Nov. 4 in the upcoming midterm elections, will do everything in its power to stop Obama from proceeding on the executive amnesty. Priebus even boldly predicted that Republicans can and will succeed in stopping Obama if elected on Nov. 4.
“While I can’t speak for the legislature, I’m very confident we will stop that,” Priebus said. “We will do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen: Defunding, going to court, injunction. You name it. It’s wrong. It’s illegal. And for so many reasons, and just the basic fabric of this country, we can’t allow it to happen and we won’t let it happen. I don’t know how to be any stronger than that. I’m telling you, everything we can do to stop it we will.”