The Latino-shaped hole in Joe Biden's electability argument

But on the other hand, Biden is scarcely even asking for Latino support. About the best he has done is quiet damage control after the July debate last year when he offended immigrant-rights groups by saying unauthorized immigrants need to “get in line” and that it was good policy to prioritize legal status for richer, high-skilled immigrants.

This is not so surprising, since Biden has chosen to barely campaign at all. His strategy from the start has been to limit campaign events, town halls, and media interviews, and coast to the nomination on name recognition and establishment support. Even Rachel Maddow has been reduced to begging for an interview on the air. This is obviously because Biden is suffering serious cognitive decline, and any public events pose the risk of yet another rambling word salad that will be passed around online.

Unlike Sanders (who has a very solid record on civil rights and racial justice issues) and black voters, Latinos have good reason to be suspicious of Biden. As a senator in the ’90s, he supported several harsh war-on-crime bills that made it easier to detain and deport even legal immigrants. More importantly, Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, who pursued mass deportations with such fervor that immigrant rights activists dubbed him “deporter-in-chief.”