Obama to Address Hispanic Group Crucial to Re-election

Posted June 22nd, 2012 at 7:55 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama will address a group of Hispanic leaders in Florida Friday, where he will likely receive a warm welcome for his recent decision to exempt some young illegal immigrants from deportation.

Mr. Obama will appear before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials one week after announcing a directive that would allow undocumented immigrants brought to the United States by their parents to remain in the country for at least two years, as long as they are in school or serving in the military. The directive is similar to the Dream Act, proposed legislation that did not get enough support for passage in Congress.

The president's new initiative was well received among Hispanics, one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S. and a key voting bloc in national elections. Mr. Obama won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2008 election, and holds a huge lead over his presumptive Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.

Romney spoke to the group Thursday, and promised to seek a long-term solution to illegal immigration that would replace Mr. Obama's temporary measures, but gave no specific ideas. During the long primary election season, the former Massachusetts governor stated his opposition to the Dream Act.

Romney told the group that Mr. Obama has taken their support for granted, given the sputtering U.S. economy and the 11-percent unemployment rate among Hispanics.