On Wednesday October 3rd 2012, the presidential debates are starting. This is going to be viewed by almost 90 millions Americans and people around the world. President Obama has kind of made clear his stance on immigration including a harsh policy on deportations, alleviating the courts with prosecutorial discretion and now allowing almost two millions of immigrant undocumented young people to get a work permit in the United States – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
On the other hand, based on the republican views, it seems immigration is more a problem than anything. To this date, most of us including immigration lawyers cannot really grasp the ‘plans’ of Governor Romney on immigration. Romney has mentioned he will not be repealing DACA but he is not going to renew it after the two years. As for other policies on immigration, Romney has not explained any sort of plans including for the skilled workers on EB2 or EB3 categories.
The Presidential debates will of course revolve around many important issues, yet both candidates should not forget that the United States’ demographic has now changed to a multi-cultural society. As such making sure that immigrants’ concerns are addressed might actually determine the outcome of this election. Accordingly, most surveys especially with Hispanics, clearly show that the issue is “immigration”. Therefore ignoring or trying to avoid the subject will not be helpful.
My advice to the debaters: do not ignore a growing and significant portion of the population, you might actually regret it!