With the election less than 48 hours away, it seems there is very little time for either of the presidential candidates to make a difference in the minds of the voters. It is likely that voters have already made up their minds as to which candidate to cast their vote for, based on what they heard in the numerous debates and speeches that both candidates have participated in over the entirety of the campaign season. According to Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, this is very bad news for presidential candidate Mitt Romney in terms of how he has represented his immigration policy throughout his campaign.
Although immigration has not necessarily been one of the most hotly contested debates of this election, it has been specifically addressed by both candidates as is it of primary concern to many voters. Throughout his campaign, Romney has taken a strong, unwavering stance against illegal immigration. He has made it clear since the GOP primary that he does not intend to implement any kind of amnesty policy, and he believes that as a nation we need to crack down on illegal immigration, specifically from Mexico and Latin America. Although his stance has weakened a bit since the primary, Vicente Fox believes that it’s too late for Romney – he took too strong a stance too early on in the race, fully alienating a significant group of voters in the United States, a group that gets stronger (in terms of population) with each passing year.
Although Fox criticizes both candidates’ recent conduct in the campaign, he believes Romney’s support of hardline policies like “self-deportation,” in which the undocumented are “encouraged” to leave on their own by making life hard for them here in the United States, will hurt him more than Obama’s. Fox has suggested that perhaps Romney has chosen to address immigration this way because his camp has decided that they have no need for the Latino vote Perhaps the most interesting part of this whole story is that the Latino may have been one of the easier groups to seize from Obama – in his 2008 bid for office he promised a comprehensive immigration reform and failed to deliver during his first four years, and his administration’s record-high numbers of deportation have been publicly criticized over and over again. Fox thinks that Romney has made a grave mistake, as his position towards illegal immigrants has been consistently “unclear or disrespectful.” When he discusses Latinos and Hispanics, he reveals a negative view of how they operate in our society – it seems that Romney sees very little worth to their presence here, although his own father is an immigrant from Mexico. This negative position has clearly manifested itself in how the public views him – in some polls, Obama is leading Romney by 50 points in terms of Latino voters.
Despite his specific criticisms of candidate Romney, Fox was severely critical of how both candidates have been conducting themselves recently. He believes they are more focused on simply disproving the other candidate as opposed to actually addressing the issues at hand. While this will, of course, be more effective for one candidate than the other, Fox has little respect for either candidate choosing to act this way. He does, however, believe both candidates have the potential to change, and he is now primarily focused on the White House – although the election is likely now the most pressing issue for both candidates, Fox urges both candidates to consider the following question: “How are you going to get the energy of the nation to move ahead?”
I find this rather intriguing that as the Latino population is increasing, their presence in our political system, whether directly or indirectly, will also increase. I believe that Latinos, like any other minority group, have the capacity to voice their opinions as a group if they organize themselves in an effective manner. Obama and Romney have not particularly favored policies in immigrants favor; however, what they fail to consider is the Latino citizens in the United States whose vote is dependent or partly dependent on their immigration policies.