Hispanic Business: Obama’s Hispanic Support Rises on Immigration Policy Shift

June 19, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama gained more support among Hispanic voters in key swing states with large Latino population, following his recent policy shift to stop deporting certain illegal young immigrants, said a new poll released on Monday.

The joint survey by Latino Decisions and America’s Voice polled Latino registered voters over the weekend in five battleground states key to this year’s presidential election, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia.

When asked how they felt about Obama’s decision announced last Friday, 49 percent of Hispanic voters said it would make them more enthusiastic about Obama, compared to 14 percent who were less enthusiastic.

The Obama administration on Friday announced a major immigration policy change that halts deporting certain young people brought to the country as children and provide them with temporary work permit.

Ahead of Obama’s announcement last Friday, many immigration reform advocates had stated that the record high levels of deportations of immigrants under the Obama administration was causing some Latinos to grow weary about the Obama reelection campaign, said Latino Decisions.

In a Latino Decisions and Univision News joint poll earlier this year, 53 percent of Hispanic voters said they were less enthusiastic about Obama in 2012 than they had been in 2009, while just 30 percent were more excited about the president. Moreover, ahead of Obama’s announcement, polls showed presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney narrowing the gap with the president in those five states.

The immigration policy shift could further boost Obama’s support among Hispanic voters, which lead a decent margin over Romney. Latinos are a growing demographic group that could play a significant role in deciding who would become the next president, particularly in several swing states, including Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Florida.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney criticized Obama in an interview aired on Sunday, saying the incumbent president’s recent decision on immigration policy is politically motivated in the election year.

Nearly 400,000 unauthorized immigrants were deported annually during the first two years of the Obama administration, about 30 percent more than the annual average during the second term of the Bush administration, said the Pew Research Center.

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