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Obama pledges immigration reform early in 2nd term

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law, Immigration Trends, Legislative Reform Leave a comment

Obama pledges immigration reform early in 2nd term

CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) — In his most specific pledge yet toU.S. Hispanics, President Barack Obama said Saturday he would seek to tackle immigration policy in the first year of a second term. But he cautioned that he would need an amenable Congress to succeed.

“This is something I care deeply about,” he told Univision. “It’s personal to me.”

Obama said in the television interview that he would work on immigration this year, but said he can’t get support from Republicans in Congress. Obama also tried to paint his Republican presidential challenger, Mitt Romney, as an extremist onimmigration, saying that Romney supports laws that would potentially allow for people to be stopped and asked for citizenship papers based on an assumption that they are illegal.

“So what we need is a change either of Congress or we need Republicans to change their mind, and I think this has to be an important debate during — throughout the country,” Obama said.

Romney aides have said that the former Massachusetts governor supports laws that would require employers to verify the legal status of workers they employ.

“President Obama only talks about immigration reform when he’s seeking votes,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “Then-candidate Obama promised to tackle immigration reform in his first year. More than three years into his term, America is still waiting for his immigration plan.”

Hispanics are an increasingly important voting bloc in presidential elections. Obama won a sizable majority of the Hispanic vote in the 2008 election and his campaign is hoping for similar results this November.

Obama spoke to Univision, a network widely watched by Latinos in the United States, while in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas.


Foreign-Filed I-601 Waivers: New Procedure starting late Spring/Early 2012

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Consular Processing, I-601 Waivers, Immigration Law, Immigration Trends, Legislative Reform, Processing of Applications and Petitions 2 Comments

In a teleconference on March 9, 2012, USCIS announced plans to transition all usually foreign filed I-601 applications for unlawful presence, criminal, misrepresentation, and other kinds of inadmissibility waivers to one central Lockbox filing location in the U.S. The practice now is to submit the waiver filing with the USCIS office connected to the foreign consulate. The current process has resulted in a lot of delays and longer wait times for a final decision at certain consulates who have less adjudicators available to decide the waivers. In theory, this will be better for applicants if they can reduce the average wait time and the efficiency of adjudication.

 

Please note: This new process Foreign-Filed Waiver Lockbox procedure has nothing to do with the provisional waiver process that should be in effect by late 2012 and proposed earlier in the year.

 

What this new process would do:

 

Procedural change

 

Waiver applications can only be submitted to the Lockbox in the US after the applicant has attended the immigrant visa interview abroad at the consulate and the consulate officer determines that the applicant is eligible to file a waiver. The waiver would be filed with the Lockbox, in Phoenix, which forwards the petition to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center for adjudication. USCIS expects to train 26 officers on waivers to handle the expected increased workload.

 

Proposed Benefits to this new process:

 

  • Should be faster for applicants – Goal is adjudication in 6 months.  They also hope a new centralized place to submit the foreign filed waivers should stop great variations on processing times at different consulates; overseas offices cannot grow easily – some USCIS offices abroad only have one officer to decide these case and the backlogs created are inevitable.  In contrast, service centers are huge (can pull staff from other units) and can respond quickly to increases in receipts of applications to avoid backlogs. 14 officers will start at NSC and will add more for a total of 26 to handle over 23,000 waivers submitted each year.  Right now there are 4 adjudicators in Mexico and in some cases 1 in other offices.
  • Case status info will be available online through USCIS’s website once the application is filed and receipted. This is a great addition and only available currently with some offices.
  • All cases will be adjudicated in order of being received.
  • Process applies to all I-212s (Advance Permission to Reapply After Removal Packages) filed with Inadmissibility Waivers as well. I-212 waivers can be sent to the Lockbox or still filed with the local offices.
  • E -notification will be available – if you provide email address – can get receipt number emailed to you.
  • Implementation of this new policy is expected in late spring, early summer 2012, around Memorial Day.

 

Other important notes:

  • Estimates of 23,000 waivers per year with 26 adjudicators allows 885 waivers to be reviewed per adjudicator per year. 885 waivers in 252 business days in a year is an average of 3.5 waivers per day, per adjudicator, or about 2.5 hours spent on each case. A great improvement on certain offices now with 1 adjudicator.
  • Concurrent I-130 and I-601 filing is not available.
  • The concurrent I-485 and I-601 filing procedures will not change – Follow the local filing instructions.
  • Applicants cannot apply from Havana – must file with intrasection there (only 10 cases a year)
  • There could be certain situations overseas where USCIS offices are available and could be faster for expedites than lockbox decisions which are expected to take no more than 6 months on average.
  • Transition period for CDJ (Juarez) cases – between 75-79% are filed at CDJ. Now takes two months to review if instantly approvable. If not, the case referred to another office to adjudicate.  For the first six months of this new process, the applicant will have the choice to file at a Lockbox or at CDJ. After this, will then all go to Lockbox filings. So the CDJ Pilot Program will be over within 6 months of this procedure coming in effect.
  • As of today’s teleconference, USCIS is not sure if it will be transferring pending cases from consulates at the time the new procedure becomes effective or if USCIS offices abroad will continue to decide those pending cases.
  • Refiles as the Lockbox if the NBC denies the case will be available if the applicant chooses this route instead of appealing the denial to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office which could take over a year.
  • LockBoxSupport@dhs.gov – for questions and to inquire about the lockbox status.
  • The main reason the waivers will be rejected will be for lack of signatures (must be original), lack of proper fees, and missing information like name, address, and DOB.  Must follow directions for submitting form with most recent directions.
  • Do not file the waiver before the interview or it will be denied.  An applicant may not file the waiver until they are given permission at the visa interview.
  • Officers conducting the visa interview will send inadmissibility and case information visa an electronic database to the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) so adjudicators will have the case information readily available.
  • If waiver submissions are duplicated (ex: one foreign filed and one US filed), the duplicated waiver will be sent to NSC so one officer will adjudicate the two waivers.
  • Additional evidence should be sent to the NSC, not to the Lockbox.
  • Not all of the officers are experience adjudicators, but they will be receiving training. If outside support is necessary, the support team will also receive training before they start adjudicating.
  • Applicant will receive decision by mail.
  • If waiver is denied and person chooses to refile instead of appeal, they applicant will not need a second interview but will be able to send a new waiver to the Lockbox.

 

 

Expedites:

 

  • Requests need to be made in writing and sent to the Lockbox.
  • Expedite request requirements will be the same as before.
  • No notification will be provided if denied
  • Cases needing immediate attention to adjudicate the I-601 will have to be discussed with eh consulate interviewing officer.

This is a positive step in streamlining how waivers are adjudicated and we hope that the decreased wait time will allow families to be unified faster than before.

 

Ruby L. Powers – I-601 Waiver Attorney – Houston Immigration Attorney

www.RubyPowersLaw.com

 


How to not to be fooled by US Immigration Law

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

How to not to be fooled by US Immigration Law

Immigration law is not always logical. I remember before I was an immigration attorney I thought there could be no way the U.S. Government would keep foreigners who married US citizens from living in the country. “That is crazy!” I thought. My husband and I, before I was an immigration attorney, also didn’t know that mail from the US Department of Homeland Security would not be forwarded even when we had temporarily forwarded our mail for summer internships. That was an expensive mistake.  Now, I know differently but only with time, education, and experience.

As an immigration attorney with a firm that provides solely immigration law services, I help people in may situations, some routine and some complicated.  Many consultations start with people filing immigration papers on their own, or with a notario, and then getting to visa appointments to find out surprisingly that they need waivers. Or, consultations where people are shocked, just like I was beforehand, that there would be complications for certain foreign-nationals to getting approved their visas or green cards if they were married to a US citizen.  Some file the wrong documents or the wrong forms completely.  Some don’t realize their criminal past will affect their immigration future.  There are a lot of policies that aren’t obvious from the instructions forms and not everything on the internet is true.  I wanted to pass on some tips I hope will help people navigate their immigration law experience:

  1. What I suggest from being a US immigration attorney, from going through the process myself with my husband before I was an attorney 10 years ago, and all the consultations I have had, is for families embarking on an immigration process to get a legal consultation with a competent immigration attorney before starting any immigration law process.
  2. Do your research; consult with an immigration attorney with a good reputation, good reviews, and experience in the area you need help.
  3. Don’t try doing the process yourself without getting a consultation or at least doing some strong research at the minimum.  So many times I see people in my consultations having done a lot on their own and making many mistakes, losing filing fees, and in some cases their actions are impossible for me to correct by the time they seek help.
  4. Don’t just go to the cheapest person or attorney because you think you can’t afford anything else.  You might be surprised, an attorney who charges for a consultation, might actually have very reasonable prices. The attorney who gives free consultations, might not be the best option or the cheapest. From what I see a lot of the time, trying to save money by cutting on quality of legal service, almost always comes back to haunting the client and requiring that they hire someone to fix the mess created before.  I am saying this from years of experience watching actual cases and learning about them in consultations.
  5. Similarly, PLEASE, PLEASE, do not go to a ‘Notario’ or someone who says it is just a form and they help you fill out forms. They are not bound by a State Bar, they don’t have to deal with the legal repercussions, and they don’t know the law.
  6. If something happened in the past and you don’t have records for it, you might consider applying for FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) response. You need to know what the Government knows.
  7. Don’t listen to what you have heard from others about immigration. Your brother’s wife’s uncle’s neighbor’s cousin’s friend’s case is not exactly like yours.  A lot of times you hear things from others and want to rely on that to make your decisions. It like a horrible game of ‘telephone’ but often the facts are so different there is no way to compare the cases and their outcomes.
  8. If you do take matters into your own hands, please make copies, keep copies of everything you file and send anything to the US Government with a tracking service.  This will empower you and also your future attorney if you need help in the future. Like I usually say, you need a copy of everything the Government has until you become a US citizen so keep a file available, scan it, maybe even email it to yourself in a secure file to have it ready in case of emergency.
  9. If you ever get a response from the Government with a deadline, please seek legal counsel ASAP.  In many cases, if you don’t respond or don’t respond properly, the case will be denied and you could be sent a Notice to Appear for immigration court proceedings.
  10. If you have had a consultation or two or three and they have similar conclusions, they are probably right. If one consultation sounds too good to be true after listening to others that weren’t so hopeful, bring up those issues and confront the attorney with your concerns. If there is nothing to do at the time, get a consultation every year or whenever you hear of major changes in laws, there could be a change that helps your situation.

By Ruby L. Powers, Houston-based US Immigration Attorney


Twelve Things to consider about the Provisional Waiver – I-601A waiver

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Consular Processing, I-601 Waivers, Immigration Trends, Legislative Reform, Processing of Applications and Petitions Leave a comment

Twelve Things to consider about the Provisional Waiver – I-601A waiver 

Law Office of Ruby L. Powers – Immigration Law Firm focused on Waivers

  1. It is not yet available (as of April 2012), but everything points to it being available later in the year.
  2. You must already have an approved I-130 or I-360. It can’t be pending.
  3. If you are in removal proceedings, DHS is still considering how to address provisional waiver requests from individuals in removal proceedings.
  4. The standard of hardship for I-601 waivers will be the same for I-601A waivers.
  5. It only waives the unlawful presence bar that would be triggered upon leaving the US, thus no guarantee of readmission.
  6. Once approved, you still have to leave the US to attend the visa appointment.
  7. It does not provide lawful status while pending.
  8. It does not stop the accrual of unlawful presence (used in calculation of the bar).
  9. It provides no interim benefits like an EAD (employment authorization) or advance parole.
  10. Unlike the I-601 waiver, the I-601A is only for spouses and children of US citizens.
  11. Unlike the I-601 waiver which covers other ground of inadmissibility, the I-601A will only cover unlawful presence inadmissibility.
  12. We are all excited about this making the wait for family members a lot less!

I-601 Waiver Immigration Attorney Ruby L. Powers – April 12, 2012


Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers – March 30, 2012 – I-601A waiver

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Consular Processing, I-601 Waivers, Immigration Trends, Legislative Reform, Processing of Applications and Petitions Leave a comment

Reminder: This proposed process is not in effect. To learn more, read this alert.

What USCIS Proposes

On March 30, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register requesting public comment on its plan to create an alternative process for certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for and receive a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility while still in the United States, if they can demonstrate that being separated from their U.S. citizen spouse or parent would cause that U.S. citizen relative extreme hardship. The goal of the proposed process change is to reduce the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members go through the consular process overseas to obtain an immigrant visa.

Why We Propose It

Currently, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who have accrued a certain period of unlawful presence in the United States are barred from returning to the United States for as long as 3 or 10 years if they leave the country. Immediate relatives can obtain a waiver of the unlawful presence bar if they show that a U.S. citizen spouse or parent will experience extreme hardship if they are required to remain outside the United States. The immediate relative also would have to show that they warrant a favorable exercise of discretion.   But in order to obtain the waiver, these individuals must depart the United States and wait abroad while the waiver is processed.

Under the current process, therefore, U.S. citizens suffer unnecessarily long periods of separation while family members go through consular processing overseas to obtain an immigrant visa. The proposed process change lessens the length of separation by reducing inefficiencies in the current immigrant visa process. USCIS believes that this proposed change will streamline the immigrant visa process for immediate relatives whose only ground of inadmissibility is unlawful presence. USCIS plans to adjudicate the provisional waiver application in the United States before the immediate relative departs for his or her immigrant visa interview, which will reduce the length of time immediate relatives must spend abroad for consular processing.

What the Proposed Process Would Do

Under the proposed process, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who would need a waiver of unlawful presence in order to obtain an immigrant visa could file a new Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, before leaving the United States to obtain an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. All individuals eligible for this streamlined process are still required to depart the United States and must meet all legal requirements for issuance of an immigrant visa and admission to the United States.

An individual may seek a provisional unlawful presence waiver if he or she:

  • Is physically present in the United States;
  • Is at least 17 years of age;
  • Is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition (I-130) classifying him or her as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen;
  • Is actively pursuing the immigrant visa process and has already paid the Department of State immigrant visa processing fee;
  • Is not subject to any other grounds of inadmissibility other than unlawful presence; and
  • Can demonstrate that the refusal of admission would result in extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent.

An immediate relative would not be eligible for the proposed process if he or she:

  • Has an application already pending with USCIS for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident;
  • Is subject to a final order of removal or reinstatement of a prior removal order;
  • May be found inadmissible at the time of the consular interview for reasons other than unlawful presence; or
  • Has already been scheduled for an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Allowing immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to receive provisional waivers in the United States before departure for their immigrant visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate means that:

  • Immigrant visa processing times will improve because of greater capacity in the United States and fewer case transfers between USCIS and the Department of State;
  • Immigrant visas will be issued without unnecessary delay (if the individual is otherwise eligible); and
  • The period of separation and hardship many U.S. citizens would face due to prolonged separation from their family members will be minimized.

Next Steps

This new process will be implemented only after USCIS publishes a final rule in the Federal Register with an effective date. USCIS will consider all comments received as part of the proposed rulemaking process before publishing the final rule. The current waiver process remains in place and will continue to remain for those who may not be eligible for a provisional waiver.

DO NOT file an application or request a provisional waiver at this time. Any applications filed with USCIS based on this NPRM will be rejected and the application package returned to the applicant, including any fees, until the final rule is issued and the change becomes effective.

For additional information, please see our I-601A Questions and Answers document, linked at the upper-right side of this page.

This page can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/provisionalwaiver

 


USCIS Office of Public Engagement: USCIS News Release –USCIS Proposes Process Change for Certain Waivers of Inadmissibility

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

USCIS Office of Public Engagement: USCIS News Release –USCIS Proposes Process Change for Certain Waivers of Inadmissibility

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent this bulletin at 03/30/2012 11:54 AM EDT

Dear Stakeholders,

  

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  in the Federal Register outlining its proposal to create an alternative process for filing certain waivers of inadmissibility relating to unlawful presence.

 

The alternative process is not in effect and will is not be available to potential applicants until USCIS publishes a final rule with an effective date in the Federal Register. The public is welcome to submit comments to this proposed rule during a 60-day comment period on www.regulations.gov through June 1, 2012. For more information about the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, please visit www.uscis.gov/provisionalwaiver.

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Office of Public Engagement

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

www.uscis.gov

 

 


3,100 undocumented immigrants held in largest-ever sweep

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

Article

Federal agents arrested more than 3,100 unauthorized immigrants last week in the country’s biggest-ever operation targeting criminal and fugitive immigrants for deportation, immigration officials said Monday.

 

Gillian Christensen, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, told msnbc.com that the agency has focused on deporting known criminals since President Barack Obama took office. Now, 50 percent of deported immigrants have prior criminal records. In 2008, about 30 percent had criminal records.

 

There were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2008, about 4 percent of the nation’s population, according to the Pew Research Center. Last year, the service deported 396,000 people.


Illegal crossings fall at US-Mexico border, but tensions remain high

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

Illegal crossings fall at US-Mexico border, but tensions remain high

By Julia Preston

updated 3/11/2012 12:11:18 AM 

PHOENIX — The impact of steep declines in the number of migrants illegally crossing the border with Mexico in recent years has rippled across Arizona and other border states, with federal and local law enforcement seeing big drops in crime related to illegal immigration.


USCIS Office of Public Engagement: Form I-601 Centralized Lockbox Filing Engagement

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent this bulletin at 03/02/2012 04:04 PM EST

Dear Stakeholder-

 

USCIS invites you to participate in a teleconference on March 9, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. EST to discuss the transition to centralized Lockbox filing of Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, filed by applicants outside the United States.

 

Currently, applicants for immigrant visas outside the United States must file a Form I-601 at a U.S. Embassy or consulate if a consular officer finds the individual inadmissible for a reason that may be waived. USCIS will phase-in a new requirement that Forms I-601 be filed and adjudicated in the U.S. This procedural change will also affect the filing and adjudication of Forms I-212 and I-290B associated with Form I-601 filings. USCIS is undertaking this change to more efficiently centralize operational processes and improve customer service with standardized filing and adjudication procedures.

 

During this session, USCIS will provide an overview of the Form I-601, Form I-212, and Form I-290B centralized lockbox filing and address questions and comments from participants.

 

This new process change is separate and distinct from the Notice of Intent that was published in the Federal Register on January 09, 2012, which outlines a proposed process for provisional unlawful presence waivers.

 

To Participate in the Session

Any interested parties may participate in this event by telephone. All participants must respond to this invitation. Please contact the Office of Public Engagement at public.engagement@dhs.gov by Thursday March 8, 2012referencing “Lockbox” in the subject line of your email. Please also include your full name and the organization you represent, if any, in the body of the email.

 

To Join the Call

On the day of the engagement please use the information below to join the session by phone. We recommend calling in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the teleconference.

 

Call-in Number:             1-888-955-8940      

Overseas Toll Number:             1-630-395-0190      

Passcode: Lockbox

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Office of Public Engagement

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

www.uscis.gov


Deportations Plummet Under Obama’s New Immigration Policy

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

Article Found Here

President Obama’s efforts to tighten the leash on U.S. immigration enforcement have caused a sharp drop in the number of deportations, according to a report by the Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. In the last three months of 2011, following the administration’s directive to curb deportations of illegal immigrants without criminal records or who came to the United States as a child or student (among other discretionary factors), deportations have plummeted.

The number of deportation proceedings instituted from October to December 2011 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plunged to 39,331, a 33-percent decline from the 58,639 filings documented the previous quarter. “Filings are typically lower at this time of year, but even adjusting for this seasonal drop-off and for late reporting,” the report noted, “there appear to have been over 10,000 fewer deportation filings than would have been expected last quarter.”

The chief priority of the administration’s June 17, 2011 directive was to restrict most deportations to those immigrants with criminal records. “It makes no sense to spend our enforcement resources on these low-priority cases when they could be used with more impact on others, including individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes,” Cecilia Muñoz, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, wrote last August in a White House blog post. “This means more immigration enforcement pressure where it counts the most, and less where it doesn’t,” she added. “That’s the smartest way to follow the law while we stay focused on working with the Congress to fix it.”

However, according to Syracuse University researchers, there is “little evidence” that immigrants with criminal records are representing a higher ratio of overall deportations. In fact, during the purported timeframe, only 1,300, or 3.3 percent, were to be deported as alleged “aggravated felons.” Conversely, from July to September 2011, 3.8 percent were alleged “aggravated felons,” while six months ago the proportion was 4 percent. The researchers added:

An additional 4,193 were charged by ICE for other alleged criminal activity last quarter. When considered together with alleged “aggravated felons,” the proportion of filings in the last quarter seeking deportation on grounds of any alleged criminal activity was still less than one out of seven (14%). And even this small slice is continuing to decline. Two years ago, slightly more than one of six (17.3 percent) were alleged to have engaged in criminal activity as the grounds ICE cited for seeking removal.

“People have heard about these policy changes but largely haven’t seen any difference,” asserted Frank Sharry, executive director of immigration advocacy group America’s Voice.

Many critics have alleged that President Obama’s June 2011 directive was largely political, particularly considering deportations have reached record levels, averaging 400,000 per year, under the current administration. Astoundingly, that’s double the annual average during President Bush’s first term and 30 percent higher than the average when Bush left office. Due to those record numbers, along with Obama’s failure to implement so-called “comprehensive immigration reform,” there has been an ignition of criticism among the Hispanic community — a growing portion of the Democratic voter base.

“Latino immigrant voters know that the Alabama and Arizona laws didn’t come about from Democrats. They’re aware the Obama administration is fighting those laws. They know that Republicans blocked the DREAM Act. They know that Mitt Romney is talking about massive self-deportation,” Sharry said. “And they’re angry and disappointed that the Obama administration promised a legislative breakthrough, didn’t deliver it, but has delivered on record deportations.”

In response, the President has embarked on a political campaign to recover previous support from this pivotal sector of the American electorate.

“What we’ve been able to do is, administratively, we’ve said — let’s reemphasize our focus when it comes to enforcement on criminals and at the borders, and let’s not be focusing our attention on hard-working families who are just trying to make ends meet,” Obama said in an interview last week. “We’ve administratively proposed to reform the ‘three and 10″ program so that families aren’t separated when they’re applying to stay here in this country.”

In emphasizing his newly coined “five more years” campaign slogan, the President assured a Hispanic audience that he would use his second term to push immigration reform. “My presidency is not over,” Obama indicated, responding to a question about his failure to actualize an immigration bill. “I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done.”

Moreover, the President rejected the notion that he broke a campaign promise, while passing the blame to Republicans who were unwilling to embrace any “sensible solutions” on the issue. “So far, we haven’t seen any of the Republican candidates even support immigration reform,” Obama charged, targeting his potential opponents in the upcoming presidential contest.

Political analysts and commentators have predicted that the Hispanic vote will be critical for Obama’s reelection bid, as the minority’s rising population has become an increasingly chief component of the American electorate. While many Hispanics who supported Obama in 2008 may refrain from voting Republican, their disappointment over Obama’s immigration efforts may deter them from even voting at all come November 6.

Considering the persistently stale economy — which has led to a sharp drop in Obama’s approval ratings — the President will rely heavily on minority voting groups, observers predict. As the Los Angeles Timesreported last October, the President has commenced an “all-out push to rebuild his popularity” with Hispanics, which has been “diminished by the weak economy and a lack of progress toward revamping the nation’s immigration system.”

“The excitement isn’t there like it was,” asserted Ana Canales, a volunteer and the county chairwoman for the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County in New Mexico, where the Obama campaign has accelerated efforts to recruit Hispanic voters. “There are a lot of people who are saying, ‘We’re not going to vote.’ We have a lot of work on our hands … to make sure those Latinos understand that he [Obama] is working for us.”


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