Pro-immigration attack ads in Spanish will start to pop up in targeted Republican districts next Monday. The ads, paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), is the latest sign that Republicans are losing the battle for Latino voters.
The ads criticize House Republicans for “betraying” the Latino community last month when they voted for Rep. Steve King (R-IA)’s amendment to give immigration agents wider discretion to deport undocumented youths, even though they were granted temporary protected status by President Obama.
One attack ad against Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) features an undocumented young man who reminds viewers that the congressman has sentenced him to a bleak future with his vote to defund Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The English translation of the one-minute ad is below:
VOICE OVER: “The Republican party insists that they have changed, but once again, House Republicans like Gary Miller have betrayed our community, rejecting President Obama’s executive order that ended the deportation of DREAM Act-eligible young people. What’s more, Congressman Miller wants to restart the deportations of 800,000 young people who grew up in this country, worked hard, and are just looking for their chance to achieve the American Dream. Now, instead of celebrating the first anniversary of the deferred action program, our young DREAMers again face an uncertain future.”
DREAMER: ‘I have lived in the United States since I was a child, and it’s my only home. I’m a student, I work, and I’m proud to give back to my community. I’ve always done what was asked of me. The only thing I ask is for the opportunity to do it.’
VOICE OVER: “Now is the time to call Congressman Miller and demand that he stand with our young people and not with most extreme members of his party.”
The ads will run in districts represented by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA).
Recently, Republicans have tried to bolster their minority outreach, as Latinos are now the fastest growing voting bloc and have already reached pluralities in key districts. The numbers of Latino voters will only continue to grow as the U.S. trends toward becoming a “majority minority” nation.
However, most House Republicans find that Latino support does not impact their local elections, which matter more to them than what happens at the national level. Numerous polls show that Republicans need Latinos to carry future elections. Latinos made up 11 percent, or about 24 million, of the voter electorate in 2012, up 22 percent from 2008. Yet presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) won just 27 percent of these voters — far less than past contenders John McCain and former President George W. Bush.
On Wednesday, House Republicans met to discuss ways to maneuver around the Senate comprehensive reform bill on two fronts: to break it down piecemeal and to renegotiate the terms of a pathway to citizenship.
Further slowing the reform momentum, one senior House Republican suggested they should hold off on a resolution to the immigration issue until after the debt ceiling negotiations at the end of the year. Meanwhile, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) tweeted, “Trusting Obama [with] border security is like trusting Bill Clinton [with] your daughter.”
Rejecting immigration reform could adversely affect seven Republican-held House seats in states where voters overwhelmingly support immigration reform. This could potentially affect one of the targeted Republicans, Rep. Coffman (R-CO) whose district’s Latino population increased to twenty percent. Forty seven percent of voters in his district have stated that their vote depends on his support for immigration reform.
Besides Latino voters, Republicans against immigration reform also risk alienating the general public. A recent Gallup poll published Thursday shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans support immigration reform and even a path to citizenship. Additionally, immigration reform would lead to an economic boon to all the states targeted by the DCCC ad.