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A bipartisan approach to DACA needed now

The proposal commits to legalizing a larger group than Republican conservatives have been willing to consider.

Both major political parties are after the Latino vote, but neither one truly understands the diversity of the Latino community and their values and aspirations (“On immigration, Trump has come with an idea even worse than the wall,” Jan. 29). Here is an urgent issue that will test how much they care about the Hispanic community. Here are some facts:

  • Minorities, including Latinos, favor Democrats disproportionately. However, Latinos have never voted as a block. For instance, 30 percent of Latinos helped elect President Donald Trump, and 35 percent supported President George W. Bush in 2004. Despite their growing number, Latino voters are less likely to go to the polls than any other group, be it presidential or mid-term elections.
  • White males 35 and over favor Republicans, and those living between the coasts are less likely to support immigration.
  • Independents favor either party depending on prevailing issues. They generally have a more positive view of immigrants than Republicans.
  • A significant number of Latinos believe in the traditional family model, are against abortion on demand, are entrepreneurial and fiscally conservative and dislike big government (many prefer government to be out of their pockets, out of their bedrooms, and out of the boardrooms).
  • Latinos are a culture, not a race, and they have a diversity of national origins. Their commonality is the Spanish language.
  • Latinos who came legally and followed the immigration rules expect others to do likewise. Many are not sympathetic to the plight of young people under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
  • A majority of Latinos across gender, age, and race groups support legalizing the residency status and a path to citizenship for “Dreamers,” as do a majority of American citizens.
  • Fewer Americans support extending the temporary status of 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived, worked, raised families and pay taxes for 10 years or more.

President Trump has shown his "love" for 1.8 million Dreamers and favors a fair resolution for 200,000 adult Salvadorans currently under Temporary Protective Status. The $26 million question is, what the Democratic party, particularly its liberal wing and right-wing Republicans are going to do? Will they engage in partisan warfare at the expense of the Dreamers and Salvadorans or join in a bipartisan effort to resolve their status once and for all?

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The Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce applauds President Trump's immigration proposal to resolve the DACA and Salvadoran's predicament and urges Congress to act in a bipartisan manner.

Dr. Jorge Ribas, Laytonsville

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The writer is president of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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