Spanish media reporters debate potential impact of Supreme Court decision on immigration laws

By | 12.19.11 | 1:09 pm

The Supreme Court seal (Pic by Hayfordoleary, via WIkimedia Commons)

Spanish-language news reporters who spoke Sunday on Al Punto, a Univision program, said the coming Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s immigration enforcement law S.B. 1070 will have an impact on both the 2012 elections and on the lives of millions of immigrants.

Alan Rivera of Hispanic News Network said that the Supreme Court decision that would come in June, in the midst of the 2012 presidential campaign, and will greatly influence the Obama campaign against the eventual Republican nominee.

Rivera highlighted the fact that, with Justice Elena Kagan not voting, five of the remaining eight justices were selected by Republican administrations. He also said the immigration issue is a constitutional one, and “the court cannot decide against the Constitution,” adding that “the Constitution says that Congress decides” on legislative issues.

Marcello Raimon of Agencia ANSA — a Latin-American news agency — said “we have to wait with our fingers crossed,” hoping “that the Supreme Court does not decide to allow states to do what they want.”

“It is on the conscience of the justices if they will destroy the lives of millions of people,” Raimon said.

“I find it very interesting that instead of talking about immigration reform for 11 million undocumented immigrants, the anti-immigrant environment in the U.S. is so large we’re talking about these issues,” Al Punto host Jorge Ramos said.

The Supreme Court decision to hear the legal challenge to Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law comes at a time when the leading GOP presidential candidates are talking about immigration and trying to strengthen support with Latino voters.

Newt Gingrich has called for a “humane” approach to immigration enforcement, and Republicans share his approach to immigration, but the GOP still has to work hard to get Latino voters in important swing states in the 2012 presidential elections, according to surveys.

ABC News reported that Mitt Romney, during the Fox News debate last week, “laid out more clearly than he has before details of a proposed national ID card system for legal immigrants and the requirement that employers run checks on workers or face ‘very serious sanctions.’”

According to ABC, “Romney said the new protocols would add pressure on illegal immigrants to voluntarily return to their native countries and force them to apply to the U.S. from the ‘back of the line.’”

The Washington Post reported Friday:

Republicans are increasingly worried that their party’s efforts to win a competitive slice of the fast-growing Hispanic vote in important presidential battleground states are being undermined by Mitt Romney’s heated rhetoric on illegal immigration.

Several leading GOP strategists say Romney’s sharp-tongued attacks have gained wide attention in Hispanic media and are eroding the party’s already fragile standing in that community.

The Post adds that  leaders of  conservative groups like the Hispanic Leadership Fund and the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles do not agree with Romney on immigration.

Follow Marcos Restrepo on Twitter


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