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One of the key promises then candidate Barack Obama made in 2008 was to open up pathways for illegal immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship. There is no doubt that the Hispanic voting bloc in this country is gaining in size and power. And that Hispanics could swing either way in 2012. Latinos helped turn Colorado into a blue state for Obama. And now immigration is creating a lot of friction between the Republican Presidential candidates. Click here to see Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Perry duke it out at the Republican Presidential debates in Las Vegas the other night. Polls show Perry’s numbers had already started to spiral downward after it was reported earlier that he had approved of in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants. Michelle Bachmann doesn’t just want to build one 1200 mile wall, she wants to build two. In the meantime, Alabama was stopped from trying to get schools to investigate the status of students’ parents but the states can begin deportation efforts if the students families are suspected of being here illegally. Click here to learn more about a tough new stance on immigration that encourages schools to ask children what their parents status is . In Arizona and Alabama, the thinking is that if you can just quietly get “them” to leave, and presumably go back to Mexico, it will open up jobs for U.S. citizens. The tricky part is the jobs that the illegals are low-pay, come without benefits, offer substandard housing and can involve shifts spent working in fields for 12 hours, 7 days a week. And some of them aren’t heading home, they’re leaning on already cash strapped social services in surrounding states like Florida. Something has to be done. And this is a core vote getter with conservative Republicans who recognize that the US cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the issue. The question is this “let’s make them a little less comfortable” approach better than building a wall? Isn’t asking a school to help deport a student who wants to learn like asking a doctor not to treat a sick patient? And do Americans need jobs badly enough that they will step up and apply for the jobs immigrants may be vacating?
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