The Political Context of Enforcement

By Jerry Kammer and Jerry Kammer on October 7, 2010

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday announced record numbers deportations of criminal aliens, declaring that the figures demonstrated that the Obama administration is "focused on enforcing our immigration laws in a smart, effective manner that prioritizes public safety and national security."

Meanwhile, Cecilia Munoz, White House director of Intergovernmental Affairs, was making sure that the Spanish-language media understood that the new policy was good news for the great majority of illegal immigrants: "The tendency to remove those who have committed crimes is rising, and so that lowers the pressure on persons who have not committed crimes," said Munoz, a former vice president at the National Council of La Raza.

Univision reporter Lourdes Meluza wrapped up her report by noting its political context. Napolitano's announcement came just four weeks before the election, she said, but government officials "emphasized that it's an announcement at the end of the fiscal year" that quantifies the results of the administration's policy for targeting its deportation efforts at the most dangerous elements among the illegal immigrant population.

Another story on last night's Univision newscast reported on the sagging enthusiasm of Latino voters, a major concern for Democrats in tight races: "The Latino voter is having doubts at this moment," said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. He said Latino hopes for immigration reform and job creation have not been met.

The report also noted a Pew Hispanic Center survey showing that just 51 percent of Latino registered voters are committed to voting next month, sharply lower than the 70 percent of the general voting population who are committed to vote.

Topics: UnidosUS