DNC delegates rally behind immigration policy debate

September 05, 2012

Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Loyd reports from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the impact the Latino vote will have on this election and in the future.

"Comprehensive immigration reform" are household words that give Democrats hope for the future.

Speaking at the Latino Leaders Lunch as chairman of the Democratic National Convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he doesn’t cry much, but he says he did when President Barack Obama instituted deferred deportation of young Americans brought into the country by their undocumented parents.

“Because these people are not only our future, they’re the best and brightest; they’re the strongest!” Villaraigosa said.

It’s these types of policies Verna Blackwell-Hilario says must be kept. She says for that to happen, and to keep the momentum started by the President, the Latino community must vote.

“We have to go into our neighborhoods," Blackwell-Hilario said. "And we have to talk to our neighbors and our family members about the importance of this election that if they don’t get out there and vote, everything that President Obama has done to help the nine million uninsured Americans is going to be for none."

Blackwell-Hilario used to be a delegate at the conventions. Now she wants the young people to take that role, while she spearheads the causes of the Democratic Party. She says never has there been a time more important than now.

Talking about the Republicans, she says, “They’re going to be very surprised how many Latinos and Hispanics are going to come out to vote this time. We have a tendency to sometimes fall asleep because, you know, the issues and the message is not there, but this time we’re going to get our message out.”

Outgoing Congressman Charles Gonzalez from Texas is expected to speak about the importance of diversity of the American population in his speech to delegates.

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