Joe Biden Makes Big Play to Win Back Latino Vote

by Ewan Palmer, Newsweek

President Joe Biden is hoping to take a huge step to win over Latino voters with a reported move to grant legal status to long-term undocumented immigrants who are married to U.S. citizens.

The proposed policy from the Biden administration, reported by CNN and The New York Times, would allow undocumented immigrants with U.S. spouses to work in the country legally while they seek citizenship.

The review of the “parole in place” program would also make it easier for some undocumented immigrants to receive a green card and secure a path towards U.S. citizenship. While the details of the plans are still to be finalized, CNN reported that the change in policy could affect between 750,000 to 800,000 people, rising to potentially millions when spouses and other family members are taken into consideration.

The move is considered a major plan to campaign directly to Latino and Hispanic voters, especially in the key swing states of Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona, where polls have frequently suggested Biden is trailing his 2024 Republican rival Donald Trump.

The reported change to “parole in place” also arrived as a poll suggested Biden is losing support from Latinos and other minority groups heading into November’s race.

In early May, a YouGov poll showed that Biden is the preferred candidate of 45 percent of Hispanic voters, compared to 39 percent for Trump. In the 2020 Election, Biden achieved the support of 59 percent of the Hispanic vote.

A recent survey from advocacy group Voto Latino suggested that Biden drastically loses support from the important Hispanic demographic in swing states when third-party candidates are introduced to a 2024 survey.

The poll of 2,000 likely Latino voters, conducted by Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, showed that Biden beats Trump in a head-to-head match-up by 59 percent to 39 in five key battleground states of Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas and Pennsylvania.

When other 2024 presidential hopefuls are included, such as independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Biden’s support falls 12 points to 47 percent, with Trump down five points to 34 percent and Kennedy third on 12 percent.

Robert Harding, professor of political science at the Valdosta State University in Georgia, said that the proposed plans to grant legal status to undocumented immigrants with U.S. spouses could be a “smart move” for Biden.

“Hispanics are estimated to make up almost 15 percent of the eligible voters in this election. While immigration is not a top concern among Hispanic voters—cost of living and jobs are on average double immigration in polls—the proposal could have a favorable impact that could tip the scales in Arizona, Nevada and a few other states,” Harding told Newsweek.

“Biden still leads among Hispanic voters but I think this is a wise move to potentially shore up his margins in Arizona, which he only won by 0.3 percent of the vote in 2020, and in Nevada, where he won by 2.3 percent,” Harding added.

“The other place this policy could prove crucial is here in Georgia, where, as we all know, Biden won by a razor-thin 11,700 votes.”

The reported change in the “parole in place” review arrived as Biden issued an executive order that would allow officials to quickly remove migrants who have illegally entered the U.S. without processing their asylum requests once the system has become “overwhelmed.”

The move was condemned by some members of the Democrat Party, who likened it to a more hardline immigration policy associated with Trump.

During a press brief on June 4, Biden appeared to assure that more liberal immigration policies were forthcoming.

“For those who say the steps I’ve taken are too strict, I say to you that—be patient,” Biden said. “I have spoken about what we need to do to secure the border. In the weeks ahead—and I mean the weeks ahead—I will speak to how we can make our immigration system more fair and more just.”

In a statement on the reported parole in pace changes, a White House spokesman said: “As we have said before, the administration continues to explore a series of policy options and we remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system.”

The White House has been contacted for further comment.

Elsewhere, Trump has also set up an initiative to win over Hispanic voters at the 2024 Election.

The “Latino Americans for Trump” coalition, which includes elected officials such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, was announced by the former president’s campaign on June 9 to appeal to Hispanic voters on “issues where Biden has failed miserably,” such as crime and inflation.

“In 2020, we got more votes from Hispanic Americans than any Republican in more than 50 years, and we won the Texas border counties that no Republican candidate had won in more than a century,” Trump said.

“In 2024, we’re going to win an even larger share of the Hispanic American vote, setting all-time records for Republicans up and down the ballot.”


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