Tags: Trump Administration | Barack Obama | Immigration | MidPoint | president | candidates | amnesty

DREAM Act Advocate: Immigration a Defining Issue for 2016

By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 06:16 PM

Every White House aspirant in 2016, Democrat and Republican, will have to take a position on President Barack Obama's sweeping immigration order and answer to the country's Hispanic electorate, an undocumented U.S. resident who lobbies for immigrants like himself told Newsmax TV on Monday.

"It's going to be a very, very critical question as 2016 comes into play," Cesar Vargas, co-director of the DREAM Action Coalition, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner. "Each presidential candidate whether it's Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Rand Paul, they're going to have to confront that question."

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Vargas, a U.S. law school graduate who is not yet permitted to practice because of his status, supports the president's executive order to begin issuing visas and work permits for as many as 5 million illegal aliens.

He argued that candidates of both parties will have to do likewise, citing Mitt Romney's poor showing with Hispanics in the 2012 presidential election. Obama won Hispanic voters 71-27 percent, said Vargas.

"If they didn't learn from Mitt Romney I don't know what other lessons are there," he said.

A position on immigration is even more critical today, said Vargas, now that the president has acted and touched off Republican opposition in Congress, where the battle is likely to be renewed in January after last week's budget negotiations almost foundered over immigration funding,

Vargas said that he welcomes the ongoing debate over the politics and constitutional questions prompted by Obama's decision to bypass Congress for lack of a comprehensive immigration bill.

But he said the debate should not overlook the new reality created by the president's executive order — that millions already living and working here can now come "out of the shadows" and be welcomed as the productive, taxpaying residents and family members they are.

He also said studies indicate that immigrants boost the U.S. economy, contrary to claims that illegal immigration imposes a net economic loss or takes away jobs from native-born workers.

"We're seeing concrete numbers — not political talking points — that immigrants are creating jobs, starting small businesses, starting small restaurants, companies, IT companies," he said.

Vargas, who was brought to New York from Mexico at age 5, describes himself as one of the beneficiaries of an earlier Obama order on immigration: the president's 2012 decree to lift the threat of deportation for many immigrants who arrived as children.

Vargas has lobbied for the federal DREAM Act legislation in Congress that would formalize residency for young migrants in similar circumstances, and he said he would like to see more comprehensive immigration reform eventually pass.

"The president's action in 2012 allowed me to step forward, tell my story and let [people] know who I am," said Vargas, who lives in New York.

"I'm here to contribute," he said, adding, "I want to start my own law firm; I didn't take another law student's job. I created my own job, and this is what we're talking about."

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Every White House aspirant in 2016, Democrat and Republican, will have to take a position on President Barack Obama's sweeping immigration order and answer to the country's Hispanic electorate, an undocumented U.S. resident who lobbies for immigrants like himself told Newsmax TV on Monday.
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2014-16-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 06:16 PM
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