Immigration News Picks 9/20/2012: Romney and the Latino vote, Report Shows Racial Profiling of Hispanics in North Carolina

A man protesting SB1070 in Arizona, 2010. (Photo: Flickr/evanfinn

In Mitt Romeny’s “Meet the Condidate” event on Univision yesterday, he promised not to “round-up” undocumented immigrants, and mentioned four times that his “campaign is about the 100 percent of America,” – a clear reference to a secretly-taped video released by Mother Jones Magazine of Romney speaking candidly at a private fundraiser. In a less well publicized section of the tape, Romney talks about Hispanic voters. Voxxi offers the critique that Romney’s remarks could widen the already large gap he’s experiencing with Latino voters.

“My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of  a car company. But he was born in Mexico…and had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this,” Romney was quoted as saying.


The remark has already been thrown under fire by several Latino advocates. It’s still not known whether these remarks are having any effect on the polls, but some analysts believe his appeal to Latinos is getting worse.

To predict how the Latino vote will influence the 2012 elections, the polling firm Latino Decisions offers an interactive map on their site.

In Arizona, “police can now begin immigration status checks of anyone they stop for any reason and suspect of being in the country illegally.” This “Show Me Your Papers” provision has been controversial from the start, and was met with protests today, as well as a campaign to “urge people not to cooperate with immigration enforcement, whether they’re in the country legally or not,” reports Huffington Post.

On Wednesday, the National Immigration Forum held a conference call that included farmers in Arizona, North Carolina, New York and Washington, who “detailed their struggles in filling skilled farm positions traditionally taken by immigrant workers.” One grower said:

“Immigration policy has devastated the skilled labor force that we have relied on for the last 20 years,” said Ralph Broetje, president of Broetje Orchards in Washington state.


Broetje said he needs 800 to 1,000 workers to harvest his apple orchard, but is currently 500 workers short. His harvest began four weeks ago and still has two months left.

A North Carolina Sheriff goes rouge, and is blocked from accessing the ICE database. SFGate reports that

“The move comes after a two-year U.S. Department of Justice investigation determined that Alamance County Sheriff  Terry Johnson illegally targeted and arrested Latinos without probable cause to boost deportations.”

And that,

“According to the federal report, Johnson also referred to Latinos as “taco eaters” prone to drinking, drug dealing and other crimes. He ordered special roadblocks in neighborhoods were Latinos live, during which those with brown skin were stopped while whites were waved through.”

ICE also released a report that shows a record number of undocumented immigrants arrested and deported in 2011. The Miami Herald reports:

Among the most important points in the report, titled Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2011, ICE detained a record 429,000 foreigners without documentation, and expelled about 188,000 immigrants with criminal records — another unprecedented number.

The Huffington Post’s piece on rural minorities and poverty is a long read, but well worth it: Rural Minorities Ponder the American Dream from the Bottom Rung of the Economic Ladder.

Fi2W is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation and the Sirus Fund.

AboutAurora Almendral
Aurora Almendral is a Philippine-born freelance writer based in New York City. As a Fulbright Scholar to Morocco and Spain, she researched and filmed a documentary on entrepreneurship and illegal immigration in Madrid. She previously worked as a research assistant at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and has written for Filipinas Magazine and New America Media.