Romney's Unwelcome Reception In Southland
Mitt Romney’s campaign visit to the Southland today will be greeted by protesters ready to rally. According to LAist.com, activists from the Dream Act and Good Jobs LA will band together with Latino voters to protest the GOP frontrunner’s policies on immigration and economic reform.
His venture into the Greater Los Angeles area was arranged to attend two fundraisers and to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
At a press conference to be held at the Century Plaza Hotel this afternoon, Romney is set to speak on his stance on immigration issues, including his largely publicized opposition to the Dream Act.
Romney, who won a colossal 83 percent of the votes counted at the recent Puerto Rico Republican primary, declared in his speech at the Illinois rally, “‘I intend to become our nominee and I intend to get Latino voters to vote for a Republican and take back the White House.’”
Romney later won the Illinois primary.
“Welcoming newcomers who share our ideals and work hard to secure a better life for themselves and their families is part of our heritage,” Romney wrote on his campaign website. “But today, our immigration system is broken.”
Neon Tommy spoke to Pedro Ramirez, an undocumented Mexican graduate student at California State University, Long Beach who will join the protest this afternoon.
“We’re going over there to protest Mitt Romney because of his position against the Dream Act… and also to motivate Latinos to register to vote in the coming election," Ramierez I can’t vote. Since I’m undocumented, I don’t have that privilege. So this is part of our process – to urge more Latinos, who are citizens, to come out and vote in November, and vote for candidates that support the Dream Act and immigration reform.”
When asked if he thought Romney’s win in Puerto Rico would, as projected by some, make him a frontrunner for the Latino vote, Ramirez said no.
"I don’t think it has a bearing at all," he said. "The thing about the Latino vote is that it’s so diverse; it’s so huge … it’s so broken up, that one particular subset of the Latino vote doesn’t guarantee anything. We Latinos vote based upon issues, not last names or ethnicities, so to speak. We vote based upon on what the candidate has to offer for the whole community, not just one section of the community.”
Ramirez also stated his perspective on the current options for the Latino community. “They can support Mitt Romney, who doesn’t support Latinos and doesn’t support Latino issues. Or they can support Barack Obama, who does support Latinos, who has shown that initiative, but hasn’t done enough on immigration. So I think that’s the issue right now, for a lot of Latinos, they’re going to keep their minds open and see what the president does."
Ramirez added that he personally will support, as well as campaign for, Obama.
Reach staff reporter Michelle Toh here.