There wasn’t much good news in the Labor Department report Friday, but the news was especially bad for Hispanics, for whom the unemployment rate spiked to 11 percent in May — up from 9.8 percent just a month ago.
The jump offers a fresh data point to Republicans who argue that Latino voters will be more concerned with the economy than with immigration policy. It’s a mantra Mitt Romney’s staff and surrogates have been repeating with some frequency in recent weeks, hoping it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
After all, Romney has left little wiggle room in his hard-line immigration stance.
“Romney has his vulnerabilities on immigration, and though Obama does too, he is playing offense on Romney on the issue,” said Ana Navarro, who served as John McCain’s National Hispanic Outreach co-chair in 2008.
“These unemployment numbers bring laser focus on the economy and everything else becomes more like background noise,” Navarro continued. “The economy becomes bar none, unavoidably the number one issue, and it becomes that muh harder to distract Hispanics with shiny objects like Latino celebrities that support Obama and well-pronounced Spanish phrases.”
Still, polling has indicated in the recent past that immigration remains very much top-of-mind among Latino voters: A poll released last December showed that 42 percent of Hispanics were concerned about immigration, compared to just 23 percent who ranked unemployment as their top concern, and 20 percent who worried about fixing the economy.
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Immigration is not the main concern of all Latinos! Numerous studies have revealed that the economy IS the top concern for Latinos. But forget studies, it’s easier to say all Latinos are illegal or related to illegals amirite Buzzfeed? Further, Immigration is not even an issue for two of the largest Latino groups as Puerto Rico is part of the US and and Cubans have the wet-dry foot policy. So why would it be our top concern? That’s like asking a 4th generation Irish kid from Boston if he cares about illegal Scottish people in Florida. But hey why should you guys do any research when its easier to assume we must all be Mexicans. I mean all Asians are Chinese right? Way to sound like Fox News Buzzfeed.
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