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In Washington almost three years ago, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators demanded citizenship for the some eleven million immigrants in the United States without the right legal status, and they are overwhelmingly Hispanic.
Latino citizens make up ten percent of the US electorate, and the proportion is growing. A politician needs to actively convince them he or she is worthy of their votes, as Republican Senator for the state of Florida Marco Rubio said during the last presidential campaign.
Rubio said: “There is a growing number of Latino voters in key swing states, like Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado and Nevada. Voters are not wed to one party or another, they don’t vote for the party, these Latino voters vote for the best candidate.”
In the eyes of many, Barack Obama with his promise to reform immigration was the best candidate, as San Antonio, Texas mayor Julian Castro suggested. He is a rising star in the Democratic Party.
Castro said: “The trajectory of my family has been the story of so many American families, and the question for this election is whether we’re going to keep the ability to pursue opportunity like that to achieve the American dream, whether we’re going to keep that alive and well in the years to come or are we going to go backward.”
Immigration has a strong role in economic dynamics as well. The experts point to a lot of companies or whole sectors that are short of manpower, notably agriculture, and say that immigration reform could do a lot to help there.
Reform is also needed to attract people with high qualifications, and allow students who have taken degrees in American universities to stay and work. For instance, an estimated 40 percent of scientists in the US are immigrants. They also start businesses at twice the overall rate and boost birth rates, also a consideration for ageing Europe, Japan and China.