A major Latino organization on Thursday fiercely condemned a lawsuit aimed at blocking President Obama's plan to offer deportation relief to up to 5 million unauthorized immigrants, arguing that the suit amounts to little more than "partisan point scoring."
On Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott -- who takes over as governor of the state next month. announced the suit. Abbott charges that Obama is abrogating his responsibility to enforce U.S. laws by unveiling a plan that would spare immigrants with families ties in the U.S. and without criminal records from deportation. Republicans raised no such objections when Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush similarly exercised their executive discretion to extend deportation reprieves to unauthorized immigrants.
Sixteen other states joined Texas' suit yesterday.
Presente.org, a Latino organizing group, blasted the suit in a statement today.
“Republicans will pay the price for treating Latino families like trash," executive director Arturo Carmona said. "Our communities are united in their support for President Obama’s executive action on immigration, and we are united in wanting the President to take that action even further if Congress cannot get their act together and pass a bill to legalize all 11 million undocumented immigrants. Latino voter turnout is projected to be more than 10% of the electorate in 2016, and Republicans would do well to remember that as they push to tear Latino and immigrant families apart for the sake of partisan point scoring."
Polling indicates that Latinos strongly approve of the president's executive action. A Latino Decisions survey found that 89 percent of Latinos -- including 76 percent of Republicans -- supported the plan, while Gallup found that Obama's approval rating among Latinos increased to 68 percent after he announced the action -- up sharply from just 49 percent in early November. Given that strong performance among Latino voters is crucial to Democrats' hopes of retaining the White House and recovering lost territory in Congress in 2016, Republicans risk an electoral backlash with a hard line against Obama's plan.