Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate predicted Wednesday that there will be advances, albeit small ones, toward immigration reform in 2012, at a time when both they as well as President Barack Obama are trying to attract the support of the Hispanic electorate.
During a round table with several Hispanic media outlets, including Efe, the senators said that despite what they described as Republican obstructionism, there are possibilities for achieving advances on some elements of an immigration bill.
“My prediction is that 2012 will be better than 2011,” New York Sen. Charles Schumer said.
The Republicans, in their judgment, are beginning to take note that their stances against any type of legalization of undocumented foreigners “is hurting them more than it’s helping.”
Schumer said that in his conversations with Republicans he had seen “little glimmers of change and hope,” which the Democrats will try to take advantage of.
Reading from the same script, the eight senators tried to sell the idea that Obama deserves the support of Latinos in 2012, and they reiterated that the Republicans are just seeking to punish Hispanics.
Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey said that in the presidential debates the Republicans are using “punitive language” against immigrants and have not offered practical solutions for the 11-12 million undocumented people in the country.