Latino activists in Wisconsin are joining a post-election push for immigration reform.
Exit polls show Latinos voted overwhelmingly for President Obama on Tuesday. But in the nearly 72 hours since they did so, Latino groups have been holding small rallies across the U.S. to urge the president to work on an immigration plan that would include a path to citizenship for undocumented workers. Wisconsin resident Jennifer Martinez has been raising four kids on her own, because her deported husband is blocked from re-entering the U.S. from Mexico. She's pleading for the president's help.
“President Obama, we need immigration reform,” she says. “We need you to deliver because families like mine can’t take this anymore. I can’t keep watching my kids struggle and ask for their dad every single day just because of a broken immigration system.”
Christine Neumann-Ortiz of the group Voces de la Frontera says her group is also trying to convince Republicans that control the House of Representatives to be more open to immigration changes. Neumann-Ortiz says conservatives' opposition to relaxed policies is costing the GOP elections.
“The demographics are changing,” she says. “Latino voters along with other minority groups and young people and women don’t agree with the kind of social conservatism that the Republican Party represents.”
Conservatives traditionally argue that a path to citizenship for undocumented people isn't fair to those who go through the traditional immigration process. Neumann-Ortiz says more funds need to go that process and less to deporting non-violent people who have families in the U.S..