Flashback: SEIU's Eliseo Medina Wants Immigration Reform for 8 Million New Progressive Voters

Flashback: SEIU's Eliseo Medina Wants Immigration Reform for 8 Million New Progressive Voters

In 2009, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina: “Now as you know, the negative tone of the immigration debate has created an intense interest in the Latino and immigrant community. We in the last election had the largest turnout of Latino voters in our history. And everything tells us these voters fully intend on becoming engaged into elections in the future. They have tasted what it is like to participate and win and they are not going to go away because their involvement is basically because they feel they are being taken advantage of, they are being singled out and they are being scapegoated. When they voted in November, they voted overwhelmingly for progressive candidates. Barack Obama got two out of every three voters that showed up. So I think there’s two things, very quickly, that matter for the progressive community. Number one: if we are to expect this electorate to win, the progressive community needs to solidly be on the side of immigrants. Let us solidify and expand the progressive coalition for the future. Let me tell you, when you are in the middle of a fight for your life, you will remember who was there with you, and immigrants count on progressives to be able to do that. Number two, we reform the immigration laws, it puts 12 million on the path to citizenship and eventually voters. Can you imagine if we have even the same ratio [as Obama got] two out of three, if we had 8 million new voters that care about our issues and would be voting, we would create a governing coalition for the long-term, not just for an election cycle.”

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