Obama has begun reaching out to Latinos, whom the New York Times describes as "disappointed that he has not done more on immigration." This is untrue, of course, as Obama has done a great deal for gay immigrants - some of whom may have been Latino. This lax enforcement of immigration law is part of Obama's outreach package to gays, which also includes hate crime legislation, repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and a decision not to
enforce judicially defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The result of Obama's recent attentiveness to the gay community has transformed a previously angry and disillusioned constituency into his most generous donor base. "Obama's finance committee included one gay man in 2008," according to Politico, whereas "there are 15 this year."
So, Obama is hoping that the neglected Latino community - which, like gay activists, saw all of Obama's campaign promises evaporate after the election - will prove equally forgiving. Yet, other than giving speeches, Obama's only options is to again refuse to enforce federal law by halting deportations - and perhaps suing a few more states to ensure they don't step in where he steps aside. But that strategy won't win him many friends among independents.
Many socially conservative Latinos have long proved single-issue voters on immigration - and thus thralls to the Democratic party. 67% broke for Obama in '08. But the buck stops with Obama now, and he has few platitudes to throw toward Latinos. As on many electoral matters, at least some Latino votes are Republican's to lose.