Following the decision, Romney released a cautious statement that endorsed states’ authority to exclude illegal immigrants, but provided little for Obama’s allies to attack.
“I believe that each state has the duty — and the right — to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law,” Romney said.
In contrast to Romney, Obama is happy to talk about immigration because he hopes to portray Romney as anti-Latino, and because he wants to spur Latino support in several swing-states, including Colorado, Virginia and Florida.
For example, Obama offered a de facto amnesty to roughly 1 million younger Latinos June 15, despite polls the indicate opposition to illegal-immigration by blue-collar workers and African-Americans.
Some progressive activists argue that popular support for immigration enforcement is driven by racism, partly because they wish to spur Latino turnout and support for Obama in November.
“We are disappointed that [the Supreme Court] did not strike down a key provision that amounts to state-sponsored racial profiling,” said a statement form Natalie Foster, the CEO of Rebuild the Dream, a left-wing advocacy organization.
Latino “families in Arizona and across our country continue to face un-American discrimination even as they work to build this country from the bottom up… Arizona’s SB 1070 is a reprehensible law, and it is only one of many hate-filled laws bubbling up across our country,” she claimed.
However, polls shows that most Latinos are primarily concerned about the economy. That’s where Romney has an advantage over Obama.
Still, easier immigration is seen as important to the Hispanic community, and continued controversy over immigration issues is sometimes portrayed in Latino media and by Latino advocates as sign of dislike for all Latinos. That sensitivity gives Obama and his allies every incentive to keep the issue in the public’s eye.