(CNSNews.com) – Speaking to a Mexico City crowd on Friday, President Barack Obama said he would not be president if not for Latino voters, and then he pledged immigration reform in the United States to legalize those who are here illegally.
“Without the strong support of Latinos, including so many Mexican-Americans, I would not be standing here today as president of the United States,” Obama said. “That’s the truth.”
He touted the need for comprehensive immigration reform, which is currently being considered in the Senate that would provide a “pathway” to legal status for the at least 11 million illegal aliens in the United States. The proposal also contains border security measures.
“So, given that that is America’s heritage, given that we share a border with Mexico, given ties that run back generations, it is critical that the United States recognize the need to reform our immigration system because we are a nation of laws but we are also a nation of immigrants,” the president said.
In the 2012 election, Obama won 71 percent of the Latino vote against Republican Mitt Romney’s 27 percent. That’s an increase from 67 percent of the Latino vote that Obama won in 2008 against Republican John McCain, who won 31 percent of Latinos, according to a USA Today report on exit polls.
Republican support among Latino voters peaked in 2004, when President George W. Bush won 44 percent to Democrat John Kerry’s 58 percent. The lowest Latino support for a Republican was 21 percent for Bob Dole in 1996 against Democratic President Bill Clinton’s 72 percent.