Michelle Obama speaks to Hispanic caucus
August 27, 2008
DENVER ” Hispanics should not have to live in fear of raids by immigration agents, Michelle Obama told a Hispanic caucus to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.
Her husband, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, wants to reform immigration policies and provide illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, she said.
“We would have an immigration policy that brings 12 million people out of the shadows,” she said to cheering caucus members shouting “Yes we can” in Spanish.
She said Hispanics deserve all the opportunities that come with hard work.
Hispanics are often the first to suffer in an economic downturn and the last to benefit during a recovery, she said.
She told the caucus that blacks and Hispanics share a lot of issues, including access to affordable health care, education and economic opportunities for all Americans, not just a select few.
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“We all know our country’s journey toward equality isn’t finished yet. We have more work to do,” she said.
Obama also praised Hillary Clinton as a woman who broke down barriers.
Obama, who was harshly criticized for saying she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life because of her husband’s historic candidacy, said she was proud of her husband and his accomplishments, “but I’m also proud and amazed because I’m proud of this country, and I will say that again and again and again.”
Hispanics are expected to play a key role in the November election, especially in the West because of the support Obama has received from Hispanics.
Researchers found that although Hispanics make up about 15 percent of the U.S. population, about 9 percent of eligible Hispanic voters are registered to vote and only 6.5 percent do vote, a statistic Republicans and Democrats are trying to change.
Raymond Pedraza, a member of the Nevada Democratic Party’s executive committee, said Hispanics are flocking to Obama because they feel they share a similar heritage of economic struggle and issues over civil rights.
“He’s our story. He has walked in our shoes and he has walked our mile,” Pedraza said.