SAN DIEGO – In his inaugural speech, President Barack Obama reached out to the Latino community stating he would make immigration reform his top priority.
Obama called on the need for immigration reform in his inaugural speech – reaching out to Latinos, who helped him get a second term.
Latino’s voted in large numbers for Obama in 2012, but they also helped him get elected in 2008 when Obama campaigned promising he would pass immigration reform.
This time around, immigration activists said they’re cautiously optimistic.
“Words are not enough, we need to see action. We need to see the president take leadership,” said Andrea Guerrero, an immigration activist with Alliance San Diego.
For Guerrero, 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US is too big of an issue to ignore.
“There’s no one in San Diego that doesn’t work with, play with, study with or in some other way relate to an undocumented immigrant,” said Guerrero.
“He recognizes this is part of his legacy,” said political analyst Rick Epps, who explained that while the issue of the economy is still king, immigration reform is an area the president is under pressure to deliver.
“He’s talked about using the executive order and that is something very powerful that he has in his tool box that he may use if Congress doesn’t get its act together on the issue,” said Epps.