In an online roundtable meeting Wednesday, President Barack Obama addressed a largely Hispanic audience stating that Republicans lacked the necessary leadership to pass a comprehensive immigration bill.
According to Obama, Democrats would have to change the minds of some Republicans before Congress passed an immigration plan that included a pathway to citizenship and tighter border control.
Democrats are “trying to push Republicans back to where they were just a few years ago,” he stated.
“This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true,” Obama said.
The roundtable event “Open for Questions With President Obama” allowed the president to answer direct questions posted by Hispanic readers of Yahoo, MSN Latino, and AOL Latino/Huffington Post Latino Voice.
The meeting allowed Obama to make a case for his new job’s plan, which he believed would benefit the Latino community.
Unemployment among Hispanics is at 11.3 percent, which is higher than the overall average of 9.1 percent.
The roundtable discussion came at a pivotal moment for Obama, as his job approval rating from Hispanics fell to an all-time low in the latest Gallup Poll.
In January 60 percent of Hispanics approved of Obama’s leadership. However, just 48 percent now approved of how Obama was handling his responsibilities in the oval office.
Furthermore, education for Hispanics is an increasing problem in the United States that is expected to be a huge question in terms of Obama’s prospects for another term in the oval office.
A report released in April 2011 showed that less than 50 percent of Latino children were enrolled in pre-school.
According to the study, just 50 percent of Latino teens earn their high school diploma in four years. In addition, only 13 percent have a college degree.
Hispanics are the largest growing minority group in the country. Many of them are situated in the swing states that Obama would need to win over if he were to succeed in a 2012 election.
In 2008, Obama won two-thirds of the Hispanic vote and looks to continue reining in that support in upcoming elections. This is true particularly for battleground states like Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado.
Today's roundtable questions were directed to President Obama live at www.whitehouse.gov/live. Jose Siade, Yahoo’s editor-in-chief for U.S. Hispanic and Latin America, moderated the 60-minute event.