This week President Obama’s visit to Southern California and his high profile Latino celebrity fundraiser at the home of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith made big local news. Here’s a little sampling of the press report from USA Today on that event:
“Obama later visited the Spanish-style mansion of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith for what promoters billed as “the first ever Latino fundraiser” for the president.
Actress Eva Longoria, one of the stars of television’s Desperate Housewives, introduced Obama by saying he “speaks to the Latino community because he knows he’s the president of all Americans.”
“And we applaud you from our community,” Longoria told Obama. “We thank you for everything you’re doing.””
Meanwhile on the immigration front, which is a key issue that Candidate Obama touted on the campaign trail in 2008 when he was in front of Latino audiences, we have continued to see record breaking deportations and even suggestions that those same tough enforcement policies will continue. Last week an important documentary aired on PBS’s Frontline, Lost in Detention, in which an Obama official, Cecilia Muñoz said, ““As long as Congress gives us the money to deport 400,000 people a year, that’s what the administration is going to do.”
Understandably, immigration rights advocates are upset, and some people feel a disconnect between the administration’s courting of the celebrity wing of the Latino community versus the needs and desires of the grassroots. Presente.org even has a petition for Cecelia Muñoz to “set the record straight.”
Going into the 2012 election cycle, which message do you think will resonate with Latino voters? Will people support the President because some of our high profile celebrities are lining up behind Team Obama or will the Latino community simply not vote for a candidate for President as Professor Gary Segura of Stanford implies in the documentary?