Immigrants grateful to African-American voters

Statement of Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action:

“As we embrace unity, immigrants are grateful to African-American voters for the historic victory of the Maryland DREAM Act,” said Gustavo Torres.

“On the November 6, 2012, election,Marylandvoters, for the first time in our nation’s history, delivered a pro-immigrant reform at the ballot box when it approved the Maryland Dream Act by a large margin of 58.3 to 41.7.


“We believe that while the issue was popular with a wide swath of voters, the decisive victory was attributable to the strong support of the African American community.

“Latinos and immigrants are wholeheartedly grateful for the remarkable support given by the African-American community in the fight for equality for our immigrant youth. It demonstrates that we as a community can overcome any obstacles if we work together, hand-by-hand.

“Based on data gathered from the Maryland State Board of Elections, we know that the top 3 locations in the state with the highest percentage of the electorate who voted in favor of the Maryland DREAM Act werePrince George’s County with 74.8%,BaltimoreCitywith 70.35% andMontgomeryCountywith 72%. BothPrince George’s County andBaltimoreCityrepresent the locations with the highest concentrations of African-American residents inMaryland.

“Numerous African-American clergy, many associated with the Maryland IAF, opened their faith centers and hearts to impassioned pleas by immigrant youth for support. At historically African-American colleges and universities such asBowieandMorganStateUniversity, scores of events were held in support.

“With no doubt, the alliance between the African-American community and the immigrant community inMarylandhas been strong for many years. But the fact that it was illustrated via the popular vote leaves no question that we are true allies, particularly when it comes to the mission of achieving justice in our communities.

“Furthermore, the national election showed that the support was mutual, with Latino voters overwhelmingly supporting the reelection of the nation’s first African-American president, Barack Obama.  Pundits have estimated that Latino voters provided the critical element in winning at least four battleground states includingColorado,Florida,Nevada, andVirginia.

“This election is not the end of a story.  Across the next several weeks, African-American and immigrant organizations will meet to identify issues of mutual support and interest to advocate for jointly in the upcoming state legislative session.”

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