Latino advisers and operatives working alongside Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney stated he should avoid talking about immigration during his crucial speech at the Republican National Convention.
In fact Rep. Martinez (R.-FL) suggests Romney not to open the discussion of immigration at all on the campaign trail.
“I think he has decided he’s going to deal with this issue as president and not as a candidate,” Martinez said at a panel in Tampa hosted by ABC News, Univision and the National Journal.
The panel, which included Martinez, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and two Romney operatives Ana Navarro and Whit Ayers, warned that ignoring the Latino population could affect the Republican Party in the long-run as they become an ever growing segment of the population.
The panelists noted that immigration is not the most important issue to Latinos, but ignoring the issue, especially in light of the Republican platform, which calls for tough anti-illegal immigration policies.
Appealing to Latinos will be crucial in this election, a group that has shown a preference to President Obama and Democrats in poll after poll. The Romney campaign is falling short of their goal to get 38 percent of the Latino vote.
The Romney campaign has done little to reach Latino voters, according to a recent poll. And tough anti-immigration policies won’t help their cause.
His advisers say that if he does talk about immigration he should approach the subject with care; during the primaries he painted himself as an immigration hard-liner.
No doubt immigration reform is necessary as the demographics of the country are changing. The GOP would like to focus on legal immigration instead of illegal immigration.
Top Republican leaders, such as Marco Rubio, say that the GOP should focus on legal immigration. The path to a legal presence, even with the representation of an immigration attorney, is a long and difficult process.