Latinos in a handful of cities will soon hear radio ads blasting the Republican Party for its stance on immigration.
The Service Employees International Union, Mi Familia Vota, and America's Voice are spending $300,000 to air Spanish-language radio ads highlighting the GOP's opposition to the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide legal status for children of illegal immigrants who are enrolled in college or serving in the military.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attached the DREAM Act to a Defense authorization bill two weeks ago, along with a repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Republicans blocked an up-or-down vote last week.
The groups will air the ads in areas with heavy Latino populations: Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Houston, and McAllen, TX.
These areas will see about three competitive House races this fall; Colorado, Florida, and Illinois will all see competitive Senate races.
More broadly, Democrats are competing for Latino votes with a long view in mind: the nation's Latino population is growing, and Latino voters will figure as a prominent voting bloc in election years to come. Latino men voted 64 percent for President Obama in 2008, while Latino women voted 68 percent in his favor.
Obama did promise immigration reform to Latino groups on the campaign trail in 2008; so far, that hasn't happened. According to a report from America's Voice, one in four Latinos lists immigration reform as a top personal issue of concern, meaning it's tied with "jobs and the economy" as the top issue for Latinos.
You can listen to the ad here.
Here's an English transcript:
What would you do if a group of politicians were denying your hopes, your dreams?Thousands of us have taken to the streets to fight for what's right: access to a college education and a path to citizenship...We're the undocumented students of the DREAM Act...the "soñadores"...Without papers, and without fear, we fight so our generation doesn't get left behind.But who opposed this bill? Who wants to quash our dreams?Republicans. The same people who opposed the extension of unemployment benefits.Republicans. Who try to deny immigrant rights in Arizona and other states.Republicans. Who always seem to stand with big corporations against working families.President Obama, the Armed Forces, Chambers of Commerce, universities and a majority of the public are on our side.And they need our help.This November 2nd, vote for the candidates who support our families, and make our dreams come true.This ad is paid for by the Service Employees International Union, Mi Familia Vota Civic Participation Campaign and America's Voice
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.