President Barack Obama is intensifying his efforts to get the Hispanic vote in 2012, although his deportation policy has resulted in more than 5,000 U.S.-born children living in foster homes.

Obama's reelection campaign is telling reporters that the president's support is rising in the surveys among Hispanic voters, even though that community's frustration over the lack of immigration reform is palpable.

The president's rise in the polls, however, probably has a great deal to do with the crop of Republican candidates, who are all repeating the refrain of persecuting undocumented immigrants.

It is as if Latinos have to choose between the lesser of two evils because, they say, at least Obama continues to support comprehensive immigration reform and is trying to push for measures to improve their quality of life.

A poll conducted for Univision showed Obama leading all GOP hopefuls among Hispanics by a margin of 2-1, very similar to his performance within that group versus his Republican presidential rival in 2008, Sen. John McCain.

It is clear that Obama will not hesitate to take advantage of the statements of the Republican hopefuls against undocumented immigrants, including businessman Herman Cain's "joke" about building an electrified wall along the country's southern border.

"We may just run clips of the Republican debates verbatim," Obama told Hispanic journalists earlier this month.

In charge of that will be Adrian Saenz, who was hired by the Obama campaign as a strategist and coordinator of activities designed to gain the support of the Hispanic electorate.

"The president acknowledges that our country's success is intimately linked to Hispanics' success," Saenz told Efe on Tuesday.

"Hispanics are the electoral bloc in the country with the greatest growth and they will continue to lose out with Republican policies that will help the large corporations and the richest people, to the detriment of reestablishing economic security for Latino families," he added.

The political strategist said that one of the most cherished values in this country is for hard work and responsibility "to be rewarded."

But there is frustration with Obama among the immigrant community, many Democratic lawmakers and activists who are demanding the legalization of undocumented foreigners. To date, they only see the growing fragmentation of Hispanic families as a result of the deportations.

An investigation made public early this month by the Applied Research Center said that between January and June, the United States deported more than 46,000 undocumented parents of children born in this country.

Although the official figures do not reveal how many children those deportees had or whether those children remained in the United States or left with the parents, ARC calculates that at least 5,100 children are living in the homes of foster families while the legal limbo surrounding them is resolved.

Even worse, that figure could rise to 15,000 children in the next five years if the deportation trends remain unchanged.

Obama has acknowledged that this is a "real problem" and has ordered a review of these cases so that parents on the verge of being expelled from the country may at least have contact with their children.

That, however, comes a little late for those children whose parents have already been deported.

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