Mitt Romney’s performance during the first presidential debate of last week fundamentally changed the dynamics of this election. He surpassed everyone’s expectations. His opponent President Barack Obama disappointed even his most ardent supporters and sent the independents into the governor’s arms.
Now we await the Vice-Presidential debate which will focus on foreign and domestic affairs. Vice President Joe Biden is supposed to be well versed on the first issue since he is former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In fact this experience was the main reason he was chosen to be vice president. Congressman Paul Ryan is the Chair of the Committee on the Budget, and as such, is well-versed on economic issues.
It will make for a very interesting debate. From my perspective this will be a very opportune moment to discuss something very close to my heart--immigration.
Whether one wants to treat immigration as either a domestic or foreign affair issue, it is a topic of great concern not only to the 12 million undocumented people living in the United States and their families, but also to the people from around the world who want to come to America.
The first presidential debate did not address the issue of immigration. I would hope that the moderator during the VP debate will find the issue important enough to address it. I would like to know from the current vice president the reasons why he and the president failed to even submit to congress a plan to reform our broken system. Then candidate Obama said that he would deal with it in his first 100 days in office, and almost four years later all we have is a temporary measure to defer deportation of young people who came to the United States through no fault of their own.
Just this past Monday, President Obama came to California to dedicate the home of Cesar Chavez as a national monument. That was nice; the timing of course suspect, less than 30 days before the election. But the people that Cesar Chavez came to represent, especially the farm workers who mostly tend to be undocumented, need far more that a monument to the labor leader. They need action, they need work, and they need to work here legally. No amount of chanting “si se puede” as the president did during the dedication can erase the fact that the president and vice president have not delivered on their initial promise; in other words “no se pudo.”
If history is any indication, they will not be able to deliver on a second term. Congressman Ryan can talk about what his and Mitt Romney’s plan is, to deal seriously and decisively with this issue. He can make a promise with the confidence that Governor Romney’s experience as a successful governor working with both sides of the aisle, has gotten the job done. If history is any indication, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan will be able to deliver on their promise to fix our broken system.
Rosario Marin was the 41st Treasurer of the United States and is co-chair of the American Competitiveness Alliance.