Democratic National Convention
2:15 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Immigration and the Importance of the Hispanic Vote

Speaking at the Latino Leaders Lunch as chairman of the Democratic National Convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he doesn’t cry much, but he did when President Barack Obama instituted deferred deportation of young Americans brought into the country by their undocumented parents.

“Because," said Villaraigosa, "these people are not only our future, they’re the best and brightest; they’re the strongest!”

Verna Blackwell-Hilario said these kinds of promises must be kept, and for that to happen - and to keep the momentum started by the President - the Latino community must vote.

“We have to go into our neighborhoods and we have to talk to our  neighbors and our family members about the importance of this election that if they don’t get out there and vote, everything that President Obama has done to help the nine million uninsured Americans is going to be for none,” said Blackwell-Hilario.

Blackwell-Hilario used to be a delegate at the conventions, but now she wants the young people to take that role while she spearheads the causes of the Democratic Party. She said there has never been a time more important than now.

“They’re going to be very surprised how many Latinos and Hispanics are going to come out to vote this time," she said of the Republican party. "We have a tendency to sometime fall asleep because you know, the issues and the message is not there, but this time we’re going to get our message out.”

Outgoing Congressman Charles Gonzalez from Texas is expected to speak about the importance of diversity of the American population in his speech to delegates.