Republic National Committee chairman Reince Priebus visited Philadelphia today for the launch of the Pennsylvania GOP’s Hispanic Advisory Council.
He discussed Republicans’ new effort to create permanent ground operations reaching out to Hispanic voters in ten states.
“There are polls that consistently show 35 to 40 percent of all Hispanic potential voters would self-identify as conservative voters,” he said.
“If you get the policy right but you don’t have a conduit in the community explaining what you believe in then no one’s going to do your bidding for you, and that is essentially what we are trying to address,” he said.
As of 2010, Pennsylvania’s eligible voters were 4 percent Hispanic, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Nationally, 71 percent of Latino voters cast their ballots for President Obama in 2012.
Marcela Myers, chair of the newly formed Pennsylvania task force echoed Priebus, saying that “Face-to-face contacts between volunteers and voters is very critical for us to inform, mobilize and really talk to people on why they should vote Republican.”
Priebus touched on how the topic of immigration reform fits into Republican outreach efforts.
“I think that there is consensus that we need to have serious immigration reform in this country,” he said. “Obviously what that looks like and what that means, both sides of the aisle seem to have disagreement.”
He reiterated the GOP’s position that borders must be secured before any changes go into effect and that the existing laws must be enforced.
In December, the Pew Hispanic Center also found that 59 percent of Hispanic immigrants and 46 percent of all Hispanic residents worry that they or someone they are close to could get deported.
Deportations have increased significantly under the Obama administration, setting a record of 1.5 million removals in his first term, according to statistics from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.