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[Article Summarized by Meridian Institute] In this opinion piece, Roel Campos, the former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, says the American Latino community will play a major role in America’s future success, but warns that for America to succeed, Latinos in America must succeed. The group currently accounts for almost 17 percent of the population, and that number is expected to increase to 19 percent by 2020. One of the greatest challenges facing Latinos, says Campos, is the broken immigration system. To achieve sensible immigration reform will require, he adds, an effort to win hearts and minds. Educating and dispelling prevalent false stereotypes will be necessary, and there must be a way to influence political leaders in Congress to pass legislation to fix immigration. Congress, however, seems incapable of developing a federal solution, writes Campos, despite wide public support for immigration reform. Many public interest groups, Campos reports, have scaled back their goals and would accept a pared down comprehensive reform, even reform via piecemeal legislation. The elephant in the room, he suggests, is that Republicans are missing from the discussion. And, in order to fix the immigration system, Republicans must be persuaded to support reasonable reform – which will only happen if important constituencies – such as the business community and religious faith leaders – pressure Republicans to change their attitudes and votes. “These ideas and many others,” writes Campos, “were discussed at the inaugural American Latino National Summit. It is the goal of the members of the New America Alliance [a Latino public interest group and one of the conference’s conveners] to encourage experts and leaders to go beyond discussion, and to articulate specific actions and plans that will lead to solutions to the large challenges facing the nation and the Latino community. Together, through these efforts, we will succeed in creating a better America.”

Posted October 3rd, 2012