It’s no suprise President Barack Obama chose Nevada to kick off the immigration push.
Hispanics make up 27 percent of population, according to the U.S. Cencus. Nineteen percent are foreign born and nearly 30 percent speal a language other than English at home.
For decades, western states -- like Nevada -- had a tendancy to vote Republican. But the growing Hispanic population helped change that.
Obama won Nevada by 12 points in 2008 and six points in 2012, even though Republican Mitt Romney had made inroads in the state and the economic dowturn hit the state hard.
Eric Herzik, chairman of the political science department at the University of Nevada, Reno, said Obama feels comfortable in Nevada. Herzik noted that Obama prepared for a debate here, won the state and the governor has been less strident than many Republicans in other states with high immigration populations. “it makes sense. Nevada has been good to him.”
Bernard Lara, 55, an unemployed medical technologist whose family hails from Mexico as well as other countries., welcomed Obama to Nevada. “It’a good thing. He needs to get support from the people because he has no support in Congress.’
Advocacy groups, including unions, religious groups and immigrantion organizations, descended on Las Vagas Tuesday to show their support for an immigration overhaul.