Hispanic Business reports: Democratic presidential candidates said they remain committed to immigration reform and urged their Republican rivals to drop divisive demands for cross-border fences to keep out migrants.Speaking to an annual conference of Hispanic officials from across the nation, seven Democrats seeking the White House also said the Senate's defeat last week of the immigration bill threatens to further polarize the nation. The Democratic presidential candidates spoke at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed O fficials [NALEO] forum; the GOP skipped the event--a major miscalculation.
As the 2008 Democratic contenders spoke it was clear the differences among their campaigns and the parties had widened.Republican candidates, despite establishing unique Hispanic outreach divisions on their campaigns, by and large skipped this chance to interact with Hispanics at Disney World of all places.
Elsewhere in Orlando the growth of Latinos impact on the economy was confirmed.
The Hispanic Summit (Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce) held June 28-29 was the venue for a report on Latinos and the central Florida economy.
Central Florida's Hispanic population is outgrowing other communities.
The Puerto Rican community, which is 56 percent of the Hispanic community, contributes 50 percent of the Hispanic income in the region. Those of Puerto Rican decent contribute $4.7 billion annually in earnings, and that number is expected to hit $5.3 billion by 2009. As far as purchasing power, the Hispanic community this year is expected to spend $7.8 billion, which is projected to increase to $8.8 billion by 2009.