Will Filipino Americans Still Go Blue in November?

Filipino Americans voted 59 percent to 39 percent in favor of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential elections, according to an exit poll conducted by the the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Still, this time around it remains to be seen which party they’ll support, according to a piece in the print edition of Filipino Reporter.

Bert Pelayo explains in his column that Fil-Ams tend to vote Democrat because of the party’s pro-immigration position, but stalled immigration reform may turn some away from the party this year:

President Obama’s inability to reform a broken immigration system, one of his campaign promises, has alienated many immigrants who may likely desert him in the fall presidential elections.

But their choice might depend on who the Republicans will pit against Obama.

As Republican candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul fight it out, Obama’s election strategists should take nothing for granted, Pelayo writes. And, he points out, it’s not all love for Democrats on the part of Fil-Ams.

There are Fil-Ams active in GOP circles. If plans don’t miscarry, Dr. Renato Ramos will host a fundraiser for Romney in their Bloomfield Hills, Michigan home.

Dr. Ramos attended to Mitt’s ailing father, a former Michigan governor, and sign the latter’s death certificate.

Another Filipino physician served as a member of a presidential medical commission under Bush Jr.

Political parties aside, Pelayo writes, Fil-Ams are united in one respect: the desire to see more Filipinos in office.

The first Fil-Am elected to Congress is Ohio Rep. Steve Austria, a Republican, who is sadly bowing out due to a redistricting discrepancy in his area.

Before Austria, there was Benjamin Cayetano, the one-time Democratic governor of Hawaii, who inexplicably did not seek reelection.

We wish to see more Austrias and Cayetanos in the near future.

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