Spanish-language media ‘obsessed’ on immigration issue

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“Certainly, I believe that when we listened to the story of Susana Martinez, it touched the heart of many people because this is a hardworking woman who has been able to become the first Hispanic woman as the governor of New Mexico,” said Adryana Boyne, who was part of the Texas delegation.

She also pointed to Mr. Cruz, who told of his father coming from Cuba with $100 sewn in his underwear and a determination not to accept welfare, but to instead make it on his own.

“Just incredible testimonies to let the people know that we don’t need the help of the government, what we need is opportunities,” she said.

Democrats counter that those Republicans have all embraced tight immigration rules that don’t sit well with Hispanic voters. They also say Mr. Romney’s stance is so well-known in the Hispanic community that the question is no longer will Hispanics vote for him, but rather whether he’s permanently damaged the GOP brand.

But Mr. Aguilar said the GOP is not monolithic on immigration, and that battle played out even on the convention stage.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley talked about her state’s battle to enact a strict immigration law, which the Obama administration opposed. But on the same stage, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an appeal for immigration laws that “show that we are a compassionate nation of immigrants.”

Ms. Rice’s remarks were met with steady applause, and Mr. Aguilar said those sorts of moments are beginning to break through.

“It seems to me that the Spanish-language media, I think some are starting to become more aware of the battle,” Mr. Aguilar said. “Some of them are starting to perhaps explain better what is going on.”

He also said Mr. Romney does have a message that could reach Hispanics, if he emphasizes his pledge to take action on reforming legal-immigration procedures.

Paige Winfield Cunningham contributed to this report.

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