Saturday, October 01, 2011

Biden to Latinos: You were here first

Biden to Latinos:

You were here first: Vice President Joe Biden compared immigration to the United States for Irish and Hispanic people — but noted Hispanic immigrants were here first.

Biden on Thursday hosted the annual Hispanic Heritage Month reception at the Naval Observatory. Guests included about 100 Hispanic veterans, active duty service members, elected officials and others. The music was classical Mexican.

"You all were here before us," Biden said, according to a pool report.

Biden noted his own background as the descendant of Irish immigrants, saying, “We come from a similar circumstance. It’s about family, it’s about faith and it’s about basic things."

The event coincides with a stepped-up effort by the administration to improve relations with Hispanic voters. Once among President Barack Obama's most enthusiastic constituencies, Hispanic support for the administration has flagged with the stall-out of immigration reform and other key priorities.

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