â€œWe have to look at the big picture and donâ€™t get caught up in saying we want it now,â€ she said, referring to action on immigration. â€œWeâ€™ve been waitingâ€”we are a community that can wait. And we have to have faith in our president, because the Republicans have shown their hand. We know what they want to do.â€
Many Latinos have been critical of Obamaâ€™s move to delay executive action to reform portions of the nationâ€™s immigration system until after the November elections, but not Huerta. She said in an interview with VOXXI on Tuesday that an immigration announcement by the president before the midterm elections could possibly cripple Democratic efforts to maintain control of the Senate.
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Currently, Democrats hold 53 seats in the Senate and Republicans hold 45. There are also two independents who caucus with the Democrats. According to The New York Times, Republicans have a 54 percent chance of gaining a majority in the Senate.
Huerta noted that Republicans in the House of Representatives have approved a number of bills that would hurt Latinos and immigrants. One of the bills she pointed to seeks to defund and ultimately get rid of Obamaâ€™s deferred action program that protects undocumented youth from deportation and allows them to work.
She added that House Republicans have also approved bills that would deny millions of women reproductive health care coverageâ€”an issue she cares about as a champion of womenâ€™s rights.
â€œRight now, none of those laws have been able to pass in the Senate because the Democrats have control of the Senate,â€ Huerta said. â€œIf in this next election we lose the Senate, all of those bad bills that they passed against immigrants will become law.â€
SEE ALSO: Dolores Huerta: Same-sex marriage is a matter of â€˜basic human rightsâ€™
The longtime immigration reform advocate also expressed concern about Latinos who threaten to not vote in the upcoming elections as a way to protest Obamaâ€™s delay on immigration. She said that sitting out the elections could not only affect the outcomes of congressional races that include Latino candidates, but also other local races like city council, board of supervisors and school board.
â€œWe have to be careful. We have to look at the big picture,â€ Huerta insisted.