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Immigration Is an Economic Issue: Actress and Obama Campaign Co-Chair Eva Longoria

Bernice Napach
Daily Ticker

Immigration reform is a hot issue in Washington and one of the few that has bipartisan support. It's at the top of President Obama's second term agenda and has the support of  some leading Republicans including Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

“Immigration is an economic issue,” says Eva Longoria, an actress who co-chaired the president’s inaugural committee and election campaign. “Aside from being a labor issue and a humanitarian issue, it is first and foremost in our best interest…to figure out a way that we can bring these people out of the shadows and allow them to contribute even more to this country.”

Immigration reform is a crucial issue for Hispanics — such as Longoria — who voted overwhelmingly for President Obama in the 2012 election. Seventy-one percent of the Hispanic vote — which has climbed to 10% of the electorate — went to Obama and helped deliver key swing states such as Florida to the president.

Related: Most Important Debate Issue? Immigration, Says Yahoo!'s Olivier Knox

Longoria tells The Daily Ticker that the Latino community has to become a political bloc and movement in order to be the most effective. “It’s not up to celebrities to do that," she says. "It’s up to Americans. Everything I do as an activist is because I’m an American — not because of my job.”

Longoria is the daughter of Mexican Americans who settled in the U.S. in the 1800s. About 200 years before that, her ancestors had emigrated from Spain to settle in the New World.

Longoria was in New York City Tuesday to ring the opening bell at the NYSE as a spokesperson for Frito-Lay, maker of Lay’s potato chips, along with representatives from PepsiCo (PEP), its parent company. The company was celebrating the introduction of three new flavors suggested by consumers who participated in its “Do Us a Flavor” contest: Cheesy Garlic Bread, Chicken & Waffles and Siracha.

Related: Coke and Pepsi Join War on Obesity: "Calories Count"

Consumers can buy the new flavored chips in stores now and vote for their favorite via Lay’s Facebook page, by Twitter using the hashtag #SaveChickenWaffles, #SaveGarlic Bread or #SaveSriracha, or via text message by texting VOTE to 24477 (CHIPS) from now until May 4, 2013. The winning contestant will be announced in May and awarded a $1 million prize. All three contestants who suggested the finalist flavors — 3.8 million were submitted — will get $50,000.

“This product was 100% consumer driven and can change your life with a $1 million prize,” says Longoria.

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