Why Hofstra Is the Perfect Place To Talk About Immigration

In 2011, Levy halted his campaign for a third term in office in order to stop an investigation into improper fundraising, surrendering more than $4 million in campaign funds as part of a deal with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.

The stage at Hofstra will provide an opportunity for both candidates to appeal to the Latino electorate. That means there won't be much room for negative or unrealistic solutions regarding illegal immigration. If anything, expect "Hispandering."

4. Their Economy Depends on Immigrants

Immigrants make up 16 percent of the population on Long Island, but account for 17 percent of its total economic output, according to "New Americans on Long Island: A Vital Sixth of the Economy," a report by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Immigrants open small businesses, as well: "Of the 53,000 small businesses located on Long Island, 15,000 -- 22 percent -- are owned by immigrants, generating profits of $804 million," the report said, referencing a yearly average of profits from 2005 to 2009.

The economic impact of immigration could make for a great question. Congress has considered several bills opening up more visas for high-tech entrepreneurs and President Obama's deferred action program is letting young undocumented immigrants live and work in the U.S. The debate could be a chance to look at the impact.

5. Minority Groups Are Still Growing

While Long Island is considered one of the most segregated places in the country, minority communities are growing, spurred on by growth from immigrant groups. Latinos, blacks and Asians make up nearly 30 percent of the population on Long Island, but that hasn't necessarily translated to a voice in politics. That will be hard to avoid when this group makes up such a large part of the voting bloc.

According to the latest census data, the non-Hispanic white majority will end in 2042. That means that Long Island isn't the only region in the country where minority groups are growing, and where questions of education, healthcare, transportation and jobs will be at the forefront.

The economy and jobs will clearly be on the radar of the candidates tonight -- but the audience may surprise Romney and Obama with a question that not only asks about jobs, but about jobs for Latinos.

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