MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - President Barack Obama visited South Florida on Tuesday for two events during which he hoped to raise campaign funds and solidify support from Hispanic voters.
Air Force One landed about a half-hour earlier than expected, just after 4:40 p.m., and then the president headed to Miami Beach.
Obama first went to the home of supporters F.J. and Abigail Pollack for the first event for a $40,000 a plate dinner. They are under orders from the campaign and the Secret Service not to say anything.
The second event featured a performance by Marc Anthony at the Fillmore Miami Beach.
The president won the Sunshine State in 2008 and is determined to do it again, with strong Hispanic support, after stopping the deportations of illegal immigrants brought here as children. That policy change solidified support for Obama among many Hispanic voters.
"He shares our story, and I assure you, in speaking to him, that he gets us. He has our back, and now it's time to show him that he has ours," Anthony said.
Tickets to Tuesday night's event at the Fillmore, where Anthony will sing, cost up to $5,000. More than 1,500 attended.
A big turnout is expected from some top Democratic donors, and Obama can use it. His likely Republican opponent Mitt Romney beat him in campaign fundraising last month.
A group of Haitian-Americans asked Obama on Tuesday to let more than 100,000 already approved Haitians come into the U.S.
"Haitians deserve equal treatment. This measure does not require an act of Congress," said Marleine Bastien, of Haitian Women of Miami.
Outside the Fillmore, gay, lesbian, and transgender protested his visit.
"We're asking President Obama to not only say things but to actually implement policy that protects us all," said Sousa Rodriguez.
The Romney campaign in Tallahassee sent out a statement Tuesday afternoon saying the Obama presidency has been "a tragedy for Hispanics."
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