Biden uses Cinco de Mayo to insist 11 million Mexican illegal immigrants are ‘already Americans’ – but Latino group accuses him of ‘Hispandering’

Vice President Joe Biden with a crowd of about 100 Hispanic-Americans during a Cinco de Mayo breakfast at the Naval Observatory near his official residence

Vice President Joe Biden insisted on Monday that the estimated 11.5 million people living in the U.S. illegally are ‘already Americans,’ whether or not the U.S. Congress passes a law providing them with a path to citizenship.

His comments at a breakfast to mark the beginning of Cinco de Mayo, an unofficial holiday that residents of the Mexican state of Puebla founded to mark their country’s unlikely victory over French armed forces in 1862.

“To continue the dreams of all the American people, we have got to get 11 million people out of the shadows,” Biden said.

“It’s not just to benefit those 11 million people; it’s badly needed for the country. The country needs a shot in the arm and this would give it a considerable shot in the arm.”

Not everyone in America’s fast-growing community of Latinos appreciated the speech, however.

Latino Rebels, a wildly popular center-left English-language Latino blog, called it “Hispandering” to likely Democratic voters.