Republicans late to party on immigration reform
by Kevin Foley
February 08, 2013 12:11 AM | 1275 views | 11 11 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This time last year, Republican presidential primary candidates were racing to see who could offend the most Latino and Hispanic voters.

“What about deportation?” asked tea party darling Michelle Bachmann. “I believe we should uphold the laws of the land, which does include deportation.”

“Part of (the solution) would have a real fence,” declared Herman Cain. “Twenty feet high, with barbed wire — electrified — with a sign on the other side that says it can kill you. It’ll be in English and Spanish.”

“The answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can’t find work here because they don’t have legal documentation to allow them to work here,” the eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney added.

Predictable payback came at the polls last November when 71 percent of Hispanic and Latino voters supported President Obama. Just 27 percent backed Romney, down from the 44 percent margin President George W. Bush enjoyed in 2004.

It was a stinging rebuke of Republican rhetoric from the fastest growing segment of American voters.

“The conservative movement should have particular appeal to people in minority and immigrant communities,” lamented Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican son of Cuban immigrants, “Republicans need to work harder than ever to communicate our beliefs to them.”

“The country is changing demographically,” explained former Secretary of State Colin Powell, another Republican son of immigrants. “When we see that in one more generation, the minorities of America, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asia-Americans will be the majority of the country, you can’t go around saying we don’t want to have a solid immigration policy.”

Realizing yesterday’s inflammatory words have political consequences today, the GOP is scrambling to repair the self-inflicted damage done to their party’s image among immigrant constituencies.

Rubio was recently joined by seven Senate colleagues including John McCain, Lindsay Graham and four leading Democrats to unveil their Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

“Our legislation (will) secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system, while creating a tough but fair legalization program,” said a statement from the “Gang of Eight.”

“First, Americans support it in poll after poll,” commented Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat working with the Republicans. “Secondly, Latino voters expect it. Thirdly, Democrats want it. And fourth, Republicans need it.”

The plan would require those here illegally to register with the government, pass a background check, pay a fine for entering the U.S. illegally, pay back taxes, learn English and civics, and demonstrate a work history. Only then would they be permitted to go to the back of the green card line and wait their turn. Eventually they could apply for citizenship.

Meantime, employers would be permitted to hire immigrants if they are unable to recruit an American to fill a position. All of these reform provisions are contingent on securing the border first.

Rep. Raul Labrador predicts the pathway to citizenship will lead to more Democratic voters. He’d prefer a plan that permits immigrants to stay as guest workers.

“Anybody who’s clamoring for citizenship is looking for voters, and they’re looking for union members,” claims Labrador. “They’re not looking for a policy that actually strengthens the United States.”

Other prominent Republicans disagree with the Idaho tea partier.

“Almost 70 percent of Americans believe that something has to be done to fix our immigration system,” wrote Rosario Marin, the Mexican-born Treasury secretary under George W. Bush. “They believe that those 11 or 12 million people, who are here without their proper documents, should be legalized one way or another and be provided some kind of path to citizenship.”

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(11)
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George Middleton
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February 11, 2013
Kevin, thanks for explaining your confirmation bias. "The only respectiable polls are the ones that agree with me."

BTW, you have not produced anything to validate the results of the poll you are quoting. (Hint, the fact that FOX quotes them doesn't mean a damned thing to me, as I do not watch FOX)
Kevin Foley
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February 10, 2013
@Johnson and Middleton...Sorry, but Rasmussen is a GOP poll and unreliable. Rasmussen predicted Romney would beat Obama "handily" on Nov. 5.

Numbers USA, an anti-immigration outfit, is also biased. Don't believe them if they aren't independent.

Quinnipiac is an independent, highly respected polling organization based out of Quinnipac University and frequently cited on Fox News and other media. It predicted the Obama victory.

Because they don't affirm what you think doesn't make them wrong.
George Middleton
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February 11, 2013
Kevin, thanks for explaining your confirmation bias. "The only respectiable polls are the ones that agree with me."

BTW, you have not produced anything to validate the results of the poll you are quoting. (Hint, the fact that FOX quotes them doesn't mean a damned thing to me, as I do not watch FOX)
Bob Johnson
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February 10, 2013
Kevin please take a look at the latest Rasmussen poll and the Numbers USA polls they will give you the real numbers. Do a little research and you will see I'am correct and it is you that is mistaken.
Bob Johson
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February 08, 2013
Kevin that is the same old song Rich Pelligrino has been singing here for years. The majority of American Citizens want the illegal aliens deported.
Kevin Foley
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February 08, 2013
You are mistaken. A Quinnipac poll released this week shows 56% of American think immigrants should stay and be given a path to citizenship and 10% think they should stay but not be given a path to citizenship.

Just 30% think they should be deported.
Bob Johnson
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February 09, 2013
Kevin check the latest polls from Rasmussen or Numbers USA and you will see I'am correct.
George Middleton
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February 09, 2013
Kevin, I woudl be interested in knowing more abotu this poll. How wide reaching was it, given hat the University conducting it is lcated in Connecticut? What were the questions asked? what demographic groups particioated in the poll?

who massaged the responses and who guarantees the integrity of same?

You see, I know how manipulative these independent polls can be, and I don't place a lot of faith in them, just taken at face value.
Bob Johnson
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February 09, 2013
Kevin

Have you looked at the latest Rasmussen Poll or Numbers USA Poll's? They prove I'am right. I can find more polls that prove my point if needed.
anonymous
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February 08, 2013
Even you write "secure the border first" as an afterthought.

Conservatives know that this will never happen and illegal third world immigrants will continue flowing in while the professional, educated immigrants continue to wait in long, bureaucratic lines for green cards or citizenship.

You Dems just want slave labor, and are being fooled by the immigrants who know that within a generation their children will be getting all the benefits and they will no longer do "the jobs Americans don't want to do." They will demand ever more, cost states and municipalities billions of dollars and vote Democrat. As per usual, you don't think of the consequences. It's either wreck the capitalist system on purpose or build your power/voting base. Those are the only goals.
Bull runner
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February 10, 2013
And then cite slanted polls and the New York Times as though that's enough to bolster the lack of logical thought.

We don't live by mob rule in any case Foley. Until you talk about the results of unlimited immigration from the third world using facts, your column is built on smoke and mirrors. Just like the Democrat party.
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