This week there was a big show of some Republican and Democrat Senators coming together to make a major bipartisan effort on immigration reform; real reform America wouldn’t have to be ashamed of. The awkward thing is just last year Republican candidates bashing President Obama’s DREAM Act and talking about the likes of “self-deportation” and electrical border fences with alligator moats.
Even to the average observer some Republicans have changed their tune towards immigration in a matter of weeks. This probably has something to do with the fact that President Obama received 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2012 Election.
Republicans know their standing with Hispanic Americans is poor. They know Hispanics make up the largest portion of population growth in the country. They see what is becoming a growing Democratic voting base in the future, only weakening their political prospects, so they’ve decided to lose some of their irrational views and try to pander.
Despite every single pundit with some type of representation of the American Hispanic community saying Hispanics are not single issue voters who don’t just care about immigration reform but vote for Democrats based on their fiscal stances, politicians on both sides treat immigration as if it is the golden ticket to that voting base.
It is my analysis that truly positive immigration reform will gain Republicans nothing more than a marginal increase in favorability with Hispanics. For too long they were and still are the party in favor of “papers, please” laws and building giant fences to keep out the “illegals”. Changing their tune now won’t only seem like an extremely reactive and inauthentic act, but it will do little more than put another feather in the cap of a Democratic President.
Don’t get me wrong, these conservative politicians now arguing for smart and truly fair immigration reform are doing the right thing, but they will have to continue doing the right thing for a long time if they hope to win hearts, minds, and votes.