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Is Immigration Reform Smart Politics for the GOP?


Capitol buildingWith the partial government shutdown now over, perhaps Congress will focus its attention on immigration reform.

Much has been said about how the GOP could smooth out its relations with Asian American and Hispanic voters by opening up a path to citizenship for the millions currently undocumented in the US.

It’s no secret that more than 70 percent of the Asian American and Hispanic vote went to Barack Obama in the last election presidential election.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates immigration reform as now currently proposed in the Senate would add 17 million potential new voters by 2036.

A blog by Byron York in Philly Burbs argues that Republicans will only be digging themselves into a deeper hole by supporting reforms.

He points to a recent Pew Study which found 75 percent support among Hispanics for a larger role of government. Asian Americans prefer large government 55 to 36.

Those numbers don’t exactly point to future GOP voters. But York is being short sighted. A lot can happen between now and 2036. If the GOP can’t fix it’s problem with minority voters in 19 years, they don’t deserve to be in politics.

Plus even if Congress decided to keep the status quo, the Census Bureau projects that by 2043 whites will no longer be the majority in the United States. Its expected that by then, there will be no single majority group in the country.  In other words, the GOP has a problem with or without immigration reform.

Here’s what’s also likely. If Republicans don’t do anything about our immigration system, the growing Asian American and Hispanic electorate will speak louder and even more clearly in 2016 than in 2012.

If that happens, political analysts won’t have to wait 19 years to write the obit of the Grand Old Party.





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