Reid: GOP Efforts to Stop Immigration Reform Should Lose Latino Voters
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a push for Hispanic voters Tuesday by arguing Republicans are to blame for the Senate’s inability to move forward with immigration reform efforts. “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK,” Reid said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Do I need to say more?”
Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in the U.S., and polls indicate that only 13 percent of Latinos identify as Republicans, compared to the 54 percent who identify as Democrats. These voters want to see immigration reform, according to polls, and the Obama administration reportedly hopes Republican opposition will cement the divide between Latino voters and the Republican Party.
Reid consistently blames the lack of GOP support for the Senate’s failure to take up immigration reform. “So why don’t we fix it? They won’t let us,” he told Latino voters Tuesday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
One bipartisan effort, a $600 million border security bill, is headed back to the Senate after a procedural problem caused it to start over in the House. But other immigration-related legislation pushes have stalled without sufficient Republican support, and more GOP members are using harsh rhetoric against illegal immigrants and their families.
As I’ve mentioned before, the change is particularly marked considering the efforts of the Bush administration to appeal to Latino voters. Two former Bush officials came out against efforts to look into the 14th Amendment, arguing the amendment is part of the party’s legacy and should be protected.
Newsweek’s Ben Adler questioned whether the current anti-immigrant rhetoric is a good political move for the future of the GOP:
As Jonathan Chait of *The New Republic *writes, this is good politics in an off-year election, when low turnout among newer voters guarantees an electorate that will skew older and whiter than the population as a whole. But a funny thing happens over time: children grow up, and start to vote, and the electorate diversifies. Will Republicans be able to erase the image of intolerance that this proposal may imprint among the young, nonwhite voters of the future?