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  1. #1
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005

    Maybe Bailing on Immigration Reform Actually Worked Out Well for Republicans

    The Wire
    Allie Jones
    Mar 31, 2014 10:38AM ET / Politics

    Maybe Bailing on Immigration Reform Actually Worked Out Well for Republicans

    In June 2013, a bipartisan group of senators (including presidential hopeful Marco Rubio) passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that President Obama promised to sign. Since then, Republicans have worked hard to distance themselves from that bill — Rubio stopped talking about it altogether, and Speaker of the House John Boehner says he won't bring it to the House floor. Now many Latinos are so disillusioned that they don't want to vote at all, making Boehner and the gang's gamble all too worth it.

    The New York Times noted Sunday that "immigrant-rights advocates report mounting disillusionment with both parties among Latinos, enough to threaten recent gains in voting participation that have reshaped politics to Democrats’ advantage nationally." Since President Obama and the Democrats haven't been able to overcome House Republican opposition to immigration reform, many Latinos are planning not to vote at all in the coming midterm elections, the Times reports. While most blame the GOP for blocking reform, they don't see good reasons to vote for Democrats, either.

    Lisa Duran, the executive director of immigrant-rights group Rights for All People, tells the Times,
    There’s a sense from some people that there’s nowhere to turn, and I’m afraid they’re just going to be frozen in frustration. It’s absolutely imperative that we not let that happen.

    MSNBC reporter Adam Serwer responded to the Times piece by tweeting, "This is why Republicans blocking immigration reform wasn't politically dumb after all."

    Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent disagrees — he still thinks the GOP will be more damaged by the immigration reform failure. Leticia Zavala, a constituent in Colorado (where Latinos made up 14 percent of the voting population in 2012), puts it this way:
    Many people are angry and upset because Obama promised so much and it’s been how many years? But the Republicans aren’t doing anything. We have something; there’s a bill. And for us to sit here in March 2014 with nothing — people are just really upset.

    The evidence that Latinos won't turn out for 2014 remains anecdotal — Sargent argues that Latino voters will make a difference in states like New Mexico, Florida, Colorado, and Texas. Turnout projections released earlier this month based on U.S. Census data reflect that claim. Of course, if the Obama administration continues to deport illegal immigrants at the same rate (almost 2 million so far), he could turn off even more voters.

    So Latino turnout in 2014 is pretty much up to the president at this point. One national Hispanic leader referred to him as the "deporter-in-chief" earlier this year, but Obama says he doesn't have the power to stop deportations of illegal adults under existing laws. Bottom line: voters want to see some kind of action between now and November. Talk show host Fernando Sergio says, "People feel like he's made some promises that he hasn’t fulfilled, that he can do more."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    The Week
    By Simon Maloy | April 1, 2014

    How badly must Republicans lose for immigration reform to win?

    The idea that a sufficiently brutal electoral drubbing would impel Republicans to back reform has become quaint

    Republicans are stuck in a self-defeating cycle on immigration. (John Moore/Getty Images)

    Immigration reform looks to be dead. Again. With the 2014 midterms bearing down and House Republicans standing pat, activists who pushed hard to get a bill passed in this session of Congress are making valedictory speeches about their efforts and looking to the future.

    MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin spoke to several pro-reform advocates who now expect President Obama to do what he can through executive orders. The strategy extends beyond November to the next presidential contest. "Immigration advocates hope to repeat the cycle by forcing the White House to take unilateral action," Sarlin wrote, "which would set the stage for Latino voters to punish the GOP in 2016, which in turn would pressure Republican leaders to finally cave on reform."

    The key word from that quote is "finally." The idea that a sufficiently brutal electoral drubbing would impel Republicans to back immigration reform is, at this point, quaint. As the relationship between Latino voters and the Republican Party has steadily deteriorated over the last decade, politicians from both sides of the aisle have more than once expressed hope that the tipping point had "finally" been reached. And yet it never has. So exactly how bad politically must it get for Republicans before we can expect immigration reform to pass?

    The answer seems to be nothing short of catastrophically bad. Since 2004, when George W. Bush took home somewhere between 40 and 44 percent of the Latino vote, the Republican Party has done everything in its power to destroy its standing with Latino voters, engaging in some of the most politically self-destructive behavior imaginable.

    After Bush's second inauguration, conservative House Republicans defied his proposals to implement paths to legal status and citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and instead passed a draconian immigration bill that beefed up security measures and made it a felony to be present in the country illegally. Moderate Senate Republicans joined Democrats in passing a comprehensive reform bill, but the House GOP dug in and refused to consider the Senate bill. The Republicans (including several prominent anti-reform legislators) were booted out of power in 2006, taking just 29 percent of the Latino vote.

    At the time, voices within the party seemed to understand that Republicans needed to get it right on immigration. "There has been too much of an anti-immigrant tone," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.). "There are a lot of Republicans who just want this issue behind us," said then-Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Advocacy groups sought to capitalize on the new political dynamic and get a bill passed in 2007.

    But, again, nothing happened. The new Democratic Congress' comprehensive immigration reform package ran into a seething, grinding maelstrom of opposition from nativists and right-wing hard-liners. The legislation died in the Senate, and then the issue took a backseat to the 2008 election. John McCain, a longtime supporter of comprehensive reform, bucked his own principles and played to the conservative base, pushing border security and going so far as to say he'd vote against his own legislation. McCain took 31 percent of the Latino vote.

    The 2010 midterms actually saw the GOP do slightly better with Latino voters, taking 38 percent in House races and electing a number of Latinos to high-profile statewide positions. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) looked at these isolated data points from a single electoral cycle and extrapolated a sunny future for Republicans. "The 2010 election actually paints a very bright picture of the Republican Party's relations with this country's growing Hispanic population," Smith wrote in The Washington Post.

    Smith's optimism butted up against the reality of Republican politics leading into 2012, when the GOP standard-bearer, Mitt Romney, famously adopted "self-deportation" as part of an immigration policy that would endear him to wary conservatives. The Republican share of the Latino vote plummeted again to a dismal 27 percent.

    Once more, hope for comprehensive immigration reform was spied in the Republican political wreckage. "A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I'm confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all," Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on ABC the day after the election. "When Republicans lost in November it was a wake-up call," Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said upon the release of the RNC's Growth and Opportunity Project report, which called for passing comprehensive reform. "It was such a clear two-by-four to the head in the 2012 election," said report co-author Ari Fleischer of Romney's anemic Latino support.

    And yet, here we are again at an impasse. The Senate passed yet another comprehensive reform bill, but Boehner refuses to touch it. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) helped shepherd that bill to passage, but he now says he no longer supports it. The House Republican leadership released a series of immigration "principles," but they won't put anything to an actual vote.

    This mystifying cycle is stuck on repeat. Each time Republicans come close to a moment of clarity on immigration, they backslide out of a perceived need to appease the conservative base. The GOP's projected gains in the midterms and growing apathy among frustrated Latino voters serve only to embolden Republicans and further delay action.

    So would another presidential defeat in 2016 be traumatic enough to get the Republicans with the program? Perhaps. If the party sees its gains in Congress pared back and its share of the Latino vote dips below Romney's weak showing, then maybe it will finally be forced to act out of self-preservation.

    Then again, such action would require active cooperation with a Democratic president, which Republicans in Congress can only seem to manage when their hand is forced by an impending crisis — defaulting on debt, careening over fiscal cliffs, and the like. Also, signing on to immigration reform would hand the Democratic president a victory that the party denied to George W. Bush. And if that Democratic president happens to bear the surname Clinton, then the prospect for rational behavior from congressional Republicans becomes all the more unlikely.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member vistalad's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    There's not need for congressional Repubs to do anything. 'Bama is doing their dirty work for them.
    Americans first in this magnificent country

    American jobs for American workers

    Fair trade, not free trade

  4. #4
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    No House floor vote to consider legalizing illegal immigrants

    Democrats lost the first major immigration fight of the year Wednesday after Republicans voting in unison in the House Budget Committee — rejected an effort to legalize illegal immigrants as part of the 2015 budget.
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