Amnesty Won’t Win The Hispanic Vote for the GOP

“[Ann] Coulter and her allies may have a point—up to a point. There is considerable evidence that Hispanics’ estrangement from Republicans is not just due to the well-known resistance of Romney and others to support citizenship for those here illegally. On a slew of issues, Hispanics are drawn to the Democratic Party, and it has become harder, albeit not impossible, for Republicans to pry them loose even with the lure of immigration reform,” says Matt Cooper in National Journal.

“Begin with the facts. No Republican presidential candidate has won a majority of the Hispanic vote in modern times, and this showing seems to have little relationship to immigration policy. Only 31 percent of Hispanics supported McCain—and he was coauthor with Sen. Edward Kennedy of an immigration-reform measure. (Opposition to immigration reform reduced Romney’s share of the Hispanic vote, but only to 27 percent.) Ronald Reagan passed an amnesty-style immigration reform in 1986, and two years later George H.W. Bush could only get 30 percent of the Hispanic vote in the election.”

GOP Divisions on Immigration Continue

“As bipartisan immigration legislation takes shape in Congress to grant legal status to the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, a quiet civil war is raging in the Republican Party on the issue,” Bloomberg News reports.

“Republican leaders and many top party strategists are embracing the effort as a political imperative for a party smarting from its demographically driven drubbing in 2012. Meanwhile, a vocal law-and-order faction — including activists who form the backbone of the party’s electoral base — is increasingly motivated to block it, as it has done with previous attempts to revamp immigration policy. ”

House, Senate Groups Working to Complete Amnesty Bills

“Two groups of bipartisan lawmakers in the House and the Senate are racing to put the finishing touches on massive and complex legislative proposals for immigration reform that could be introduced shortly after Easter,” the Washington Post reports.

“A bipartisan group of eight senators has been meeting virtually daily to hammer out details of the bill, including how to structure new visa programs that would fundamentally alter legal immigration, as well as the politically treacherous issue of extending legalization and eventual citizenship to the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.”

Border Security Still a Flashpoint in Arizona

“The issue of border security — hard to measure but easy to manipulate — has long been a sticking point in the debate over illegal immigration. The Obama administration, hoping to win congressional support for an overhaul of immigration law, increased spending on customs and border enforcement to a record $12 billion in 2012, and it claims to have reduced infiltration of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border to its lowest level in decades,” the Washington Post writes.

“Today, as the Obama administration seeks lawmakers’ backing for steps that would legalize millions of undocumented residents, Arizona’s conservative forces are rallying for another fight. This time, they have new ammunition from sequester cutbacks and reports of Mexican drug gangs muscling in on what was once a routine cat-and-mouse game between federal agents and poor migrants.”