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February 10, 2014

In Our Opinion: GOP move hurts Hispanics and itself

The Daily Star

---- — T here were three big losers and one big winner resulting from Speaker of the House John Boehner’s announcement Thursday that immigration reform won’t be passed in any form in 2014.

The first losers were the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who should not have to live in limbo, to live in fear of families being separated, to have their education and job opportunities stifled.

The second losers are the American people, whose economy would greatly benefit from the work and intellectual capacity of those given a full measure of the American dream.

The third losers are members of the Boehner’s Republican Party, who — in pursuit of short-term gain in the 2014 congressional races — just might be consigning themselves to many, many years of watching Democrats occupy the White House.

There aren’t many verities in politics, but you can count on one given the current demographics of America. If you want to be president, you had better have at least a decent share of the Latino/Hispanic vote.

Mitt Romney captured only 27 percent of Hispanics’ votes, down from 31 percent for John McCain (who lost) in 2008, and 44 percent for George W. Bush (who won) in 2004.

Romney lost eight of nine so-called swing states to President Barack Obama, was outpolled by nearly 3 million votes overall, and suffered a massive 332-206 loss in the electoral college tally.

After that defeat, the Republican Party — realizing that it had lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections — did something very smart. It produced a 100-page report on what went wrong, and what it needs to do to be more competitive.

The immigration issue was front and center.

“[I]f Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence,” the report said, urging the party to “embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform.”

We believe that Boehner and the responsible GOP members of the House would like to follow the Senate’s lead and pass an immigration bill this year, but they are too scared of the far-right members of their caucus. The very conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board agrees.

“So great is the House GOP fear of a talk-radio backlash that it won’t even pass smaller (immigration) bills that 75% of Republicans agree on,” the Journal said in an editorial.

Republican resistance to immigration reform will not go unnoticed in the fast-growing Hispanic community, whose media follow these events closely.

Oh, and the winner in all this GOP self-destruction?

That would be Democrat Hillary Clinton, who, rumor has it, might just be running for president in 2016.