Post-Shellacking, Republicans Begin to Shift On Immigration

ABC News

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After watching Barack Obama get reelected with a whopping 75 percent of the Latino vote, including about half of the historically Republican-leaning Cuban-American vote in Florida, Republicans are beginning to warm to the idea of comprehensive immigration reform.

During Obama’s first term, Republicans successfully blocked attempts at comprehensive immigration reform and filibustered the DREAM Act. But during an interview with ABC News yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said it was time to tackle the issue:

It’s an important issue that I think oughta be dealt with. There’s– this issue has been around far too long. And while– I’m– believe it’s important for us to secure our borders and to enforce our laws– I think 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.

Some leading conservative pundits have also come around on the issue. Sean Hannity said on his radio program Thursday that undocumented immigrants who are “law-abiding” should be able to have a “path to citizenship” as long as the feds “secure the border.” Charles Krauthammer stopped short of supporting citizenship, but said that some sort of “amnesty” had to be considered

The backlash is already manifesting. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who has referred to illegal immigration as a “slow-motion holocaust,” tweeted yesterday that “Obama voters chose dependency over Liberty. Now establishment R’s want citizenship for illegals. You can’t beat Santa Claus with amnesty.” Republicans foiled George W. Bush’s attempts at comprehensive immigration reform, and the party has only moved right on the issue since. Not do Republicans exactly have a spectacular record of compromise with the Obama administration. 

Republicans who believe their problems with Latino voters can be completely resolved with a shift on immigration are probably mistaken. Immigration isn’t the only issue that Latinos care about, but Republican opposition to immigration reform is frequently expressed in terms that suggests blanket hostility to Latinos as a whole. Taking the issue off the table might help the GOP in that respect, but more importantly it would spur economic growth and provide a real solution for the roughly 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the US, most of whom are working hard, taking care of their families, and minding their own business. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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