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Monday, January 28, 2013

Immigration Reform - Republicans Learn to Count

Senator John McCain had a golden opportunity to speak like a statesman rather than a politician when he was asked about the renewed interest in immigration reform coming from the Republican obstructionists.  In the past, Republicans have been opposed to avenues whereby American immigrants are provided a path to citizenship.  Now that Republicans lost the 2012 Latino vote, they're looking to court this growing influential voting block.

Senator McCain was asked what's different about immigration reform now? Why this time?

(CNN) – A bipartisan group of senators expressed confidence Monday in their proposal for major immigration reform. But after the last big congressional push failed in 2007, many are asking why it would work this time around.
"Elections. Elections," Republican Sen. John McCain said Monday in a press conference, when CNN's Dana Bash asked what was behind the optimism. "The Republican Party is losing the support of our Hispanic citizens and we realize that there are many issues on which we think we are in agreement with our Hispanic citizens but this is a preeminent issue with those citizens."

McCain could have said, "We embrace our nation's immigrant history and it's time all Americans welcome those who have made great sacrifices to live and work in our country."

Instead, McCain said the newly enlightened bipartisan spirit on immigration reform is directly related to "votes".  Hispanic voters have finally taught Republican arithmetic!  Indeed, the candidates with the most votes win elections and Hispanics are providing a growing number of ballots in this sum of all the voters who vote.

But, will the Republican political sea turn on immigration reform work in attracting Hispanic voters to their party?  I doubt it.  After all, it's simply rude to invite Hispanics to the voting population and court them as numbers while, at the same time, continue treating them as second class citizens. It's like inviting guests to dinner just to fill empty seats at the table. 

Americans should be embarrassed by the way we've treated immigrants, especially because every one of us are descendants of people who took great risks to populate and defend this country.  Immigrants who are seeking a better way of life should not live in fear of deportation when they're law abiding citizens who are working hard employees at labor jobs. 

For the time being, Hispanic voters finally taught Republicans how to accept the outcome of the 2012 election.  Without Hispanic votes, future candidates will have a very difficult time winning national elections.  Thank you to Hispanic voters for finally teaching Republicans how to count votes.

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