Sunday, July 01, 2007

After Bill’s Fall, G.O.P. May Pay in Latino Votes

Many Republican lawmakers returned to their home districts in triumph this week, having beat back a comprehensive immigration bill that many of their constituents had denounced as untenable.
But the bill’s demise may have greatly damaged the party’s ability to meet its enduring goal of attracting a large percentage of the growing number of Hispanic voters — thousands of whom are ostensibly in line with the party on a host of other issues, said many Republican lawmakers, consultants and Hispanic voters.

“There may be some short-term gain from this,” said Linda Chavez, who served in the Reagan administration and is now chairwoman of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative public policy group. “But in the long term, it is disastrous for the Republican Party.”
The nasty rhetoric of the Republican Party during this debate could only be viewed by Latinos as bigotry. The problem they had with the bill was not the guest worker program, that would benefit big business at the expense of both the immigrant and the working poor, but the so called amnesty provision that would have given them a path to citizenship.

This is the same party that wants to make English the national language by statute. How can they expect to sway legal immigrants to the Republican party with such bigoted positions?

Those so opposed to amnesty need to ask themselves exactly what did these people do that was so horrible that it can not be forgiven? They simply came for a better life from places where life is tough and feeding your family is a struggle. There are ways to express your views without being a bigot. The Republican party does not know how to do with with immigrants, minorities or the Gay and lesbian population.

If the Latinos were smart they would never vote for any Republicans until the party is reclaimed from the fanatics that now control it.
Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a leading opponent of the measure, at one point in the debate, said, “The bill would provide amnesty and a path to citizenship for people who broke into our country by running past the National Guard.”
That quote is one of the examples of the bigoted rhetoric during the debate on this issue. Is it any wonder why the Latino vote will surely swing Democratic?

I was not in favor of passage of this bill either. I felt it lacked the necessary teeth to secure the borders and punish the employers who hire illegal immigrants but it was not out of any prejudice for the immigrants. I don't think the Republican party can say the same thing.

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