The Republicans have surrendered on the battle over immigration reform, and that’s actually a sensible move. Ignore the boasts that the immigration deal will include tough border enforcement or that illegals who break the law will be swiftly deported (there’s always been wide bipartisan support for those measures). The capitulation by Republicans is the agreement for normalization of more than 11 million illegals living in the United States. (Read)
With illegals being allowed to work and live in the United States as permanent residents, that is a policy that will never be changed. Once it is granted, it is eternal. To try to reverse it would be political suicide. Republicans have always been technically correct to assert that illegal immigration, by its very definition, is a crime, and that 11 million-plus illegals in the U.S. should not be tolerated. But, in politics, being technically correct is not always the right side of the issue. There is the human equation, that involved folks seeking a better life here and the adverse consequences they suffered, such as exploitable working conditions in slaughterhouses or the fields, abuse moving through the borders, and families being split up after the occasional federal raid.
An inability to mix the human with their policies on immigration reform have hurt the Republican Party badly with Hispanics. It’s not surprising that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, an Hispanic, is the point man for the GOP on the immigration reform issue, which should pass Congress easily and be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
One future fight does remain with immigration. It’s the eventual citizenship of the millions of illegals who will enjoy permanent residence here. Democrats will be more support speeding their path to citizenship. Republicans will oppose that, arguing that they need to get in line and spend the requisite several years to achieve citizenship. What drives this debate, of course, is the current propensity of Hispanics to vote Democrats.