After years of courting Latino voters with a softer tone on immigration, Republican leaders in Congress have all but abandoned that posture, risking what remains of GOP support among the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.
The latest example is the near-unanimous opposition by Senate Republicans to the Dream Act, a measure that provides a way for some illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to become citizens. ...
Nearly 40% of all Latinos in the U.S. are immigrants, and a vast majority of Latino voters — 85%, according to a recent poll by the Pew Hispanic Center — support creation of a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally.
What's really going on here is that current GOP senators are bowing to the pressure being exerted by the far-right members of their party. The danger to such an approach should be obvious, but here's a clue: Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina didn't do so well in California and Sharon Angle didn't win in Nevada. Abel Maldonado, the current Lieutenant Governor of California, issued a piece of advice to his Republican colleagues: read the obituaries and the birth notices in local papers, and then see why getting serious about immigration reform is imperative if the party is to survive.
He's beginning to look like the smartest man in his party.