Immediately following the close re-election of President Obama this past Election Day, numerous Republican leaders and senators are calling for immediate immigration reform. One policy includes legalizing illegal immigrants that are in the United States, which seems to run counter to general Republican views on immigration.
Daniel Gonzalez explains this in his article about immigration reform when he says, “They must support a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants if they want the support of Latino voters…The sudden move to embrace immigration reform by Republican leaders and conservatives so soon after the election shows how politically powerful the Latino vote has become.” Considering that President Obama received a record-breaking 75% of the nation’s Latino voters, the Republicans are addressing problems to hopefully gain some of the prospective Latino voters.
He goes on to explain that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney would have most likely won the election had he appealed to immigration reform in a different manner. His expression of highly conservative views on immigration caused the Latino voters to heavily sway to Obama’s side.
On another note, these proposals by Republican leaders may show some signs of immigration reform in the near future, because it might break the gridlock between the different stances of Democrats and Republicans. These two parties setting aside their difference and agreeing on one general plan for immigration is essential in progressing immigration laws in our country.
Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows and ponies for the Republican leaders, since they are expecting a significant amount of backlash from their far right supporters. This might lead to a decrease in support from these specific voters, but in the end, I believe the Latino voters, who consider themselves Republicans but voted Democrat because of immigration policies, will far surpass the amount of votes lost by extremist conservatives. However, there is time until the next elections in 2014, so who exactly knows what direction the Republicans will be at that point in time. Only time will tell.