Last week in my minority politics of Latin America class, we discussed the presidential election results, a hot topic of the week. Of the things we discussed one was the changing demographics of the United States, which served to help Obama win re-election. With the increase of Latino voters in the United States, Democrats have had an easier time winning office. Something that came up in our discussion was what the impact of adding Puerto Rico as a state would have on the electorate of the United States. Our professor stated that if Puerto Rico were to be added, as the 51st state to the United States, as their policies are now, Republicans would have very little chance in winning presidential elections.
This discussion in my politics class came at a similar time when Sean Hannity, a Fox News star announced a new immigration policy that now includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who live in the United States. With the increasing population of Latinos and Latino voters in the United States, Hannity realizes that Republicans cannot win political office as easily with their current, tough on immigration policies. Hannity now calls for an immigration policy that in my mind is quite progressive, in order to lure Latinos over to the republican and conservative side. He calls for securing the border and allowing all the undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, without criminal records, a pathway to citizenship. For such a conservative spokesperson to spout out this progressive and reasonable immigration policy is quite surprising. The conservative and republican base must really be devastated about the losses they endured this election to take this turn. However, it is great that finally both sides of the aisle have now come out and realized that the United States population is changing and is calling for more than necessary immigration reform. Hannity’s declaration has come at a time where many view the Republican Party as too traditional, too old and irrelevant to today’s world and the United States population.
Time will tell what affect this recent declaration will have on immigration policy and reform. Maybe Democrats and Republicans will come together now that both sides have similar views on immigration reform. However, the Republican Party may distance themselves from Hannity and this immigration policy. One can only hope that progress will be made, that politicians will finally listen to their constituents and do the right thing. Immigration reform is a must and both parties need to come together in order to pass comprehensive immigration reform.