The GOP And Immigration Reform

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

Immigration reform and the GOP. The big Republican debate of whether the party should go for diversity or go white.

In this April 18, 2013 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., center, and others Senators, participate in a news conference on immigration on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

In this April 18, 2013 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., center, and others Senators, participate in a news conference on immigration on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

The comprehensive immigration bill died last week in the House.  After the 2012 election, Republicans saw demographic changes were working against them.

Marco Rubio, John McCain, pushed for immigration reform.  For a path to citizenship.  The rest of Republican Party seemed to get on board.  It was a big issue with bipartisan support.  With momentum.  Then the sense of urgency faded.  And some in the GOP started questioning how much of the non-white vote they really needed.

This hour, On Point:  the battle within the Republican Party over how inclusive it needs to be.


Rachel Smolkin, deputy managing editor for Politico. (@rachelsmolkin)

Sean Trende, senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics, where he has written a four-part series on demographics and the GOP. Author of “The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government is up for Grabs and Who Will Take It.” (@seantrende)

Mercedes Viana Schlapp, co-founder of Cove Strategies, a communications and political consulting firm. She served in the White House for President George W. Bush as a spokesperson for Spanish-language media outlets. She writes weekly for US News and World Report.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: Republicans in House Resist Overhaul for Immigration — “Meeting for the first time as a group to hash out their approach to immigration, House Republicans on Wednesday came down overwhelmingly against a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, putting in jeopardy the future of sweeping legislation that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.”

RealClearPolitics: Does GOP Have to Pass Immigration Reform? — “Today I’d like to talk in a little more depth about the immigration debate and the demographic changes facing the country, and ask whether Republicans really do have to pass immigration reform (much less something akin to the Senate’s version of immigration reform) to survive as a party, as too many commentators to cite have suggested.”

Slate: Who Needs Hispanic Votes — “Republicans currently control 234 of the House’s 435 voting districts. In 210 of these districts—eight short of the votes you need to elect a speaker—the Hispanic share of the vote is below 25 percent. Of the other 24 districts where Hispanic voters might be problematic for a Republican who attacks the immigration bill, 12 went for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama. So, if House Republicans held every one of their current seats that only have a tiny fraction of Hispanics, and the dozen with solid Hispanic votes but Republican tendencies, they’d have the majority with four votes to spare.”

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