Republicans confirmed their remarkable about-face regarding the question that, among others, cost the victory of their candidate in November. They have officially endorsed the idea of a political immigration reform that would allow for the normalization of millions of illegal immigrants. Even the tea party seems to realize that it can no longer wager exclusively on the “angry white men” vote.
“Let’s start that conversation by acknowledging we aren’t going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants,” declared Republican Senator Rand Paul, who is also a tea party member and possible contender for the White House in 2016. “Immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution.”
In a speech before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, “un poco Espanglish y un poco Tex Mex,” the libertarian senator from Kentucky — raised in Texas — remained rather vague on the question of normalization, which he linked to securing the border. “If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you,” he declared. In an article that appeared in the conservative newspaper The Washington Times, he was a little more specific and proposed normalizing immigrants at a rate of “two million per year” by starting with the “dream kids,” the children of illegals who already have work permits.
It’s an important step for a fraction of the tea party that, a little over a month ago, considered a bipartisan reform proposal introduced by four Republican senators and their Democratic counterparts as a genuine betrayal.
The survival of the Republican Party is at stake. The Grand Old Party certified in its last report, Growth Opportunity Project, that “America looks different” and that in 2050, whites will only be 47 percent of the population while Hispanics will be 29 percent.
“If we want ethnic minority voters to support Republicans, we have to engage them and show our sincerity,” affirms the report. It even cites a quote from George W. Bush, who faced opposition when he tried immigration reform in 2007. “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.”