Senate hearings begin this week on the 844-page immigration reform proposal written by a bipartisan group of eight senators, including co-author Florida senator and conservative idol Marco Rubio. Though opposition still looms, for the first time in years partisan outrage appears to be absent – and this latest immigration reform proposal may have the best chance of passing in a very long while.
Here are three reasons why:
The 2012 election
You haven’t already forgotten, have you? If the 2012 election taught us anything, it is that Hispanic voters matter. Like the youth vote in 2008, Hispanics were the star bloc of the last election, arguably the reason Mr. Obama won and GOP contender Mitt Romney lost.
It’s not just the GOP that recognizes that. Obama won 71 percent of Hispanic voters in 2012, and frankly, he may feel he owes them – especially since he’s been promising immigration reform since he ran for office in 2008.
And the GOP, well, its “pathetic job of reaching out to people of color” (as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) told Fox News after his party’s thrashing) cost it the White House last year. And the party knows it’s more or less doomed without Hispanic support in coming years.
“If we don’t do better with Hispanics, we’ll be out of the White House forever,” Republican strategist Ana Navarro said post-election.