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Immigration reform: Can the GOP really win Hispanic votes with a flip-flop?

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And some Republicans, in addition to Democratic counterparts, are considering reforms that would give illegal immigrants a defined path to citizenship. If the Department of Homeland Security can manage to secure the borders to lawmakers’ satisfaction, illegal immigrants could “come out of the shadows, get biometrically identified, start paying taxes, [and] pay a fine for the law they broke,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Senator Graham continued, “They can’t stay unless they learn our language, and they have to get in the back of the line before they can become citizens. They can’t cut in front of the line regarding people who are doing it right, and it can take over a decade to get their green card.”

But even with a GOP-sanctioned immigration reform, more Hispanics would not necessarily vote Republican. J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department voting rights attorney, has argued forcefully that compromising on immigration may seem logical, and may even be the right thing to do, but is not likely to lead to any broad shifts in the Hispanic vote.

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