Suddenly, Republicans are in a panic about passing immigration reform legislation. Why? We've been rolling along with things the way they are for years now, so why all at once does this have to be done? Why, also, does it have to be done in one big piece of comprehensive legislation? The answer is simple: votes. The Republican leaders seem to think this is the only way to win Latino votes. I believe Latinos will still, by and large, vote for Democrats no matter what legislation passes. Republicans will never be able to outdo Dems with the freebies, so why try?
Representative Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, opposes the Senate's comprehensive bill and plans instead to advance a series of more narrowly focused immigration bills. This is the best way, in my opinion, to accomplish true reform and come up with good legislation. The Senate always seems to want to come up with huge, sweeping legislation; unfortunately, what we usually end up with is a 2,000 page bill that is incomprehensible and causes more problems than it solves.
I believe there is a way to win Latinos over to the Republican side, and it involves what some Republican leaders may consider to be radical. How about actually going into predominantly Latino areas and talking to them?! Hispanics are like the rest of us: they want financial security and freedom to pursue it. Republicans should conduct an enthusiastic outreach to Hispanic communities and explain to them why conservative policies offer them what government handouts cannot: the best opportunity to take care of their families and become financially stable and secure. People who are dependent on the government for their income and care are in a very vulnerable position, and dependence on the government will keep people poor forever. Once Latinos understand that, Republicans can win them over.