With the re-election of Barack Obama in November – and with his heavy support in the Latino community — the Republican Party has been openly considering what it can do to open up the Latino vote for conservative gains. For months, they’ve been talking about the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform. Now, according to House Speaker John Boehner, they’re on the verge of doing something about it.
On Tuesday, Boehner talking to the Ripon Society, Boehner said it was “time” to find an immigration solution:
I said it the day after the election. I meant it, and we’re going to have to deal with it. I think there’s a bipartisan group of members that have been meeting now for three or four years. Frankly, I think they basically have an agreement. I’ve not seen the agreement. I don’t know all the pitfalls in it, but it’s in my view, the right groups of members.
Boehner did not give any details on who was in the working group, or what the immigration proposal would encompass. He did admit that the Republican side included “some of the hard heads.” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) (R-IA) is widely believed to be leading the Republican caucus on this issue, since he is well known as an immigration expert. In the Senate, the Republican caucus on immigration is led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
While Republicans may be optimistic about a comprehensive immigration solution, look for Democrats to sink such a bipartisan approach. Most insiders consider immigration a political football; were it not so, an easy solution trading border security for a long-term pathway to citizenship would have been agreed to years ago. But Democrats are not interested in closing the border; they want more people to be able to cross the border illegally, creating that insistent pressure for more benefits and laxer security that favors Democrats when it comes to the Latino vote.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).