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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Republicans say they are ready to work with dems on divisisve issue.

Republican lawmakers have suddenly agreed to cooperate with the Obama administration on the issue of immigration reform. Evaluating the numbers and acknowledging that Hispanics have become a decisive voting bloc, Republican lawmakers have agreed it is time to push the issue to the fore.

Schumer and Graham have signaled they are ready to work together on immigration reform.

Schumer and Graham have signaled they are ready to work together on immigration reform.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Republicans, Schumer, Graham, Democrats, immigration, Hispanics


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Political pundits are saying the call from Republicans on immigration reform is an immediate nod to the Hispanic voters who swept Obama into office. For years, Republicans have taken a hard-line on the issue and blocked legislative change. That block may now be removed.

Republicans have traditionally be opposed to lenient immigration rules, citing national security and economic conditions as a reason. However, with Latinos sending a clear message that immigration reform matters, and that it is a decisive issue for them, Republicans must now reach out or risk being voted out.

The reversal could invite criticism from those on the far right, however the far right establishment was not enough to win Romney the election.

Speaking on the CBS show "Face the Nation," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham admitted that Republican rhetoric has "built a wall between the Republican Party and the Hispanic community."

Republicans have been losing Hispanic support since 2004.

"This is an odd formula for a party to adopt: the fastest-growing demographic in the country, and we're losing votes every election cycle. And it has to stop. It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot. Just don't reload the gun. ... I intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an American solution to an American problem," Graham added.

Despite the willingness to take up the issue again, Republicans have no intention of watering down immigration standards. In fact they intend to strengthen them, but in such a way they increase security and control while opening a path to citizenship for thousands.

Working with Democrat Charles Schumer, the bipartisan plan would include high-tech Social Security cards to prevent fraud, increased border security, stronger enforcement of existing immigration laws, and a path to citizenship for immigrants already living in the U.S.

Schumer says the plan is very fair. He said the plan creates "a path to citizenship that's fair, which says you have to learn English, you have to go to the back of the line, you've got to have a job, and you can't commit crimes."

Graham pointed out that sixty percent of voters supported a "pathway to citizenship" program in some form or another.

Mitt Romney took a hard position against illegal immigration, suggesting at one point, "self-deportation."

The traditional hard-line on immigration is one of many issues on which the Republican Party may have to seek compromise, if it does not want to become obsolete in a rapidly changing country.

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