Friday, August 16, 2013


The Republican National Committee passed a resolution calling on Congress to pass immigration reform by the end of the year, but not with a path to citizenship.

The measure puts the core of the Republican Party at odds with the Senate Gang of Eight legislation that passed with the support of a broad array of Republicans, and was spearheaded by lawmakers including Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. John McCain. President Barack Obama has said that any immigration reform bill must include a path to citizenship.
This is one of the stickiest points of immigration reform. From a political standpoint, some Republicans do not like the path to citizenship because they are concerned that a) new citizens will vote Democratic; and b) they are rewarding lawbreaking. The latter point gets murky because granting work permits technically rewards lawbreaking since you are not punishing those currently in the country illegally.

But the party is split, and badly--just think about how immigration was framed during the 2012 Republican primaries and even into the campaign. It is rare to see such a policy shift happen so quickly.

Starting next week (!) I am teaching a course on the Politics of Latino Immigration, and so we will have no shortage of connections to current events.


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