Thursday, June 26, 2014

Immigration Reform is Dead

Immigration reform is dead, so deceased in fact that it likely will not even return as a viable discussion (much less passage of a bill) until after President Obama leaves office.

One irony here is that a key reason cited by Republicans is the current crisis of Central American children coming across the border. In other words, since there is a crisis, we should do nothing. Common sense dictates the opposite, but common sense has long been a casualty of ideology.

From a political standpoint, here's the snapshot. Even though Republicans are fighting pretty ferociously amongst themselves at the moment, Democrats are going to get hit in the midterm elections (how much is obviously hard to tell). That's just what happens to parties whose president is in office, even more so when that president isn't terribly popular. Therefore we look to 2016 and whether or not Latinos are the electoral "sleeping giant" or whatever other catchy phrase you want to use.

Along with tons of other people, I've noted the long-term problems for the Republican Party if it continues to actively alienate the Latino population. But what we don't know is precisely when that constituency (yes, yes, I know it's not a bloc but in presidential elections it tends to vote like one) gets energized. When will that participation rate rise? Especially as Obama becomes a lame duck, there won't be any coattails so the Democratic candidate needs Latinos to get out and vote. Republican voters will be salivating for a chance at returning to the White House and right now they feel it can happen even if the vast majority of Latinos vote for the other side. Will that be true or not?


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