Publicado: 12-08-2012 04:03 PM
In 2007, Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma led his GOP colleagues down a detour in the debate over a Senate immigration reform bill with an amendment declaring English the “national language” of the United States. This made plain that, for some, the immigration debate is about nativist fears of a changing culture.
2010, Republicans in Arizona> wrote, approved and signed into law the now notorious do-it-yourself immigration measure that requires local and state police to enforce immigration law in ways that have resulted in the profiling of Latinos. A half-dozen states followed suit, due to the legislative efforts of Republicans.
In 2012, the Republican presidential primary became an ugly contest of which candidate was the toughest on illegal immigrants while little was said about punishing the homeowners and businesses who hire them.
And just a few days ago, Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona dusted off and unveiled a bill that they drafted a year ago to create a second-rate DREAM Act where undocumented college students would get legal status but explicitly not get U.S. citizenship. Apparently, the senators are oblivious to the optics. Here you have Republicans, on the heels of an election where their party lost the Latino vote, proposing a bill that guarantees that a group of Latino immigrants can’t vote.
This is quite a record. It is no wonder that the GOP is in a deep hole with Latinos. But Republicans are not victims. They’re in this hole because, through many years of words and deeds, they put themselves there. It’s time to accept this, and try to climb out instead of simply pretending the hole doesn’t exist.