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Immigration reform should not be political bait

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 00:02

 

Last week Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) claimed that failure to pass immigration reform would cause the GOP to lose future elections to lose to Democratic presidential candidates. Little does McCain know, it is statements like these that sustain the disconnect between the Hispanic community and the Republican Party. 

McCain is one of eight senators in a bipartisan effort to bring immigration reform to the senate floor. While in many ways, this type of committee is admirable and is necessary to handle such an extensive and complicated issue, it negates any amount of admiration the population could feel toward any government entity when McCain makes it clear that his efforts are only a ploy to gain the Hispanic vote.

It makes sense that such ploys would be imagined by the GOP, considering President Barak Obama received around 75 percent of the Latino vote. 

Many past comments and stances on immigration by Republicans have caused an almost insurmountable ideological gap between Hispanics, both immigrants and citizens alike, from the GOP. When former presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested “self deportation” as the best resolution to the illegal immigrant population during a 2011 primary debate at USF, it proved that common sense, immigration reform and the GOP would never be synonymous.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) passed S.B. 1070 in 2010, an unconstitutional and far-reaching policy that allows police the right to question the citizenship of anyone they believe to be in the country illegally — a not-so-thinly-veiled racial profiling system. Most Republican state officials supported the bill, including McCain.  

Immigration reform has been one of Obama’s main concerns since his run for the presidency in 2008. Obama’s stance has been for a comprehensive restructuring that includes some amnesty for the more than 11 million immigrants that already live here, granting them a common sense path to citizenship, as well as a resolution for stricter border security. But the Republican-run House of Representatives has refused to pass any legislation that does not call for a strict punishment and deportation of all illegal immigrants. 

Though the disconnect between Hispanic voters and the GOP is evident when it comes to immigration, let’s not forget that Hispanics, including immigrants, care about all social issues that affect the nation. Just pandering to the immigration issue and believing that Hispanics only disapprove of Republican stances on it is naive. 

Republicans should tread carefully when announcing strategies to gain voters. America’s immigration policy is a serious issue that needs to be reformed for the betterment of the country. 

To think Republicans can curb their track record of ineptitude and general disinterest when it comes to immigration, immigrants, and anything regarding the Hispanic community by pandering to them to get votes is simply disrespectful. 

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