Why shouldn’t Republicans support comprehensive immigration reform including a path to citizenship? In the words of Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), because Democrats will give immigrants more free stuff and, as a consequence, they will vote for Democrats.
Does anyone really think Republicans are going to outbid Democrats on giving benefits to illegal immigrants?
And fifth, you have to be a little suspicious when liberal Democrats tell Republicans they have to support amnesty to win elections. Do Republicans really think they have the best interests of the GOP at heart?
Immigration is the field Democrats want to lure Republicans to play on. Why? Because Democrats know they’ll win.
With our short attention spans, it would be easy to forget that this idea that all “the other” wants is more free stuff was a central premise of the 2012 Republican platform. It was enunciated, quite clearly, by Mitt Romney himself in front of the NAACP. It’s also an idea virtually all of Romney’s rivals ascribed to during the primary season, and it was openly lamented by Bill O’Reilly on Fox News after it became clear that Romney had been defeated.
Even if immigration reform passes through congress — which is a big if — that fact alone is not going to stem the tide of the Democratic party’s broad, multi-racial coalition. Not because Democrats are going to hand out more free stuff, but because our hearts and our rhetoric have already been in the right place without the prospect of impending electoral doom.
Some Republicans are supporting immigration reform because they view it as an electoral necessity. Democrats are supporting it because it’s the right thing to do. And as long as Republicans, such as Lamar Smith, view immigration reform as some kind of financial transaction, their support will dwindle.