While the process to transform the nation’s immigration system has gone into full effect in the Senate, 70 House Republicans have begun to push for further debate on the immigration bill that they argue will grant immigrants amnesty and ultimately bring the nation unfavorable consequences.
These 70 Republican House members opposed to the bill are petitioning to meet with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for a special Republican conference meeting.
Their dissatisfaction with the bill not only poses a threat to advancement of immigration reform, it could end up hurting the Republican party in the 2016 elections if the Republicans end up successfully blocking the bill. One reason why Latinos currently distrust (and will continue to distrust) the GOP is that the party's actions block immigration reform are widely perceived to stem from anti-Hispanic bigotry. This distrust is further amplified by events such as the time Mitt Romney was applauded by his fellow Republicans for promising to promote “self-deportation” laws.
Furthermorer, there are members of the GOP who portray the party in such a negative light that they manage to not only offend immigrants, but also women, the poor, and other groups of citizens, making the party as a whole seem sexist, racist, classist, and insensitive. While the Democratic Party is certainly not infallible, it appears that more Republican individuals in recent years have come off as extreme, thereby causing the party to lose votes. The party’s overall stance on immigration is but one of the issues that has proven problematic for its advancement.
In an interview with World Net Daily, Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) spoke of the immigration bill and essentially stated that if passed, it would be the end of the GOP. She went on to claim that the bill was “number one” on Obama’s political agenda and suggested that this is because the president “knows we will never again have a Republican president, ever, if amnesty goes into effect”.
Even if Bachmann were correct on this point, as long as voters continue voting in the center and the GOP presidential candidates appear to stand too far to the right, immigration will not be the only or even greatest issue that keeps Republicans out of the White House.
Members of the GOP have the choice to shape their political platform just as voters have the choice to vote on the issues that matter most to them. While I don't believe that blocking immigration will doom Republicans forever, it undoubtedly can be harmful to future Republican presidential candidates. Nonetheless, if Republicans decide that immigration reform or amnesty is an issue they absolutely would not like to compromise on, then they must work to revamp other areas of their platform and ensure that the right people are representing their party in order to remain strong contenders in the upcoming presidential race.