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Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

From Fight to Fix on Obamacare

I just got a letter in my inbox the other day from someone calling on Missouri Republicans to dig in on Obamacare. But across the country, the dial is moving away from a fight to a fix. Some moderate Republicans who were against the concept of government run healthcare (and still are) are trying to tweak the law. The good news is there are lots of good ideas being floated by Republicans.  Unfortunately, we are not hearing enough about them. Instead of criticizing these pragmatic Republicans for being flip floppers, we should maybe take a look at the programs they’re proposing. I have Obamacare and I am not happy with it. I wanted patient centered catastrophic coverage connected to a health savings plan and to be able to choose my own doctors. I can’t even connect with the salesperson at my provider to try to switch.

It is interesting to me that the solution will lie somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, we have Presidential candidate Gov. Bobby Jindahl proposing a plan to cover 10 million of the 40 million Americans without insurance. On the other hand, only 8 million people have signed up. Maybe that is close to the number of people who wanted it and needed this safety net to help them get it. And maybe, if we can dial down the pre-primary partisanship, we will see there are moderate solutions in front of us. 

  • Monica Wehby, Oregon GOP Senate Candidate, Shifts Message On Obamacare Repeal
Posted: Updated: 

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WASHINGTON — Monica Wehby, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Oregon, has spent months positioning herself as the moderate, establishment candidate in the crowded GOP primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.

She’s struck a milder tone on issues such as abortion, immigration, and gay marriage, mindful of voters who have not elected a Republican to statewide office since 2002. But as the GOP moves to frame this year’s midterm elections around Obamacare, it’s not entirely clear where Wehby stands on the health care law.

In her first television ad, titled “It’s Not Brain Surgery,” Wehby draws upon her experience as a pediatric neurosurgeon to discuss “how devastating Obamacare is for Oregon families and patients.”

She also notes her call for a federal investigation into Cover Oregon, the state’s health care exchange. And in her approval of the message, Wehby states, “As your senator I will fight to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Watch the ad above.

Wehby released a radio ad Thursday stating she’s “the only candidate for Senate who has fought to stop” Obamacare.

Her views on Obamacare appear to have changed from a couple of months ago. During an interview with the Portland Business Journal in November, Wehby was specifically asked if she would repeal Obamacare if elected.

“That’s not politically viable at this point,” Wehby answered. “We can’t get it repealed with Obama in office. We have to focus on coming together with solutions.”

Wehby suggested creating a health care system where individuals could purchase insurance plans with pretax dollars across state lines. “Expand health savings accounts … Allow people who want it to have catastrophic policies,” she said of her proposals.

Wehby has also expressed support in the past for the Healthy Americans Act, legislation introduced years ago by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Wehby told The Oregonian in February that the bill, often referred to as “Wydencare,” was “a good plan.”

“It was a market-based approach,” Wehby said, adding that while she didn’t support every aspect of the plan, she and Wyden “think a lot alike in regards to health care.”

State Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend), Wehby’s main opponent in the GOP primary, has used such statements to attack her. “In principle, it’s 90 percent there with Obamacare,” he said of Wyden’s proposal.

Conger put out a radio ad last month tying Wehby to both the Wyden and Obama health care plans. “If it sounds like Obamacare, regulates like Obamacare, and costs like Obamacare, it is Monica Wehby’s Obamacare,” he said.

Wehby has pointed to some parts of Obamacare that she would like to keep, such as coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions and allowing parents to keep their children on their health plans until age 26.

Charlie Pearce, a spokesman for Wehby’s campaign, denied that Wehby was not in favor of repealing the health care law.

“Dr. Wehby has stated on many occasion that ideally she would vote to repeal the ACA and replace it with a patient centered, market based approach, similar to the replacement plan she outlined last November,” Pearce told The Huffington Post in an email. “Dr. Wehby has never stated she would not vote for repeal, only that it is not politically viable at this point, which is a statement of fact,” he added. “However, with a strong likelihood that Republicans take back the Senate this fall, there is a good chance that a replacement plan similar to Dr. Wehby’s will be enacted by Congress next year.”

Wehby isn’t the only Republican Senate candidate to send mixed messages on Obamacare repeal. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) has focused on fixing the law rather than repealing it, but now touts his commitment to fighting Obamacare in an ad.

Given the number of GOP primaries pitting tea party candidates against establishment contenders, moderate Republicans face a complicated task. On one hand, they have to convince conservatives they staunchly oppose Obamacare. On the other, they must grapple with surging enrollment in the health care exchanges, which the president announced Thursday has surpassed 8 million.

 

GOP Edge in generic 2014 matchup; Americans unhappy with both parties

CBS NEWSFebruary 26, 2014, 6:30 PM

More than eight months before the November midterm elections, 42 percent of registered voters would pick a generic Republican for Congress, while 39 percent would back a generic Democrat if the midterm elections were being held today. Of course, national polls are not perfect predictors of congressional elections, since the conditions and state of the race in each individual district vary.

 

2014 House Vote

 

Among Republican voters, 86 percent say they would vote for the Republican candidate in their district. Eighty-five percent of Democrats similarly say they would support their party’s candidate. Among voters who are independents, more express a preference for the Republican candidate in their district (43 percent) over the Democrat (27 percent).

 

The poll suggests that Americans remain disenchanted with both political parties.

Perceptions of the two parties have changed little in the past year: while more view the Democratic Party than the Republican Party in a positive light, majorities have a negative opinion of both parties.

 

Views of the Parties

 

And majorities think neither party has the same priorities for the country that they have themselves.

 

 

A Look Inside the Republican Party

While 41 percent of Republicans see their party’s nominees as about right, a third thinks they are not conservative enough. Tea party Republicans, who make up 42 percent of Republicans, would pull their candidates further to the right; 50 percent say their party’s candidates are not conservative enough. By comparison, 67 percent of Democrats think their candidates are about right.

 

Republican Candidates Today Are Generally

 

The recent vote in Congress to raise the debt ceiling until next year finds disfavor among Republicans (69 percent disapprove), even more so among tea party Republicans (82 percent disapprove).

Americans disapprove of House Speaker John Boehner by a 2 to 1 margin – perhaps partly due to widespread dissatisfaction with Congress – but his own party’s rank and file also disapprove (49 percent), as do just over half of tea party backers (52 percent).

 

Approval of Speaker John Boehner

While a majority of Republicans (and most tea party Republicans) are mostly hopeful about the future of the Republican Party, about four in 10 are mostly discouraged. Democrats are more positive; just 20 percent are mostly discouraged about their party, and 77 percent are mostly hopeful.

The poll asked about a number of issues: 70 percent of Republicans would like to see the health care law repealed, and while more than half are opposed to raising the minimum wage, 42 percent favor that. A majority think illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S. legally in some way (including 36 percent who back citizenship), but 39 percent think they should be required to leave the country. Three in four Republicans would like abortion to be further restricted or not permitted at all.

But there are specific issues on which Republicans themselves disagree. Republicans under age 45 are far more likely than their older counterparts to think same sex marriage and marijuana should be legal. Younger Republicans are less likely to think Social Security and Medicare are worth the costs to taxpayers, and fewer think the U.S. should take a lead role in solving international conflicts.

 

Views on Issues Younger Vs Older Republicans

 

 

There are also clear differences between tea party and non-tea party Republicans on some issues. Tea party Republicans are more likely to think same sex marriage should not be legal, to oppose raising the minimum wage, to want the 2010 health care law repealed, and to say deficit should be reduced with spending cuts only.

 

Views on Issues Tea Party Vs Non-Tea Party Republicans

 

When it comes to their vote, there are some issues on which Republicans could be flexible and vote for a candidate who disagrees with them, but there are other issues on which they would draw the line.

Health care reform is a deal-breaker: only 27 percent would ever consider voting for a candidate who disagrees with them on that issue — it even outranks abortion (42 percent) in that regard. Fewer than half would consider a candidate who parted with them on immigration (41 percent) or same-sex marriage (47 percent). But global warming isn’t as critical (56 percent), nor is the minimum wage (59 percent).

The poll also asked Republicans about outreach to various voter groups, including those that the party has lost in recent years. Rank-and-file Republicans overwhelmingly (67 percent) say their party should do more to address the concerns of the middle class.

About a third of Republicans would like to see the party reach out further to women and Hispanics, but most Republicans say the party is doing enough to reach out to those groups already. Republicans are more apt to say the party should do more for gun owners (43 percent). Very few (18 percent) would have it do more for big business.

The poll finds some dissatisfaction with the Republican Party among a segment of the party’s own rank and file. Although two in three have a favorable view of their party, 29 percent of Republicans hold an unfavorable view. Just 54 percent of non-tea party Republicans have a favorable opinion of their party; that percentage rises to 72 percent among tea party Republicans.

In contrast, 85 percent of Democrats feel favorably toward the Democratic Party.

Whatever their differences or dissatisfaction, Republicans’ voting behavior shows strong party allegiance (the same is true for Democrats). Eighty-six percent intend to vote for the Republican candidate in their district for the House, and only 3 percent currently plan to vote Democratic. More than half of Republicans say they would consider voting for a Democrat – though in practice, exit polls routinely show that few actually do. In contrast, just 39 percent of Democrats would consider voting for a Republican for Congress.

A Look Inside the Democratic Party

Like Americans overall, most Democrats are dissatisfied (50 percent) or angry (17 percent) with the way things are going in Washington, but they are optimistic about the future of the Democratic Party. Seventy-seven percent of Democrats are mostly hopeful about their party’s future, while far fewer – 20 percent – are mostly discouraged. Liberal Democrats are especially hopeful.

Two in three Democrats are satisfied with where their candidates fall along the ideological spectrum. While 41 percent of Americans overall think the Democratic Party is nominating candidates that are too liberal for them, this is true of just 9 percent of Democratic partisans. Another 18 percent think they aren’t liberal enough. Sixty-five percent of liberal Democrats – who make up 42 percent of the Democratic Party – view their party’s candidates as about right.

By a wide margin, more Democrats than Republicans express satisfaction with the ideology of their candidates.

 

Your Partys Candidates Today Are Generally

Democrats also widely believe that their party shares their priorities for the country: 76 percent think so (compared to 38 percent of Americans overall). Among Democrats, majorities of key constituent groups within the party, including both men (72 percent) and women (78 percent), whites (77 percent) and blacks (72 percent), and Democrats of all age, income, and education levels think their party shares their priorities.

Still, most Democrats believe their party can do more for middle class voters: 70 percent say so. About half of Democrats think their party is doing enough for women voters and Hispanic voters – two groups thought to be crucial to securing an electoral victory in November – while fewer think their party should do more for gun owners (30 percent) or big business (20 percent).

Liberal Democrats differ from moderate and conservative Democrats on whether their party is doing enough for women and Hispanics: 56 percent of liberal Democrats think the party should do more for women voters, and 51 percent think it should do more Hispanic voters.

While many Democrats think the Affordable Care Act needs some changes to make it work better, just 16 percent think the law should be repealed. Fifty-five percent think abortion should be generally available, 70 percent think same-sex marriage should be legal, 86 percent favor raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and 71 percent think illegal immigrants already in the U.S. should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship. Sixty-six percent of Democrats think global warming is caused by human activity (compared to 46 percent of Americans overall).

Like Republicans, Democrats are split along generational lines on two prominent issues where public opinion is changing rapidly: legalizing same sex marriage and marijuana. More younger Democrats than older Democrats favor legalizing each.

There are also differences between liberal and moderate/conservative Democrats on abortion, same sex marriage, legalizing marijuana, immigration and global warming.

As for the impact of these issues on their voting behavior, Democrats are the most inflexible on the Affordable Care Act and abortion: six in 10 could not vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on these issues. Democrats are a bit more flexible on immigration – 47 percent would be willing to vote for a candidate who disagreed with them on this.

Fifty-five percent of Democrats would not consider voting for a Republican for Congress, rising to 61 percent among liberal Democrats. In contrast, most Republicans (55 percent) say they would consider voting for a Democrat (although few now say they would cast their House vote for one).

________________________________________________________

This poll was conducted by telephone February 19-23, 2014 among a total of 1,644 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by Social Science Research Solutions of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll included a general population sample of 1,003, along with additional interviews to yield the following sample sizes: 519 Republicans, 515 Democrats, and 610 independents. The additional interviews were obtained through callbacks to people indicating party id on a previous poll. The total sample was then weighted to party distribution targets from the general population portion of the poll.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The margin of error for Republicans, Democrats and independents is 6 points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

 

 

The Third Wave Revolutionaries

David Brooks of the New York Times has written an interesting article questioning whether recent bi-partisan progress on background checks and immigration is more of an illusion than a reality. He describes the current Republican Congressional leadership and the radio shock jobs as  “first wave revolutionaries” and “second wave revolutionaries,”  respectively. I would say the third wave of revolutionaries will be the moderates.  

Read and see what you think! 

David Brooks/ New York Times 
Liberals are furious, but the gun issue will not significantly damage the Republican Party. Sure, it looks bad to oppose background checks, which have overwhelming popular support. Sure, the Republican position will further taint the party’s image in places like the suburbs of Philadelphia and Northern Virginia. Sure, the party looks extreme when it can’t accept a bill sponsored by the conservative Senator Joe Manchin and the very conservative Senator Pat Toomey.
But, let’s face it, the gun issue has its own unique dynamic, which is that the people who oppose gun limits vote on this issue while the people who support them do not.

Moreover, Democrats never made a compelling case that the bill would have been effective, that it would have directly prevented future Sandy Hooks or lowered the murder rate nationwide. Even many of the bill’s supporters were lukewarm about its contents.

The main reason the gun issue won’t significantly harm Republicans is that it doesn’t play into the core debate that will shape the future of the party. The issue that does that is immigration. The near-term future of American politics will be determined by who wins the immigration debate.

In the months since the election, a rift has opened between the Republicans you might call first-wave revolutionaries and those you might call second-wave revolutionaries. The first-wave revolutionaries (the party’s Congressional leaders) think of themselves as very conservative. They ejected the remaining moderates from their ranks. They sympathize with the Tea Party. They are loyal to Fox News and support a radical restructuring of the government.

These first-wave revolutionaries haven’t softened their conservatism, but they are trying to adjust it to win majority support. They are trying to find policies to boost social mobility, so Republicans look less like the party of the rich. They are swinging behind immigration reform, believing that Hispanics won’t even listen to Republicans until they put that issue in the rearview mirror.

The second-wave revolutionaries — like Rand Paul (on some issues), Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz and some of the cutting-edge talk radio jocks — see the first-wave revolutionaries as a bunch of incompetent establishmentarians. They speak of the Bush-Cheney administration as if it were some sort of liberal Republican regime run by Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits. They argue that Republicans have lost elections recently because the party has been led by big-spending, mushy moderates like John McCain and Mitt Romney and managed by out-of-touch elitists like Karl Rove and Reince Priebus.

The second wavers are much more tactically aggressive, favoring filibusters and such when possible. What the party needs now, they argue, is an ultra-Goldwaterite insurgency that topples the “establishment,” ditches immigration reform and wins Hispanic votes by appealing to the evangelicals among them and offering them economic liberty.

The first and second wavers are just beginning their immigration clash. A few weeks ago, I would have thought the pro-immigration forces had gigantic advantages, but now it is hard to be sure.

The immigration fight will be pitting a cohesive insurgent opposition force against a fragile coalition of bipartisan proponents who have to ambivalently defend a sprawling piece of compromise legislation. We’ve seen this kind of fight before. Things usually don’t end up well for the proponents.

Whether it’s guns or immigration, it is easy to imagine that the underlying political landscape, which prevented progress in the past, has changed. But when you actually try to pass something, you often discover the underlying landscape has not changed. The immigration fight of 2013 might bear an eerie similarity to the fight of 2007.

The arguments that might persuade Republicans to support immigration reform are all on the table. They came on election night 2012. The arguments against are only just now unfolding.

It is just a fact that the big short-term beneficiaries of this law are not generally Republicans: the 11 million who are living in the shadows; the high-tech entrepreneurs who will get more skilled labor. The short-term losers, meanwhile, are often Republicans: the white working-class people who will face a new group of labor-market competition when they try to get jobs in retail; the taxpayers who, at least in the short term, will have to pay some additional costs.

In the past, Republican politicians have had trouble saying no to the latest and most radical insurgency. Even if they know immigration reform is eventually good for their party, lawmakers may figure that opposing it is immediately necessary for themselves.

It would be great if Republicans can hash out their differences over a concrete policy matter, especially immigration, which touches conservatism’s competing values. But if the insurgent right defeats immigration reform, that will be a sign that the party’s self-marginalization will continue. The revolution devours its own.

David Brooks of the NYT on the Republican vs. Republican Problem

Liberals are furious, but the gun issue will not significantly damage the Republican Party. Sure, it looks bad to oppose background checks, which have overwhelming popular support. Sure, the Republican position will further taint the party’s image in places like the suburbs of Philadelphia and Northern Virginia. Sure, the party looks extreme when it can’t accept a bill sponsored by the conservative Senator Joe Manchin and the very conservative Senator Pat Toomey.

Moreover, Democrats never made a compelling case that the bill would have been effective, that it would have directly prevented future Sandy Hooks or lowered the murder rate nationwide. Even many of the bill’s supporters were lukewarm about its contents.

The main reason the gun issue won’t significantly harm Republicans is that it doesn’t play into the core debate that will shape the future of the party. The issue that does that is immigration. The near-term future of American politics will be determined by who wins the immigration debate.

In the months since the election, a rift has opened between the Republicans you might call first-wave revolutionaries and those you might call second-wave revolutionaries. The first-wave revolutionaries (the party’s Congressional leaders) think of themselves as very conservative. They ejected the remaining moderates from their ranks. They sympathize with the Tea Party. They are loyal to Fox News and support a radical restructuring of the government.

These first-wave revolutionaries haven’t softened their conservatism, but they are trying to adjust it to win majority support. They are trying to find policies to boost social mobility, so Republicans look less like the party of the rich. They are swinging behind immigration reform, believing that Hispanics won’t even listen to Republicans until they put that issue in the rearview mirror.

The second-wave revolutionaries — like Rand Paul (on some issues), Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz and some of the cutting-edge talk radio jocks — see the first-wave revolutionaries as a bunch of incompetent establishmentarians. They speak of the Bush-Cheney administration as if it were some sort of liberal Republican regime run by Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits. They argue that Republicans have lost elections recently because the party has been led by big-spending, mushy moderates like John McCain and Mitt Romney and managed by out-of-touch elitists like Karl Rove and Reince Priebus.

The second wavers are much more tactically aggressive, favoring filibusters and such when possible. What the party needs now, they argue, is an ultra-Goldwaterite insurgency that topples the “establishment,” ditches immigration reform and wins Hispanic votes by appealing to the evangelicals among them and offering them economic liberty.

The first and second wavers are just beginning their immigration clash. A few weeks ago, I would have thought the pro-immigration forces had gigantic advantages, but now it is hard to be sure.

The immigration fight will be pitting a cohesive insurgent opposition force against a fragile coalition of bipartisan proponents who have to ambivalently defend a sprawling piece of compromise legislation. We’ve seen this kind of fight before. Things usually don’t end up well for the proponents.

Whether it’s guns or immigration, it is easy to imagine that the underlying political landscape, which prevented progress in the past, has changed. But when you actually try to pass something, you often discover the underlying landscape has not changed. The immigration fight of 2013 might bear an eerie similarity to the fight of 2007.

The arguments that might persuade Republicans to support immigration reform are all on the table. They came on election night 2012. The arguments against are only just now unfolding.

It is just a fact that the big short-term beneficiaries of this law are not generally Republicans: the 11 million who are living in the shadows; the high-tech entrepreneurs who will get more skilled labor. The short-term losers, meanwhile, are often Republicans: the white working-class people who will face a new group of labor-market competition when they try to get jobs in retail; the taxpayers who, at least in the short term, will have to pay some additional costs.

In the past, Republican politicians have had trouble saying no to the latest and most radical insurgency. Even if they know immigration reform is eventually good for their party, lawmakers may figure that opposing it is immediately necessary for themselves.

It would be great if Republicans can hash out their differences over a concrete policy matter, especially immigration, which touches conservatism’s competing values. But if the insurgent right defeats immigration reform, that will be a sign that the party’s self-marginalization will continue. The revolution devours its own.

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Boy Scouts consider lifting ban on gays / 

Areas of overlap on immigration 

The rising tide of Latino Republicans

The rising tide of Latino Republicans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is forced to research and clarify her late grandfather’s immigration status. Marco Rubio, Florida’s GOP Senator, is accused of embellishing his family’s immigrant story. A Republican congressional candidate in California puts on his website that he is the great-grandson of an illegal immigrant.

As more Latino Republicans seek and win elected office, their families’ backgrounds are becoming subject to increased scrutiny from some Latino activists, a reaction experts say is a result of Latino Republicans’ conservative views on immigration. It’s a new phenomenon that experts say Latino Democrats rarely faced, and could be recurring feature in elections as the Republican Party seeks to recruit more Latino candidates.

“It’s a trend and we are seeing more of it,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

For years, most Latino elected officials were largely Democrats, except in Florida where Cuban Americans tended to vote Republican. But recently, a new generation of Latino Republicans has won seats in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, California and even Idaho. Those politicians have come under fire from some Latino activists for pushing for laws targeting illegal immigrants and for opposing efforts for comprehensive immigration reform — views that are in line with most Republicans.

And the immigrant advocates are pointing to the GOP Latino elected leaders’ own family histories in an effort to paint them as hypocrites. Ignacio Garcia, a history professor at Brigham Young University, said it comes from a long tradition by liberal activists of portraying Latino Republicans as “vendidos,” or sellouts, since the majority of Latino voters tend to vote Democratic.

For example, Martinez tried twice in the New Mexico state legislature to overturn a state law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain state driver’s licenses. Then earlier this year, various media outlets reported that a grandfather of Martinez may have been an illegal immigrant. The reports sparked immigrant advocates to protests outside the state Capitol with poster-size photos of Martinez on drivers’ licenses.

Martinez, a Republican and the nation’s only Latina governor, ordered her political organization to research her family’s background and found documents that suggested that her grandfather legally entered the country and had various work permits.

The episode drew criticism, even from those who opposed Martinez’ efforts on state driver’s licenses. “This has nothing to do with her views and how she governs,” said Michael A. Olivas, an immigration law professor at the University of Houston who also is aiding in a lawsuit against a Martinez’s administration probe over the driver’s license fight. “I don’t think it’s fair for people to dig around in her family’s past.”

In Florida, Rubio’s official Senate website until recently described his parents as having fled Cuba following Fidel Castro’s takeover. But media organizations reported last month that Rubio’s parents and his maternal grandfather emigrated for economic reasons more than two years before the Cuban Revolution.

Somos Republicans, a group dedicated to increasing Latino Republican voting numbers, immediately attacked Rubio over the discrepancy and for holding harsh views on immigration. “We believe it is time to find out the complete history of his parents’ immigration history,” the group said in a statement. “It is also time for Rubio to be a leader and help Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) fix the broken immigration system.”

Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente, an immigrant advocacy group in Somerville, Mass., said voters need to know a politician’s family background for clues on how they will respond to people with similar stories. “It’s very important to voters,” said Montes.

Montes said most Latino and immigrant voters don’t simply Latino Republicans as “vendidos” but rather as politican leaders who don’t share their views. “I don’t care if someone is Latina or not,” said Montes. “I care if they believe in the same things I do, and if their policies will affect the immigrant community.”

Garcia said the current tension also is a result of a new breed of Latino Republicans finally winning high profile seats after years of being largely ignored or dismissed. Garcia said there have always been Hispanic Republicans, through their numbers have been typically small and they have often faced heat from the largely Democratic Latino population.

In New Mexico, for example, the colorful lawman and lawyer Elfego Baca helped established the Republican Party just after New Mexico became a state in 1912 and actively tried recruit the state’s mutigenerational Latino population to join the party. Baca won a number of local offices, including district attorney, but lost bids for Congress and various statewide offices.

In Texas, civil rights activist Felix Tijerina, a Mexican-American Houston restaurateur and former national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens in the 1950s, remained committed to Republican Party despite a backlash from fellow activists who disagreed with his laissez faire, pro-business views. One Texas civil right leader, John J. Herrera, called Tijerina “a white man’s Mexican” for his support of Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower for president over Democrat Adlai Stevenson.

“The difference now is that these new Latino Republicans like Martinez and Rubio are better prepared and are being groomed as national figures,” said Garcia. “Meanwhile, the Democrats are falling behind. They have no equivalent and they aren’t giving Latinos the same opportunity.”

Garcia said there’s also a new factor — the millions of new independent Latino evangelicals who could be potential GOP voters. This population is new and unpredictable, he said.

Still, some Latino Republicans want to use the new attention around them in the party to change what they see is damaging rhetoric around immigration. Tony Carlos, who is seeking the GOP nomination for California’s 3rd Congressional District, is running on a platform to push comprehensive immigration reform and believes if other Republicans follow, more Latinos will vote with the GOP.

On his campaign website Carlos says his great-grandfather came to Arizona from Mexico “without papers.” Carlos said it’s all about showing that his family is part of an ongoing American story and that political leaders need to honestly attack today’s problems

“I’m putting my family history out there. And once Latino voters hear that I support immigration reform, I find that they are open to other issues that appeal to conservatives,” said Carlos. “My argument is that they are just as conservative. They are just in the wrong party.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/will-romneys-immigration-stance-become-his-latino-problem/2011/11/27/gIQAg1YQ3N_blog.html
The New York Times asks,

The New York Times asks, “Should schools help “catch” illegal immigrants?”

Photo courtesy: valdez.wikispaces.dpsk12.org

One of the key promises then candidate Barack Obama made in 2008 was to open up pathways for illegal immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship.  There is no doubt that the Hispanic voting bloc in this country is gaining in size and power.  And that Hispanics could swing either way in 2012.  Latinos helped turn Colorado into a blue state for Obama.  And now immigration is creating a lot of friction between the Republican Presidential candidates.  Click here to see Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Perry duke it out at the Republican Presidential debates in Las Vegas the other night.  Polls show Perry’s numbers had already started to spiral downward after it was reported earlier that he had approved of in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants.  Michelle Bachmann doesn’t just want to build one 1200 mile wall, she wants to build two.  In the meantime, Alabama was stopped from trying to get schools to investigate the status of students’ parents but the states can begin deportation efforts if the students families are suspected of being here illegally.   Click here to learn more about  a tough new stance on immigration that encourages schools to ask children what their parents status is .  In Arizona and Alabama, the thinking is that if you can just quietly get “them” to leave, and presumably go back to Mexico, it will open up jobs for U.S. citizens.  The tricky part is the jobs that the illegals are low-pay, come without benefits, offer substandard housing and can involve shifts spent working in fields for 12 hours, 7 days a week.  And some of them aren’t heading home, they’re leaning on already cash strapped social services in surrounding states like Florida. Something has to be done.  And this is a core vote getter with conservative Republicans who recognize that the US cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the issue.  The question is this “let’s make them a little less comfortable” approach better than building a wall?  Isn’t asking a school to help deport a student who wants to learn like asking a doctor not to treat a sick patient?  And do Americans need jobs badly enough that they will step up and apply for the jobs immigrants may be vacating?

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2011/10/20/analysis-perry-vs-romney-on-immigration/

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/04/should-alabama-schools-help-catch-illegal-immigrants

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/us/politics/immigration-talk-turns-off-some-hispanics.html?ref=immigrationandemigration