I received a disturbing email yesterday that is being circulated of Newt Gingrich in light of his recent immigration remarks. Restrictionists, Isolationists and
Protectionist Tea Party Republicans are doing an effective job at making the “Big Tent” smaller. We are glad to see Newt raise the immigration issue because we cannot continue to ignore the large elephant in the room anymore to this regard, and with regard to the rising Latino vote that is expected in 2012. 2012 will be the year of the Latino(s). We feel it, sense it and know it.
In the last Republican Presidential debate, we heard Newt Gingrich take a moderate stance on immigration while smacking Mitt Romney for his hypocrisy at the same time. Obviously we were pleased to see Romney get a good smack as he is the one who pushed John McCain further to the right in 2007/2008 and this ultimately cost McCain the Latino vote because Latinos felt safer with (now) President Obama. If Romney would not have played the populist anti-immigrant card in 07, then McCain may have held almost 40% of the Latino vote in 2008. However, Romney demonizing Latin immigrants, and appointing Sheriff Joe Arpaio as his State chair here in Arizona caused McCain to curl up in fetal position and shy away from his McCain / Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill history.
We have systematically watched Romney be up to his old tricks again when he tried to make Rick Perry guilty for having compassion on our Latino children via the Texas DREAM Act. More importantly, it is unfortunate that Romney will not follow Mormon leadership under the Utah Compact. [To my conservative friends in the LDS community, I hope you are putting your money into Jon Huntsman who supports the federal DREAM Act.] Romney will be lucky to get 9% of the Latino vote so you may as well just hang it up with him. On the other hand, Hunstman is perceived as friendly to our youth and DREAM Act activists. Latino parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters will always support the youth, and believe me, some of us can have large families who are part of the increasing eligible voter(s) demographics.
So far and to date, it looks like Newt sees the writing on the wall. I believe he knows that the GOP is on a path to extinction because the fastest growing demographic exists in the southwest (not just Florida) with regard to the Mexican-American growth. Perhaps Newt has the best interest of the GOP in the long term sense. If Newt supports reasonable fixes to the broken immigration system, then he may be the only one out of the bunch (aside from Gary Johnson, Rick Perry and Huntsman) to demonstrate a logical approach to what is clearly broken. Unfortunately the GOP has not been accepting to Gary Johnson who has the answer to fixing the broken system and this is unfortunate. Gary Johnson is a fellow from the CATO Institute, and it does not get more free market and free trade than that.
If the GOP continues to make shortsighted moves, then their lack of foresight will cost the Party. The GOP claims to be the party of personal responsibility, and it can’t have that with the likes of Congressman Lamar Smith who will do anything to minimize the future ‘brown’ vote with his large government ideas (national e-verify that imposes additional burdens on the small business owner), and enforcement only immigration policies. Lamar Smith needs to be dealt with to open up the airways again. Politicians like Romney, Steve King, Tom Tancredo, J.D. Hayworth, Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce make it unpalatable for Latinos to join the Republican Party. In fact, Latino Republicans are switching to the Independent Party in droves.
The PEW did a study on the Mexican-American Boom that is taking place right now.
The Mexican-American Boom:
Births Overtake Immigration
Births have surpassed immigration as the main driver of the dynamic growth in the U.S. Hispanic population. This new trend is especially evident among the largest of all Hispanic groups-Mexican-Americans, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.
In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the Mexican-American population grew by 7.2 million as a result of births and 4.2 million as a result of new immigrant arrivals. This is a change from the previous two decades when the number of new immigrants either matched or exceeded the number of births.
Why does the Republican Party have to do the right thing? Because time is running out. In order for the GOP to save itself…it must take action before November 2012 especially in high Hispanic populated states where congressional seats were gained due to Mexican-American and Latino growth. They may be able to save their necks but only if strong leadership emerges from the GOP.
There has to be a joint, concerted effort between top federal Republican lawmakers, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee that will back GOP lawmakers in states with large Hispanic populations and put them on the right path to come up with a realistic solution to immigration reform. Just toning down the rhetoric will no longer work in this era post the harsh anti-immigrant laws of Arizona, Alabama and Georgia.
Hispanics know how closely tied the immigration issue is with jobs and the economy. They know because many of them helped build and develop entire communities across the nation when they contributed their competitive labor rates which Republicans are all for.
The Republican party must learn the lesson of the Reid/Angle election – particularly in the US southwest where Latinos are registering themselves in droves. If Obama does in 2012 what Reid did at the last minute in 2010 in order to woo Latinos to go to the polls, Republicans will rue the day they threw away millions of vital votes.
An informative and telling story by Ed Pilkington from the Guardian:
Hispanic activists urge GOP to follow Gingrich’s lead on immigration
Newt Gingrich’s call for ‘humane’ approach to migrants earns plaudits from Latino voters – but propels the former speaker into an increasingly hostile debate within the Republican party
Newt Gingrich‘s appeal for a “humane” approach to US immigration in the latest televised debate has propelled him into the thick of one of the most bitterly divisive issues within the Republican party, at the same time earning him plaudits from Hispanic activists battling against new legal clampdowns sweeping across the southern states.
Garcia Blase welcomed Gingrich’s comments as a “restoration within the Republican party of common sense on immigration.” But she said she feared that the candidate would suffer as a result of taking that stance, in much the same way Rick Perry saw his support dwindle among Republican voters after he publicly supported the Texas version of the Dream Act. Garcia Blase believes the increasingly anti-Hispanic drift of the Republican party is political suicide. Every year almost 500,000 new Latino voters come of age in America, and their growing demographic presence is already being felt in key battleground states such as New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Florida.
“Unless the party moves quickly to regain the common-sense approach we saw under Bush, then it is in danger of losing the Hispanic vote for an entire generation. They must show foresight, or else they will become extinct under the name of the Old White Party,” she said.