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April 20, 2012 09:13 PM UTC

What's In That Fabled "GOP Dream Act?"

  • by: Colorado Pols

Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times reports:

With Republicans increasingly concerned about losing Hispanic voters this November, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida on Thursday pressed his party to embrace a compromise measure allowing young illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status…

“Mitt Romney is the leader of the Republican Party now. Our hope is to come up with something that he can be supportive of,” he said.

The Rubio push comes as Mr. Romney tries to shift from the hard-line stance he took during the primary fight to a softer position that could erode President Obama’s overwhelming edge with Hispanic voters.

Republican strategists fear Mr. Obama’s advantage – hovering around two-thirds of the Hispanic vote – could kill Republican chances in crucial states like Colorado and Nevada, swing Virginia to the Democratic column and keep the president’s hopes alive in Florida. [Pols emphasis]

Unfortunately, writes the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent:

But what if Romney has no room to execute any such pivot?

I just got off the phone with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an adviser to Romney on immigration. He stated flatly that he didn’t think Republicans – or Romney – should, or would, support any version of the DREAM Act that provides undocumented immigrants with any kind of path to legal status.

If Romney sticks to this – and Kobach said he would – there’s very little room for him to moderate his approach to immigration. In addition to advising Romney on immigration, Kobach is a national GOP voice on the issue, suggesting the right would not permit any move of this kind.

In a separate posting, Sargent quotes Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as saying that anything short of requiring immigrant students to return to their native countries and apply for a visa would be unacceptable to conservatives. Nobody knows exactly what’s in Sen. Marco Rubio’s under-wraps proposal, but in any practical sense we assume this line in the sand would sink it.

But because this proposal is meant to supply political cover more than actually accomplish anything, such a conflict between Rubio and Kobach (and their respective wings of the GOP) could become considerably more trouble for Romney than any of this is worth.

After all, Romney needs to do more to improve his terrible numbers with Hispanics. The need to move the needle so far to make a difference creates a cost/benefit quandary: would he cost himself more support from conservatives than he would gain from won over Hispanics?

Be assured, this final question is the only one that matters to Mitt Romney.


11 thoughts on “What’s In That Fabled “GOP Dream Act?”

  1. You’ve clarified the issue very well I think. Romney risks more by pandering to the illegal immigrant lobby than he does by staying true to principle. I agree strongly with Sec. State Kobach that we cannot reward lawbreaking without opening the floodgates.

    Any solution that allows illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. and obtain legal status will be unacceptable to conservatives, and I believe Romney will reject it. Surely there is a solution that will show compassion without toleration of contempt for the law.

      1. Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

        Coloradans For Immigrant Rights

        American Friends Service Committee

        Metro Organizations for People

        Padres Unidos/Jovenes Unidos

        Catholic Campaign for Human Development

        I could go on all day. Why don’t you ever admit when you’re wrong, Aristotle?

        1. You’re talking about human rights groups, not some mythical “illegal alien” lobby.

          Besides, I ALWAYS admit I’m wrong when I am. It’s rare because I don’t speak out on topics I don’t understand.

          If you meant people who advocate for the fair immigration reform, “illegal immigrant lobby” is a distortion of the grossest order.

          1. “Illegal immigrant lobby” is perfectly appropriate, because that is what they do. I realize Democrats are dependent on self-deception whereby YOUR lobbyists are angelic and other lobbyists are evil, but other people reading your comments are going to laugh at your bias on parade.

    1. I don’t see how little kids brought here by their parents can be considered “lawbreakers”.  I don’t think they are influenced by governmental rewards or punishments, since they are, you know, little kids.

  2. won’t let RMoney use his Etch-a-Sketch on this human rights issue. Wouldn’t it be a shame if they held hes feet to fire on a host of other issues, like contraception  

  3. (1) Conduct a war on women – see your standing plummet with more than half of the electorate

    (2) Pander to the anti-hispanic-immigrant crowd and hand your opposition 2/3 of the vote from the most rapidly growing ethnic group in the country (and a key bloc in multiple swing states)

    Way to go, GOPers!

  4. For agop, although I don’t expect anyone will or for that matter can answer it.

    How do you propose to execute an operation by which “immigrant students return to their home country and apply for a visa”?

    For that matter, I remember mittens using language like “when the work dries up, they’ll all go home” during a hilarious repub debate in the spring.

    Does anybody actually think there’s a way in hell millions of people already here are going to leave?

    Who’ll pay for the “mass deportation” of these millions of “illegals”?


    On its’ face, this mean spirited idea no doubt sends a thrill up any good, god lovin’, patriotic conservative’s leg, but in reality, I doubt it’s practical.

    One of the things the republican party has “distinguished” itself since the “contract on America” crowd swept into power in 1994 has been to get really mean.



    By appealing to the lesser angels of three certain demographics, the republicans have done really well for themselves for a while now.

    The mean spirited lexicon isn’t really considered that anymore. It’s main street jargon. agop used some in his post.

    “Illegal Immigrant Lobby”.

    The three demographics I’m referring to are the top 1 percent Thurston Howell III bunch, the entitled angry white male over 65, angry the black guy’s President mob  and the uneducated (by that I mean less than a degree), non Union, largely ill informed white Fox/Limbaugh/Caplis indoctrinated voter, susceptible to race baiting claims that the white male has been hurt by “Affirmative Action” and “them foreigners stealin’ our jobs” lingo the repubs have been throwing around for a while.

    The elite 1%, the Metamucil/gout/CPAP mask crowd and the goobers make up a huge voting block, of which agop is no doubt part of.

    The problem with campaigning by inciting this hate and fear is that by doing so, your ability to govern when and if elected is compromised.

    You can’t pass Budget legislation because you can’t raise taxes….for any reason. You can’t ever address income equality because those at the top won’tallow it.

    You can’t be bi partisan because that bould mean compromising and that’s not mean enough.  

    Your nonsensical “send ’em all home” Arizona type legislation isn’t effective.

    The economics of trickle down doesn’t work because nothing trickles down.

    In essense, the conservative claim that government doesn’t work is affirmed when conservative ideology is applied.

    We’re getting to the tipping point where just being mean and nasty enough, cutting peoples’ public service off, and making sure the “poor pay their fair share” isn’t passing the smell test any more.

    When the guy like agop realizes that the “mooch”, the “couch potato”, the regular workin’ stiff, the “undeserving that doesn’t merit Social Security” is actually him, even though he’s a card carryin’ true believin’ republican, he’ll realize that he’s no better, no more deserving, and certainly not above the rest of us.

    Like it or not, a rising tide lifts all boats.


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