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GOP embraces minority communities

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But recoils from immigration reform.

At a Tuesday morning breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus talked about a report he commissioned one year ago that suggested sweeping changes in how the party operates. He said the party was making progress on many fronts but tried to distance himself from one key recommendation of the release. That recommendation was for the party to increase its appeal to the Latino community and offer support for comprehensive immigration reform. If they had an immigration lawyer, immigrants could get the help they needed. However, according to a report by CBS Miami which was reported on March 21, House Minority Leader Rep, Nancy Pelosi is for immigration reform.

A major component of the 100-page report, which was entitled, the “Growth and Opportunity Project," was to appeal to the Latino community and other growing demographic groups. The first recommendation was for party members to connect with minority voters to "show our sincerity." The author noted how "precarious" the Republican position had become. The second recommendation was for party members to "embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform." The author added, "If we do not, our Party's appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only."

Priebus said he "generally" supports the recommendations but both parties had major disagreements about what comprehensive reform should look like. "I think we do need to tackle this issue. And I think there's general agreement in the party that that needs to happen. But I would say that there's not agreement as to what exactly that package looks like," he said. Priebus, speaking of the first recommendation, said it was more important to simply engage with the community. "Showing up is a big part of the battle. Actually, 37% of Hispanics identify themselves as conservatives. But if we don't go into Hispanic communities on a year-round basis and explain what it is that we believe as a party, then those dots can never be connected," he said.

The Democratic National Committee said the GOP is just the "Same Old Party" at a separate news conference Tuesday. "What changes we have seen from the Republican Party are superficial and tactical, but do little to address their core problem – that they have an out-of-touch agenda," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the DNC. "They've hired outreach staff and placed them in communities they've never been in before. But how effective is outreach when your agenda keeps alienating the communities you are trying to reach?"

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