Harry Reid (D-NV), the Senate Majority Leader, predicted that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will agree to support “immigration reform,” The Hill reported today. Reid suggested the Republicans in the House will pass the legislation if they want a Republican to have a chance at being elected president.
“If the Republicans ever want to elect a Republican president again, they’re going to have to get right with the Hispanic and Asian community who, by more than 70 percent, voted for Obama last time,” Reid told the Las Vegas Sun.
Reid played the race card in explaining his theory on why some Republicans are against enacting more lenient immigration laws. Reid suggest they oppose “immigration reform” because they “don't have a lot of people of color in their congressional district.”
Earlier this year, the Senate passed an immigration bill, but the House has not yet passed a version of the legislation.
It is believed that at least 11 million and maybe as many as 30 million illegal immigrants could be given a path to eventual citizenship if something resembling the Senate-passed immigration bill is enacted into law.
Many Democrats believe that if Republicans don't help pass immigration legislation, they will receive fewer votes from Hispanic and other minority voters, and therefore may be unable to get a Republican elected president in the foreseeable future.
Conservatives, on the other hand, believe the Republican Party has a lot to lose if they help pass or allow an “amnesty” immigration bill to pass. They see many voters in the “base” of the GOP abandoning the Republicans if more lenient immigration legislation is passed.
The degree to which both sides of this debate think the other side's position on the immigration issue is political suicide explains a lot of the reason both sides are so strong willed on insisting on their position on the issue. The larger issue of immigration might well have to be further settled by the voters by means of which party they decide to put in power after the elections of 2014 and 2016. The current elected leadership in Washington D.C. might be unable to come to any agreement on the immigration issue before then.
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