Why Do Elephants Put their Heads in the Sand? – Hispanically Speaking News

January 7, 2012 by Americas Voice Online. As Republicans continue to embrace hard-right positions on immigration, the Party is distancing itself not only from the legacy of Ronald Reagan and other past Republican leaders, but also from Latino voters in numerous states that are shaping up to be key 2012 battlegrounds.

Hispanically Speaking News by Americas Voice Online.
The GOP on Immigration: An Anniversary and a Look Forward
November 2011 marked not only one year before the 2012 election, but also the 25-year anniversary of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which granted legal permanent residency to nearly 2.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

With the prominent role immigration has played thus far in the 2012 election cycle, it is worth remembering the words of a cherished Republican icon, President Ronald Reagan, upon signing that law: “The legalization provisions in this act will go far to improve the lives of a class of individuals who now must hide in the shadows, without access to many of the benefits of a free and open society.”

President Reagan also famously referred back to his vision for America in his farewell address to the nation. He called America a “shining city upon a hill,” saying, “And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and heart to get here.”

Such a policy approach and welcoming rhetoric stands in sharp contrast to the current crop of Republican presidential contenders, most Republicans in Congress, and many Republican state leaders, all of whom continue to promote deportation-only policies backed by anti-immigrant rhetoric. It says something about the current state of the Republican Party on immigration when a top-tier Republican presidential candidate like Herman Cain calls for an electrified fence and “real guns and real bullets” to deter border crossers, and then wonders why many aren’t laughing at his “joke.”

As Republican strategist Ana Navarro told POLITICO, “We have a unique opportunity to capitalize on a broken promise to the Latino community, and instead of capitalizing on that, we are fighting over who is tougher and meaner and stricter when it comes to immigration. We’re completely missing the boat.”

As we look forward to the 2012 election, and remember Ronald Reagan’s role in passing immigration legislation, it is notable how far right the Republican Party has moved on immigration. This narrow approach will have significant long-term political costs for the Party of Reagan.

Read the whole article on: Hispanic Speaking News by Americas Voice Online

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