You’d be surprised how much you can learn from a simple Google search. For example, try googling “democratic immigration plan.” The top results include phrases like “from dream to reality,” “unveiled reform,” and “change has come.”
Now try googling “republican immigration plan.” You’ll see the words “shelve,” “fraud,” “flat-footed,” and “floundering” up and down the page.
Why the divide? Because Republicans have failed to offer a single, cohesive plan on immigration reform.
When voters think of Marco Rubio, for example, they think of his DREAM Act-like proposal to allow children of illegal immigrants to stay in the US. When they think of Mitt Romney, they think of employer sanctions that would discourage illegals from coming to the US for work. And when they think of Michele Bachmann, they think of her plan to build a fence “on every mile of the US border.”
Obviously, this is not a very focused effort. Immigration is a nuanced issue that should be tackled on all sides, but throwing political capital at it piecemeal does no good. In fact, from a political perspective it makes things worse. It’s the reason Democrats (Democrats, can you believe it?) are being hailed as visionaries on immigration, and Republicans are not.
GOP impotence on an issue as important as immigration guarantees trouble at the ballot box; Obama leads Romney among Hispanics 67% to 23% – a record high, coming at a time when Hispanic voters make up larger and larger portions of the electorate. It also turns off young voters looking for solutions, and drives pragmatists out of Republican politics just as we need them the most.
We need a more concentrated approach. A house divided cannot long stand.