The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 8, 2013

Republicans scramble for the center on immigration

(Continued)

All this suggests that the Republican Party seems to have gotten the message after its shellacking last fall, though it is still unclear whether softer stances will translate into broad enough support for an overhaul that includes a pathway to citizenship for the country's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won only 27 percent support from Hispanics and even less from Asians. And an AP-GFK poll last month showed 62 percent of voters want to let otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants eventually become citizens, up 12 percentage points from 2010.

During the GOP presidential primaries, Romney wooed the party's right flank by echoing their rhetoric on immigration and advocating "self-deportation," or making life in the U.S. so miserable for illegal immigrants they would voluntarily return home. His campaign staff later said they regretted the sharp turn because it alienated minority voters.

Now Republicans are trying to get them back. "All of their campaign consultants are telling them that the end is near if they don't change," said Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, which advocates tighter immigration restrictions. He added that Republicans have long-favored a narrower version of the DREAM Act — formally, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — which would legalize the status of people brought here illegally as children who graduate from college or serve in the military.

The shift has been particularly dramatic in the West, where the most recent wave of illegal immigration began in the 1990s and the GOP's tough response helped drive Hispanic votes to newly ascendant Democrats.

In California, a handful of GOP state legislators joined Democratic colleagues at a news conference last week to back a pathway to citizenship in any immigration overhaul. In Nevada, where immigrant votes have given Democrats a lopsided edge in recent elections, the state Republican Party last week endorsed legalizing the status of unauthorized immigrants.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee