Now is the time for immigration reform
BY World's Editorials Writers
Saturday, November 24, 2012
11/24/12 at 4:05 AM
The next year to 18 months might very well be this country's best opportunity to finally pass significant immigration law reform.
President Obama delivered a thumping to Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the presidential election by grabbing more than 70 percent of the Latino vote and about the same from Asian-Americans.
For the last 12 years, the Republican Party has been all but hijacked by anti-immigration extremists who want nothing less than total deportation of Hispanics here illegally. That faction has pushed the party so far that it forced Romney to use the awful phrase "self-deportation," meaning that the United States government - or states acting on their own - ought to make life so miserable for Hispanics - citizens or not - that they would voluntarily choose to return across the border.
That, of course, is ludicrous.
Now, elements of the Republican Party are beginning to realize that their party could suffer immensely if it continues its attack on immigrants. There is even talk of turning states such as Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Alabama permanently blue, possibly by 2016. Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham and others now sound ready to accept some compromise and move toward comprehensive immigration reform.
Obama, however, has the high ground.
The Republicans' first step is to field moderate candidates and then get the moderates in the party to vote in the primaries. Candidates of the far right and the tea party have taken over the primaries because they know they can count on their supporters showing up in the primaries.
The issue has always been reform or expulsion. The choice seems clear.
It not only is the right thing to do but might be the Republicans' only chance to remain a viable party.
This country is becoming more and more a country of minorities. It is time to pass fair and comprehensive immigration reform. Initial steps have been taken by Obama. These next 18 months give the country, the president and Congress the chance to do what has been needed for years.
Original Print Headline: It's time