How To Alienate Latinos

by Michael Sean Winters

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As mentioned, the new census data shows that Latinos continue to be the fastest growing demographic in the country, even though immigration has slowed with the downturn in the economy. But, Republicans, terrified of the anti-immigrant - and often downright racist - rhetoric of the Tea Party ringing in their ears, seem determined to alienate this fastest growing demographic. First they filibustered the DREAM Act, not letting it even come up for a vote. Now, several GOP hopefuls are dodging an appearance at a Hispanic Leadership Conference forum, a forum run by Latino Republicans!
Conversely, the President got quite emotional yesterday at his press conference when he described his disappointment about the failure to pass the DREAM Act. I heard the comments on the radio this morning driving up here to Connecticut, and you could hear the emotion come through on the radio.
I have said it before but will say it again: Obama should send to the new GOP-led Congress the exat same immigration reform proposal that President George W. Bush sent. What voters liked about the Lame Duck session was the impression that Democrats and Republicans were working together. Except with the tax cut/stimulus compromise, the lame duck session was actually about Dems working with a handful of Republicans. But, the point is this: Moderate, swing, unaffiliated voters want to see Democrats and Republicans working together, and if the GOP turned its back on an immigration proposal that was identical to the one Bush sent, those swing voters will grasp who is interested in reaching across the aisle and who is on a long-term, demographic kamikaze mission.

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