New Hope on Immigration

The New York Times
November 17, 2012

Funny how quickly some principles collapse when given the right kind of shove. One day, the Republican Party is rock-ribbed restrictionist, dedicated to the proposition that unauthorized immigrants are an invading army of job stealers, welfare moochers and criminals whose only acceptable destiny is to be caught and deported — the border fence forever, “amnesty” never. The next day: never mind. The party suddenly discovers the merits of a working immigration system. Senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who once bravely supported bipartisan reform but slunk away late in the last Bush administration, are scratching at the door again, as if the last five years never happened.

All it took was an election in which millions of Latino voters — many of them the wives and husbands, sons, daughters, grandchildren, cousins, co-workers and friends of those despised “illegals” — overwhelmingly chose President Obama over the man who promised to be deporter in chief. They rejected Mitt Romney by 3 to 1, according to exit polls. Asian-Americans did, too. Republicans looked at a changing America, saw a future of decline and irrelevance for the party, and concluded that immigrants weren’t so bad after all.

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