Does the GOP Need to Change Its Stance on Immigration?
The Republican Party failed to win the Latino vote, leaving some saying the party must soften its stance on immigration
As the Republican Party regroups and reflects after the 2012 election, there’s no shortage of people looking for someone or something to blame for the party’s disappointing results. Many say extreme rhetoric on topics such as immigration caused the party the election, as they only succeeded in alienating the increasingly important Latino vote.
The Republican Party traditionally has a tough stance on immigration, supporting things like strict deportation policies, “show me your papers” laws like Arizona SB 1070, and building a border fence. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he supported “self-deportation” for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the country, a statement that unsurprisingly made him unpopular with Latino voters.
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Latinos voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama, with 71 percent casting their votes to re-elect him. The demographic also played an important role in several battleground states: Florida, Colorado, and Nevada all have high Latino populations. Post-election, Romney said he failed to capture Latinos because he was unable to compete with policy “gifts” from Obama, like a path to citizenship and access to healthcare.