America's growing Hispanic population increasingly votes Democratic for economic reasons. The Hispanic population is poorer than the American norm—median household income of about $38,000—and favors more activist government. The hope that Republicans could win votes among them by championing more open immigration was always delusive. The thinking behind that hope was based on stereotypes: Mexico is a heavily Catholic country, therefore Mexican immigrants should vote for the pro-life GOP on cultural grounds—even though actual Mexican-American voters have amply demonstrated a preference for the Democratic party on substantial economic grounds.
This mismatch between GOP assumptions and Hispanic voting preferences is widening in the age of the Tea Party.
How does the Ryan plan sound from the point of view of a Hispanic voter: surely it sounds like a plan to tax younger Hispanics to pay for the Medicare benefits of white retirees and near-retirees—and then yank away the full Medicare benefits just when Hispanics begin to qualify for it in large numbers?Marco Rubio may imagine that he can make this mismatch go away by endorsing some version of the DREAM Act. He's kidding himself.
Meanwhile, DrewM wonders whether Republicans really want to get into a discussion of the DREAM Act now:
We’re going to grant the premiss the Democrats have been running on that this is something we have to act on (separate from border security/enforcement)
We’re going to do this to try and win votes of voters who will simply say, “Um, why should I support your half-assed measure when the other guys are offering me the whole thing?”
We’d also offer the Democrats a new and exciting line of attack…”Republicans think you’re good enough to work for them and fight and die for this country but not to vote”. Some enterprising liberal will no doubt find a way to equate that with slavery. Fun times!
And while we’re getting no credit or votes from this, we’ll also be doing the Democrats job for them by driving a wedge between members of our party.
If Rubio really goes ahead with this it will do significant damage to the GOP and Mitt Romney (who will have to pick sides between seeming anti immigrant or the GOP’s enforcement first base. He’ll get no credit if he goes with the former and will be bashed if he sides with the latter).
You know who would love to run on who can be more pro-amnesty than anyone? Barack Obama, that’s who.