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NumbersUSA, Anti-Immigrant Groups Got No Love Last Week From 2012 GOP Candidates on Immigration

by Mahwish Khan on 04/04/2011 at 12:29pm

NumbersUSA brokenheartedCould it be that some GOP presidential contenders are finally listening, and are paying attention to the new, accurate conventional wisdom on Latino voters that is making rounds in Washington, DC? Because anti-immigrant groups like NumbersUSA and its Tanton-funded brethren are feeling no love from them.

Hotline On Call reports that at a conservative conference last week arranged by one of our three amigos on immigration, Rep. Steve King, a number of GOP leaders kept mum on the topic of immigration. Among them were solid conservatives like Gov. Haley Barbour, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann. Needless to say, NumbersUSA leader, Roy Beck, is more than a tad annoyed. Here’s more form Fawn Johnson at the National Journal:

That leaves NumbersUSA lobbyists scratching their heads. Who to rally behind? “We’re not like a lot of organizations. We don’t have any other issue,” said NumbersUSA President Roy Beck.

Beck says Republican candidates could easily rally the GOP troops on a “reduce immigration” platform simply by pointing to the unemployment rate and arguing that immigrants are taking America’s jobs. If House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith can wield that stick, why can’t the White House wannabes?

“A couple of them actually say we need to bring more people in the United States. It’s not surprising. They’re just mouthing what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants them to,” Beck said.

Such nerve. What would the Chamber of Commerce know about business anyway?  Sarcasm aside, it’s not like Lamar Smith is looking for the average American worker.  As we revealed in a recent report from America’s Voice Education Fund, Smith has a dismal voting record on issues important to American workers, such as fair pay and the right to organize.

It was only in February when Markos Moulitsas wrote in his weekly column in The Hill:

“The Republican embrace of what is perceived by Hispanics as nativism has clearly alienated Latinos,” noted a report from the right-wing American Conservative Institute. “There is also a distinct possibility that emboldened nativist-oriented Republicans (backed largely by their older, Anglo base) could embrace policies, such as abolishing birthright citizenship, that seem almost calculated to alienate Latino and other immigrant voters.”

Possibility? It’s a done deal. Republicans got a reprieve in 2010, but their current path is unsustainable. The only question is when they’ll finally figure it out.

Now, a month and a half later, it looks as if some of them are tentatively coming around.

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