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Of course, if the Democratic-controlled Congress did what was popular, comprehensive immigration reform would have been passed and signed into law last year. A reform package that legalizes only those undocumented immigrants who learn English, pay a fine, and have a clean criminal record polls off the charts.
For example, a Public Policy Polling survey for Daily Kos in early January found that 68 percent of Americans supported such a plan. In fact, the strongest support for immigration reform came from Republicans, who favored the legislation 81 percent to 15 percent.
But Democrats failed to deliver. As a result, Latinos dropped to 8 percent of the total number of voters, down from 9 percent in 2008 — despite being a larger percentage of the total eligible voter pool. In the few places they turned out — such as Nevada’s Senate race, where Democrat Harry Reid cast himself as a champion of reform — Latinos helped endangered Democrats survive. Everywhere else, it cost Democrats.