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Mark Krikorian, head of the anti-immigrant “think tank” Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), is feeling a bit lonely this week. Surveying the likely GOP presidential contenders for 2016, he lamented to the conservative Weekly Standard, “I’m honestly looking for someone I can support in 2016.” Krikorian’s glum assessment of the potential 2016 Republican presidential field is due to the fact that, “[a]ll of the major 2016 figures — [Rand] Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker — support comprehensive reform…All of the major candidates support reform, so none of them can undercut each other by appealing to anti-reform sentiment,” according to Jonathan Chait of New York magazine.
This is quite a reversal from just last year, when the positions of all the major Republican candidates were much more in line with Krikorian than with the Latino community. Mitt Romney became the standard-bearer for Kirkorian’s signature policy idea—“self-deportation” or “attrition through enforcement”—and he rode that pony over the demographic cliff. Romney’s allegiance to Krikorian’s immigration strategy was directly responsible for his historic poor showing among Latino voters–and we all know how that story ends.
Just this week, the Republican National Committee’s memo calling for the GOP to change on immigration or risk irrelevancy; Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) prominent endorsement of reform, including earned citizenship; an“entire room” of Tea Party caucus members indicating their support of Senator Paul’s position; and the growth of evangelicals and other religious conservatives making “a moral case for immigration reform” mean that Krikorian is feeling increasingly marginalized.
Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Where have you gone, Mitt Romney and Tom Tancredo? Mark Krikorian turns his lonely eyes to you. Little wonder none of the top 2016 Republican names are ringing his phone off the hook. Continue to alienate Latino voters, continue to lose elections—it’s that simple. So our advice (Bobby Jindal), if Mark Krikorian calls to talk strategy, hang up.