For at least some amount of time after their 2012 shellacking, Republicans understood that they had to seriously change their image and become more attractive to more voters if they were ever to win back the White House. Exhibit #1 was their 23-75% rout with Latino voters, which was why immigration reform was the sole policy prescription in the GOP autopsy report released March 18, 2013:
We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform….If Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of that report, and instead of passing immigration reform that stops the separation of families and creates a pathway to citizenship, here’s what House Republicans have been up to:
- They gave Steve King a vote on his amendment to deport DREAMers (June 2013)
- They passed the SAFE Act out of committee — a bill that would turn the whole country into an SB 1070-run Arizona, by criminalizing and profiling immigrants (June 2013)
- They took up Rep. Diane Black’s (R-TN) bill to axe a job that provided outreach to immigrants (March 2014)
- They voted AGAIN to deport DREAMers, and military servicemembers’ families, by passing the ENFORCE Act and the Faithful Executive of the Law Act (March 2014)
- They stood by while extremists like Steve King repeatedly insulted immigrants by calling them (among other things) drug smugglers with “calves the size of cantaloupes,” and countless GOP candidates have called them “wetbacks” or worse.
- Did we mention that they’ve refused to take action on immigration reform, after more than a year of giving Latino and immigrant communities hope that legislation would be passed?
With that kind of record, the RNC should keep this autopsy report around. They’ll need it again in 2017.