Deep in a Jonathan Strong piece on the upcoming August recess and immigration reform is a quote from Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), a close Boehner ally who says that most Republicans would support a comprehensive (rather than piecemeal) immigration bill–if it has even more border security than the Senate bill and stricter trigger provisions.
And Simpson acknowledges that immigration reform must contain a path to citizenship:
I don’t know how you’re going to do an immigration bill that doesn’t [somehow] deal with the 11 or 12 million who are here. That’s going to be a part of any final deal. And that’s what stops [anti-immigrant House Republicans] from wanting to go to conference, because they’re afraid that will be in any conference report. But I don’t know how you do immigration without doing that.
He’s right. Latino Decisions polling from this week shows some very negative opinions toward House Republicans and how they’ve been approaching immigration reform. As the second chart shows, Republicans will only enjoy a 22% favorability rating among Latino voters if they kill immigration reform–that’s even lower than the percentage of the Latino vote that Mitt Romney won in the last election. And there’s no guarantee that things won’t get worse.
What’s it going to be, GOP? Will they soon realize that immigration reform with citizenship is something they’ll have to pass, sooner or later? Or will they resign themselves to being the hostile party in Congress?