The Hill caught up with Rep. Tom Cole, a six-term Republican from Oklahoma who talked about GOP immigration legislation next year and his belief that his party can and should compromise with Democrats. The problem? When the Hill asked how Republicans will avoid alienating Hispanic voters — which will be a huge issue for them in 2016 and beyond, given how they’ve behaved in this Congress — Cole’s answer involved border security, E-Verify, high-tech visa, and seasonal labor. Nothing about ending the GOP’s repeated attacks against DACA and now executive action. Nothing about the 11 million undocumented immigrants already here, who are still waiting for permanent legal status and citizenship. If Cole really thinks his proposals are the way to win the hearts of Hispanic voters, that reflects a huge, huge blind spot for the GOP.
Watch the encounter and view the partial transcript below:
THE HILL: How do Republicans avoid alienating Hispanic voters?
REP. TOM COLE: We have a responsibility to start moving serious legislation ourselves. I would take some things that the President has said he agrees on that is not “comprehensive”. Everybody agrees the border needs more security, let’s pass a border security bill. We have the E-Verify portion of the Senate immigration bill, well, that might not be a bad thing to do either. Let’s do high-tech visa reform, let’s do some things on seasonal labor. A lot of people want to come here, do that sort of tough seasonal work, and go home.