Adam Serwer has a great catch. He compares Ronald Reagan’s immigration plan with Obama’s, Obama’s Immigration Plan Is Far Harsher Than Reagan’s. You know Obama’s plan: the nonstarter. And you know Reagan: the Grand Poobah of Conservatism; the shining actor on the hill; the man who would solve all our problems if only he were still alive and suffering from dementia half the time.
In the bill that passed and became law, the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986, undocumented immigrants could apply for a green card after 18 months. In Obama’s proposal, they would have to wait 8 years. That would mean that it would take at least 13 years to become a citizen. So people my age stand a very good chance of dying before they become a citizen.
This begs the question: if 13 years is a nonstarter and just too liberal a policy for Republicans, including wonderboy of Latino outreach Marco Rubio, what would be acceptable? Perhaps 65 years? That way, if a baby is brought to this country illegally, he might be able to get citizenship by the time he dies. All others need not apply.
I am reminded of Ari Melber’s observation that Republicans really don’t want the things they claim to want. This is a great example. They don’t actually want immigration reform. They want to appear like they are doing something but they don’t want to actually do something. I think they are making a mistake. They assume that just because their base is happy with a party that gets nothing done but grandstanding, that Latinos will be equally impressed. I just don’t see that happening.
I think this whole Republican push is a fool’s errand anyway. Latinos are not going to start voting for the Republican Party in large numbers just because they pass immigration reform. The number one reason that Latinos vote for Democrats is that as a group, Latinos are poor. Repulibcans are the party of the rich and they demonstrate this every day in every way.