Latinos are a left-leaning demographic–and Republican support for an immigration deal won’t change that, writes Jamelle Bouie.
In the ongoing argument over how the Republican Party can move forward after losing last year's elections, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has had a clear, coherent perspective. The GOP doesn't need to change its policies—it just needs to reach out to key voters, like Latinos, and bring them into the tent. To do that, Republicans need to appeal to the immigrant identity, and present the Democratic Party as a throwback to "the countries that your parents and grandparents came here to get away from."
But there's a roadblock. As he put it during a January address to the conservative Hispanic Leadership Network, "It’s a difficult message to get to because the gateway issue of immigration stands in the minds of so many people who we live next to and love."
In other words, the party's stance on immigration keeps it from building common cause with voters who, as Rubio has described them, have a native social conservatism and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.