What Matters More to GOP: National Security or Halting Immigration

By Julissa Catalan

The Department of Homeland Security is facing a potential shutdown on Feb. 27, and all because the Republican party is holding its funding hostage.

Democrats are against this bill because the new language removes protection for Dreamers and their parents, and Republicans do not want to budge in protest of the President’s executive order.

But the affected Latinos are not interpreting it that way.

According to La Opinion, “The case for eliminating executive action using the constitutional argument that the Executive branch committed abuse of power is not sincere. The real intention is to deport as many people as possible.”

While Republican politicians insist that they plan on winning over the Latino vote—a vote that many say will decide who our next President will be—it seems that the GOP does more to further alienate them.

Take, for example, the 2016 Presidential debates. When the Republican National Committee recently announced which television networks will be airing the debates, Univision— the biggest Spanish-language network—was noticeably missing from the list.

“The GOP needs Univision more than Univision needs the GOP,” said Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi. “For a party looking to be competitive nationally again, they can’t risk alienating the premier outlet that caters to the fastest-growing part of the electorate.”

Seventy-two percent of Univision’s audience does not watch English-language news, making their exposure to the GOP minimal.

And while Univision is up to date on its immigration-reform coverage, Republicans don’t seem to want to address the issue.

During the Republican rebuttal portion of the President’s State of the Union address last month, many bilingual speakers noticed a major discrepancy between the English and Spanish versions.

Senator Joni Ernst—who is openly against immigration reform—made no mention of immigration during her recorded speech, while Latino Congressman Carlos Curbelo did.

“Right now, the impression the Latino electorate is getting from Republicans is not a good one, because they are doing everything they can to do away with executive actions but not proposing anything at the same time,” said Alfonso Aguilar, an official during the George W. Bush administration and Executive Director of the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership.

Aguilar brings up a very powerful point. If Republicans are not against immigration reform, why are they not proposing alternate options rather than just attempting to do away with Obama’s plan

Daniel Garza, Executive Director for The LIBRE Initiative, echoed those sentiments.

“Getting rid of the executive actions wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if Republicans introduced immigration-reform bills that would also address the undocumented immigrant population,” he said. “If you don’t agree with the President’s executive action, great—repeal it, stop it. But you have to propose alternatives. That’s the problem.”

And it seems that most Americans think this would be the solution to the debate as well.

According to a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, 73 percent of Americans believe Republicans should “prioritize passing comprehensive immigration-reform legislation” rather than blocking Obama’s executive actions.

Eighty percent of Latinos polled said they supported the President’s executive action.

Latino support for the GOP has been at a steady decline since the 2004 presidential election, when George W. Bush surprisingly peaked with 44 percent of the Latino vote.

Latino Vote200420082012
Democrat53 percent67 percent71 percent
Republican44 percent31 percent27 percent

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