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In The News: Republican switch on immigration is for just one reason: winning

The U.S. Senate is now trying to do the impossible: working together to actually accomplish something. A new immigration initiative was presented last week that would require cooperation from both the Democrats and Republicans.

The plan includes tougher border control, stricter laws on undocumented workers and improving the monitoring of visitors, according to KEYT and CNN NewSource. In return, all undocumented workers already in the U.S. will not be reported (granted they don’t have a criminal past) and can begin the process of becoming American citizens.

But why have Democrats and Republicans agreed to sit down and discuss immigration together? Why have Republicans become seemingly lax on their usually strict immigration platform?

It could be (it definitely is) because the Hispanic vote was one of the main reasons Romney lost last year’s election. More than 70 percent of Hispanic voters, the fastest-growing demographic in the country, voted for Obama in 2012. That’s a huge percentage, one that cannot simply be ignored.

Republicans have realized that maybe they have gone too far right for the comfort of some Americans, and thus are doing something about it.

“It’s really hard to get people to listen to you on economic growth, on tax rates, on health care, if they think you want to deport their grandmother,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told NPR.

Republican representatives no longer want to be harsh on immigration laws because it will cost them the next election if they are.

“It’s also going to require, I think, outreach by the business community, but also by religious leaders to let these folks know, the most conservative folks know, that by being so anti-immigrant, it’s just not the right thing to do,” said Republican John Feehery, a former top House leadership aide, in an interview with NPR.

However, some GOP members are angry about the new movement toward immigration reform. One commenter on an NPR article claimed that the Republican Party once had principles (but that’s still up for debate).

At least the GOP is being honest about where its effort for immigration laws is coming from. They want votes — they want to win. It’s more respectable to let people be aware that it is the only reason and not say, “Hey, we changed our minds and we really want to help the Latino population in the U.S. No ... no, really. I’m being serious. Stop laughing.”

This is what makes a republic great. If one huge sector of people is not being heard by one party and chooses to not vote for it, that party won’t win. Not winning is not an option for political parties (seriously, they’ll do anything for a vote), so they will change their stance on an issue to please the majority. It’s what this country’s ideals were founded on: the representation of the majority.

Jessica Ensley is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Does the Republican Party really want to help immigrants? Email Jessica at

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