The immigration reform debate is coming whether we want it or not. Obama has become a political heavyweight, steamrolling the weakest Speaker of the House in modern history and the impotent GOP caucus at every turn. But he won’t stop there. His stated objective is guns, debt ceiling and immigration.
If Obama can handle the immigration debate as masterfully as he has handled the past few contests, Republicans will be forced to either pass Obama’s bill or articulate to America their opposition to “Amnesty,” UNLESS, Marco Rubio can become the leader on immigration reform.
No matter how you slice it, Democrats will vote for immigration reform and reap the benefits of it. Simultaneously, Republicans in safe gerrymandered districts will howl about it and continue to hurt the GOP brand overall.
But there is an opening for a charismatic leader in the Senate to take the reigns, introduce his own bill, build support for it, compromise with D’s and push that sponsored bill to the President’s desk. A senator that was able to do that, might just plant the seed that could potentially turn around GOP prospects in the Hispanic community.
That Senator may even be able to garner 43% of the Hispanic vote in a General Presidential Election, the same percentage W received in 2004 before wiping the electoral floor with John Kerry.
That is exactly what Marco Rubio is poised to do. Leading Republicans are lining up behind Rubio’s new proposal – and they should. It is happening either way and it doesn’t compromise any smaller government principals.
Rubio’s plan essentially creates a path to citizenship – the most important plank to immigration reform, while also ensuring that illegals are estopped from cutting in front of immigrants pursuing a legal path to citizenship. Other eye candy for the base include: moving skilled workers to the front of the line, use of E-verify for employers and stricter border patrol.
This is exactly what we need and if Mr. Rubio can push this thing through then there will be a respectable modicum of political goodwill for Mr. Rubio to build upon in the future, which is something the GOP sorely needs.