The Republican National Committee is pushing to make more inroads with Latinos and minority voters on immigration reform. (Photo : Reuters)
After the losses the Republicans suffered among Latinos in the November elections, GOP members has become more inclined to embrace immigration reform.
A new 100-page report from the Republican National Committee released Monday shows that with the RNC endorsing comprehensive immigration reform as part of a roadmap strategy to improve the party's standing among minority voters--something that has languished in recent years.
The report states that Republicans "must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform," according to the Associated Press.
In years past, the GOP has opposed reforms that would involve granting citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., with Senate Republicans striking down a bill championed by President George W. Bush in 2007 that would have accomplished that.
However, after record numbers of Latinos rebuked the Republican Party in the presidential election in November, the party has been forced to reconsider its stance on immigration reform, or else face a repeat of such defeats at the polls for years to come.
A bipartisan panel of both Republicans and Democrats is nearing a deal on a bill that would grant a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. while enhancing border security measures.
In addition, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus is planning to spend $10 million to send political staff into minority communities nationwide this year.
However, it may take a lot of convincing to get Latino voters to lower their guard against the Republican Party, as a new poll from Latino Decisions indicates.
According to the poll, while 32 percent of Hispanic voters would be more likely to vote Republican if the party demonstrated it was committed to passing immigration reform and "used party votes" to approve the bill, 47 percent of those Latinos polled said it would have absolutely no effect on their vote.
In addition, when asked what would happen in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives blocked an immigration reform bill, 47 percent of Latino voters said it their voting position on Republicans still wouldn't change, while 39 percent said they would be less likely to cast a ballot for a Republican candidate in that case.
In that same poll, 58 percent of registered Latino voters felt that immigration reform was the top priority of President Obama and Congress, higher that the 35 percent who voted that way in November. And part of that was that 63 percent of Latino voters say they know someone who is an undocumented immigrant, be it a family member or friend.
"There is no segmenting Latinos into those for whom immigration is important and those who have little interest," said Gary Segura, co-founder of Latino Decisions. "Immigration reform is a highly salients issue across all generations, national origin groups and even political parties. Latino voters are asking for comprehensive immigration reform. Period."
However, a poll released in February from the group showed slightly higher numbers that indicate Republicans have a big stake in getting immigration reform done. In that poll, 44 percent of Latino voters said they would be more likely to vote Republican if the party got behind passing immigration reform.
That's two percent higher than the 42 percent who said that it would have no effect on their vote, and 13 percent higher than the 31 percent who were likely to vote for GOP candidates based on their stance on immigration reform in November.