An August 15 article in Politico entitled: Paul Ryan Won't Close Mitt Romney's Gap With Hispanics reports that Mitt Romney is on track to lose the Latino vote by a wider margin than any Republican presidential candidate in over a decade, and that he may have made a bad situation worse by choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate. Not only did Ryan vote against the DREAM Act, but he supports "overhauling" (i.e. gutting) entitlement programs that are popular with Latino voters. There is nothing in his record or his statements that differs significantly from the harsh anti-immigrant line that Romney took during the Republican primaries, and which he has never unequivocally retracted.
According to this report, Obama now leads Romney by 40 per cent among Latinos, and the Republicans could conceivably lose the Latino vote for decades, in part, at least, because of their harsh anti-immigrant stance. It is difficult to understand why the Republicans are going out of their way to antagonize almost every voting group in America - Latinos, African-Americans, women, seniors, young people, the less well off, people who need affordable health insurance, gays, Muslims, US citizens from immigrant communities - except for one group only - white men without college degrees.
Do the Republicans really think that their lead among less educated white male voters is going to be enough for them to get away with telling every other voting group, or groups, in America to drop dead? Do they think that their anti-minority voter suppression laws will be enough to keep all the voters they are going out of their way to antagonize away from the polls in November? Or are the Republicans relying on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of misleading ads (such has the outrageous ones claiming that Ryan's budget plan would "preserve" Medicare against the "attempt" by Obama to "destroy" it) to sway voters whose supposed ignorance and lack of intelligence they take for granted?
The latter is the only rational explanation for the Republicans' Orwellian propaganda to the effect that killing Medicare through turning it into a voucher program means "saving it for future generations", and that forcing immigrants to "self-deport" through draconian police-state tactics is "immigration reform". Instead, the Republicans may find out this fall that there is such a thing as the law of cause and effect, a law which cannot be bought by any amount of billionaires' campaign money, or suppressed by even the most discriminatory voter ID laws.
In contrast to Romney/Ryan's toeing the harsh radical right wing line on immigration, and on other issues which most immigrants care about as much about as anyone else, there is another voice with connections to the Republican party that deserves to be listened to. This voice comes from the unlikely duo of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican (and former Democrat), now Independent, and Rupert Murdoch.
Politico also reports (August 14) that Bloomberg and Murdoch are joining in calling for a new approach on immigration, one which would recognize, for example, that immigrants were responsible for one out of every four new businesses started last year. Murdoch (whose Fox News channel has not exactly been known for its pro-immigrant advocacy}, said that it is a "scandal".that temporary work visas send highly skilled graduates away after a limited amount of time in the US.
Now that a bright new day is dawning in the history of US immigration with the acceptance of applications for two-year Deferred Action for eligible DREAMERS, is it possible that sanity on immigration may be about to dawn within the Republican party? If so, someone should tell Romney/Ryan.
Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.