The façade is down with the Republican Party


This past November, the Republican Party swept into power taking control of both houses, Senate and Congress. And it didn’t take long for the Republican Party to show their true colors, once again!

This month, after all the swearing in ceremonies and the pomp and circumstances, the Republican controlled House took the first step towards reversing President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Obama’s reforms would have brought 5 million immigrant workers already in this country out of the shadows and away from the fear of deportation. Republicans are already trying to dismantle the DACA program for DREAMers, and maximize deportations of undocumented immigrants settled in America.

This action to defund the paltry slate of immigration reforms comes after almost two years of wooing the Hispanic voter, with mild gestures towards immigration reform. We reflect back to 2013, when the Republican Party, led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the “gang of eight” came closest to actually moving the discussion of immigration reform forward.

Rubio and the gang of eight’s immigration bill failed to pass the Republican controlled House. From this point forward it was a case of one step forward and two steps back, with the Republicans stalling and derailing every effort by the Democrats and the immigrant activists to move the issue forward.

But we can’t lay all of the blame for a lack of immigration reform at the feet of the Republicans. The Democratic Party and President did little to move the issue forward. President Obama could have taken a stronger stand on the issue, but he didn’t. He used the issue just enough to pander to the Hispanic voter, like his action on DACA right before the Presidential election.

And then last year, he delayed action until after the November elections. In hindsight, the delay was a flop because it didn’t end up saving any Democratic seats!

Then there are the Hispanic immigration activists who focused all their efforts on getting the immigrant community out to rally for their cause. Every day highlighted a student story or displaced family. This rallied Hispanics to take action. But the trouble is that the immigrant community can’t vote. There needs to be more of an effort to educate and empower the Hispanic voters (U.S. citizens) who have the ability to create change.

With that said the biggest wall to immigration reform remains the Republican Party. At this point in time they are feeling invincible with their recent election victories and in control of both houses. But eventually they will have to come to the Hispanic voter and seek at least 35% of the vote to win the next presidential election. At that point in time we won’t forget what the real Republican Party looks like… the anti-immigrant, xenophobic Party of the right wing!