Republicans fail with Achieve Act

Republicans fail with Achieve Act
Sen. Jon Kyl

Latino voters made a difference in the presidential election and their political voice will only continue to grow.

And Republicans are getting the message.

This week Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) introduced the Achieve Act that pretends to help undocumented youth.

It's a weaker version of the DREAM Act. It is not a pathway to citizenship just another temporary fix with a complicated three-tiered visa system. It doesn't stand much chance of passing in a lame-duck Congress, and Latino politicians and immigrant activists do not support it.

It's especially troubling that Sen. Kyl also suggested undocumented youth marry a U.S. citizen to get citizenship.  If that were so easy, most people would have done that by now. There are complicated rules, penalties and bars that the undocumented face even if one person marries a U.S. citizen.

This comment shows Kyl doesn't understand immigration law. Plus he's almost encouraging immigration fraud with that suggestion.

Republicans take heed.

The number of Latino eligible voters is expected to double by 2030, according to an analysis released by the Pew Hispanic Center after the election.

There are currently 23.7 million Hispanics in the U.S. who are eligible to vote and around 12.5 million of them did. It's estimated that Latinos made up 10 percent of the electorate in 2012.

In two decades there will be an estimated 40 million eligible Hispanic voters.

So both political parties will have to pay more attention to the concerns of Latino voters.

President Obama said after he won re-election that his administration will push for immigration reform.

This is important to Latino voters because more than 60 percent said they know someone who is undocumented, according to Pew Hispanic.

The immigration issue for many Latinos is more about respect. Many of us want hard-working undocumented immigrants who contribute to this country to have a chance to become U.S. citizens.

Indeed many polls show that a majority of all Americans feel that way.

Comprehensive immigration reform will allow more people to pay taxes and also for DREAM Act youth to get jobs after they graduate from a college.

A college graduate will earn $450,000 more over a lifetime, according to The Brookings Institution.

Latinos also care about the economy, education for their children and health care. That is why more than 70 percent of them voted for President Obama.

If Republicans want to win back Latino voters, they have to stop acting so hostile to immigrants and stop accusing Latino voters of wanting a handout. And they have to come up with real solutions.

If they don't they will lose again in 2016.

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