Weekly Immigration Update: Republican Leaders Get Immigration Reform

One of NDN's main arguments for passage of immigration reform legislation this year (CIR) is the fact that: 1) the broken immigration system is a major national problem, 2) voters want a solution to fix it (particularly Hispanic voters) and 3) it is a legislative achievement within easier grasp of this Congress and Administration than other issues given the history of bipartisan support on this issue (lest we forget that a bill did pass the Senate in 2006, under Republican control).  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reiterated this last point on yesterday's Meet the Press. President Obama has reiterated his commitment to getting immigration reform passed - hopefully all Democrats in Congress will move just as quickly to get this done this year.  Clearly there is no political or policy-oriented argument not to that can stand the test of scrutiny.

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MR. GREGORY:  Let me just spend a moment talking more generally about the future of the Republican Party.  I spoke to a prominent Republican this week who said the problem for Republicans is that they have failed to take stock of what happened last year in the election. They have failed to take stock of the demographic changes in the country.  Who are the leaders of this party and what are the issues that bring it back to power, Senator?


MR. GREGORY:  Is Sarah Palin also a leader of this party?

SEN. GRAHAM:  Absolutely.  I think Huckabee, Palin, Mitt Romney, John McCain--because he's the most recognizable public, public figure as a Republican, because he ran for president with a good approval rating--congressional leaders.  A guy like me who'll try to find common ground on the issue on immigration.  You know, one thing long-term about this party, the demographic changes in this country are real.  We lost ground with Hispanic voters because of the way we behaved and the things we said on immigration.  Obama won younger voters because of the image he projected and his positive agenda….