Jamelle Bouie says that Republicans shouldn’t give up on the Latino vote just yet:
If I were advising Republicans, I would push them to work hard to counter the perception that they’re hostile to Latinos and oppose their inclusion to political life. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive reform. Support for something like the DREAM Act–in addition to something that makes room for more high-skilled immigration–would do the trick.
House Republicans seem to be doing just that with their newly announced (and tentatively named) KIDS Act. Elise Foley reports:
[The bill] would be a Republican alternative to the Dream Act that failed in the Senate in 2010, and would allow undocumented young people to become legal residents.
Although offices for Cantor and Goodlatte would not get into details or the timetable, Cantor has said previously that undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children should be allowed to become citizens. The KIDS Act would be one of several bills that the House could consider on immigration reform as part of its piecemeal approach. So far, Republicans seem far more comfortable with legalizing so-called Dreamers than they do with a path to citizenship for their parents.
Weigel sees this as remarkable turnaround:
[J]ust a month ago, Rep. Steve King added an amendment to the Homeland Security funding bill written to end a policy begun by Barack Obama in 2012–“deferred action” on deporting illegal immigrants under 30. It was seen as a pseudo-DREAM Act, and the King amendment was seen as a pseudo-repeal of psuedo-DREAM. It passed, 224-201, with all but six Republicans voting with just three red-district Democrats.
What happened? The Senate bill really did put some fear into House Republicans; the King amendment is going to have to be explained as blow against executive overreach, not as anything to do with Dreamers.