Does the Utah law makes sense for Republicans?
by Tom Donelson on April 5, 2011 at 8:56 AM
Utah Republicans have put together a compromise plan worth conservatives to examine. Utah is hardly a bastion of liberalism but they have combined a plan that allows law abiding illegals to stay in the state while allowing background checks on people arrested of serious misdemeanors and felonies. In addition, illegals in Utah before May must pay a fine in order to stay, and the Mormon Church supported the law.
For many conservatives, they will like the enforcement aspect of the law and Utah Republicans view additional workers as adding to the overall economic growth of the state while avoiding the controversy of Arizona.
I have mentioned in the past columns, the importance of Hispanics votes to future conservative victories. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush observed, “Republicans need to make a better effort at connecting with Hispanic voters. The more connected Hispanics feel to the Republican community, the more likely they are to turn out in support of Republicans on Election Day.” Say what you want about Jeb or George Bush, but no Republicans have received more Hispanic votes than these men over the past decade, including state elections.
The key issue is how to handle the immigration issues. Resurgent Republican, a conservative organization, reported the result of a study that many Hispanics will support free market policy, but they also favored a comprehensive approach to immigration including Republican Hispanic voters. Republican strategist Mike Murphy observed, “That GOP opposition to some sort of path toward legalization is a “non-starter” for Hispanic voters.” Others just as Texas Lamar Smith would argue that Republicans obtained 38% of Hispanic voters in the last election because of being faithful to Republican principles including a more restrictive policy.
The GOP must get the approach to Hispanics voters correct or they will be relegated to minority status and we will be stuck with a Democratic European socialist state, traveling down the road to Serfdom.