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Hundreds of thousands of immigrants participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006
Future allies or the scariest thing ever for the GOP (after an MSNBC tweet)? Caucus to debate.
Today, House Speaker John Boehner tries to convince his caucus that even weak-tea immigration reform is in their party's interest:
Republican House Speaker John Boehner and other House Republican leaders will measure the willingness of party members to tackle immigration in a midterm election year when they unveil the principles Thursday at the party caucus' annual retreat in Maryland.
Among those rumored "principles—legalization without citizenship, which is laughably absurd. The only reason Republicans are even considering any reform at all is because of the demographic math. So how are they addressing that by telling the fast-growing Asian and Latino communities, "We won't deport you, but we still fucking hate you enough to make sure you'll never be an American. You'll always be second-class to us!"

Seems electorally counterproductive, no? So perhaps the GOP xenophobes have an inadvertent point: Why should Republicans try to do reform that does nothing to improve their electoral lot in life? If they're not willing to do it right (a full path to citizenship), then why do anything at all?

They have two options: Either be good-faith partners in search of a proper solution, or double-down on their hate of immigrant communities. And if they decide on the latter, then own it! Trumpet it to the high heavens: We hate brown people! Because really, that's what it all comes down to.

"Part of it, I think — and I hate to say this, because these are my people — but I hate to say it, but it’s racial," said the Southern Republican lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "If you go to town halls people say things like, ‘These people have different cultural customs than we do.’ And that’s code for race."
Of course it is, it's about race, and things associated with that—fear of different cultures, languages they don't understand, different-sounding music, change in their communities, economic insecurity (they're going to take my job!), etc. And there are too many Republicans willing to feed into those fears, and they won't let their own party's long-term self-interest stand in the way.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, delivered a 30-page package to all 232 House Republicans on Wednesday that offered a point-by-point rebuttal to the party's expected principles.
And Ted Cruz:
Ted Cruz says that anyone in favor of the so-called immigration reform bill "should go ahead and put a 'Harry Reid for Majority Leader' bumper sticker on their car."
Ann Coulter:
Republicans have no obligation to assist the Democrats as they change the country in a way that favors them electorally, particularly when it does great harm to the people already here [...]

it's fantastic for the Democrats, who are well on their way to a permanent majority, so they can completely destroy the last remnants of what was once known as "the land of the free."

You get the idea. Boehner is going into a hostile party gathering, featuring a caucus he has no hopes of controlling, trying to sell them on an issue that repulses both the xenophobes and plays to their fear of electoral annihilation.

Fear of long-term electoral irrelevance may be motivating Boehner and his pro-reform allies, but the more immediate and visceral fear and hate on the other side will likely prove stronger.

Originally posted to kos on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 12:03 PM PST.

Also republished by LatinoKos and Daily Kos.

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