Last fall’s overwhelming, more than 3-1 Latino vote for President Obama has at last gotten leading Republican politicians to realize they can’t permanently treat all 11 million undocumented immigrants like criminals.
Gradually, too, from possible presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to former presidential candidate and Arizona Sen. John McCain, they are coming to accept the notion that any significant plan to change American immigration policy must include some path to citizenship for illegals who have lived and worked many years in America.
They are still far from convincing all their party mates that shifting to this stance and abandoning their far more hard-line past positions favoring mass deportation is suicidal for the party in a nation where Latinos are the fastest-growing population element and voter bloc.
Tony Quinn, a former Republican political operative and now co-editor of the California Target Book guide to state politics, calls GOP leaders favoring changes in their policy “Republicans who can count.” ...