The announcement by House Speaker John Boehner recently that immigration reform would not be taking place in 2013 is a decision that could hurt the Republican Party for decades to come, the San Francisco Chronicle claims. The Chronicle has compared Boehner to former US presidents Lyndon Johnson and Abraham Lincoln, men who scarred their parties for many years because of their policies toward minority groups. The Chronicle adds that the Latino vote could be lost to Republicans for the next few decades because of their inaction.
Although many revere Johnson and Lincoln, both passed major legislation that granted rights to African Americans, decisions that impacted their parties for years afterwards – a whole century, in the case of Lincoln.
His decision to free the slaves and right perhaps the greatest wrong in the history of the United States nonetheless cost the party the votes of a big block of Southern voters for over a century afterward, changing only when Democrat Johnson helped to get Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act, which turned those same voters back to the Republican Party. By continuing to stall on immigration reform, the Republican Party could be turning Latino voters against them for a very long time.
The possible political ramifications of the Republican’s state of inaction in regards to immigration reform has also been delved into by the Financial Times, which pointed out a similar warning issued by a fact-finding committee organized by the Republican Party following their crushing election defeat last year – a warning the House of Representatives appears to be ignoring.