Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader in the House of Representatives, is the front-runner to succeed current speaker John Boehner, who surprised everyone by announcing his resignation last week. McCarthy’s appointment could have major implications with regard to immigration reform, given that he represents a district with a very large Latino population.Despite this, McCarthy has so far been strictly opposed to immigration reform in a stance that could cause problems for the Republican Party as the nation’s demographics shift and Latinos become a more powerful voting force. McCarthy has continued to take a hard-line approach on his website, saying that he does not agree with giving so-called ‘amnesty’ or benefits reserved for those with US citizenship to undocumented immigrants and that the first priority should be to secure the border.
In 2014 McCarthy supported the idea of a number of undocumented immigrants being given legal status; however, as recently as six months ago he refused to vote for comprehensive immigration reform in the House of Representatives. With Latino voters unlikely to vote for those who actively campaign for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, the political climate might leave McCarthy little option but to change his stance.
The Republican Party has admitted that it needs to find common ground with the eligible voters of the future. You do this McCarthy may have to bring votes to the floor of the House of Representatives dealing with issues relating to the changing demographics of the United States.