With the Republican party sweeping to victory in last week’s midterm elections in the United States, observers believe that the party has the chance to ensure its victory in the presidential election in 2016 if it can pre-empt executive action by President Obama and enact immigration reform itself.
“Unquestionably,” says Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute. “In my opinion, barring unforeseen circumstances, if Republicans pass almost any comprehensive immigration reform, the race in 2016 is theirs to lose. It’s a game changer.” Bolick believes that immigration reform is the best chance the Republican party has of getting what it wants in terms of increased border security, a new immigration system that encourages high-skilled workers, and a better economy.
Bolick and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, have worked together to try to make clear to other members of the Republican party just how large the economic and political benefits of the party enacting immigration reform would be; however, it has been difficult for them to make their voices heard in the wake of the yelling and stamping of feet from the hard-line conservatives who have made it clear that they do not intend to make any compromises on the issue.
Republicans now have the chance to do what the Democratic party was unable to do and come up with a compromise bill to create a pathway to US citizenship for Dreamers, expand guest programs by reforming the visa system, and increase border security. The only question is whether the party has the resolve to actually do this.