Will the Republican Party soften on immigration?

US flagThe Republican Party is well known for its long standing stance against illegal immigration, but Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida who is widely viewed as a potential presidential candidate for the Republicans for the 2016 elections, has sounded a different note by saying many illegal immigrants to the United States do so out of love in order to provide for their families.  Could Bush’s remarks indicate a way forward for the Republican Party?

Some commentators feel that Bush’s comments have all but killed his chances of being selected as the party’s presidential candidate in 2016. The Republican Party base have continued to refuse to allow their representatives to agree to any measure that would allow undocumented immigrants to get on a path to US citizenship, despite attempts by some high profile party members such as Senator Marco Rubio’s efforts to find some common ground.

Conservatives have long hit the panic button about every wave of immigration, frantically declaring, each time that the American national identity would be threatened by all these newcomers, forgetting that without immigration from other countries the United States would not exist in anything resembling its current form.

There are millions of immigrants, legal and undocumented, living and working in the United States and the great majority of them are not going to leave. Some feel that Bush’s comments indicate an awareness that the Republican Party needs to soften its stance to help their own prospects, but others suspect the hardliners will refuse to change even if it wrecks their party’s future election chances.