Republican anti-immigration talk proves toxic to Latinos

A bipartisan poll of voters from across 29 US states has shown that there is a broad spread of support for reforming the country’s immigration system that cuts along party lines and even exists in traditionally red states.  In Texas, 64% of Republican voters support immigration reform, as do 69% in North Dakota, with voters also wanting to support rather than punish legislators who are acting to help achieve reform.

“While immigration reform will not pass with 100% of elected officials, the big picture is that there is a broad and diverse support for comprehensive immigration reform,” says Justin Sayfie, who was once the spokesman for Florida governor Jeb Bush.  Sayfie emphasized the fact that the poll shows that voters want a comprehensive rather than piecemeal approach to immigration reform.

While the support from many Republicans is seen as a good thing, there is still fallout from the views being expressed by a number of hardline conservatives within the party, such as Texas senator Ted Cruz.  A new poll from Latino Decisions/America’s Voice has found that disapproval for the Republican Party has increased to 72% following Cruz’s recent outbursts about denying undocumented immigrants the right to gain a path to citizenship.

Cruz and the likes of Republican congressman Steve King are precisely the kind of zealots that the Republican party does not need if they have any hope of winning Latino support, according to Sylvia Manzano, the senior analyst for Latino Decisions.