Republican politicians in California are rethinking their positions on the Support Federal Immigration Law (FIL) Act , the state’s Arizona-style immigration proposal, as they fear separating themselves further from the fastest growing voter group in California—Latinos.
During campaigning for Mid-term elections, several Republicans organized outreach efforts in attempts to gain Latino voter support . One in five voters during California’s elections in November were Latino, and 80 percent of those voters casted ballots for Democratic Gov.-elect Jerry Brown because he was far more “Latino-friendly” than Meg Whitman, who only received 15 percent of the Latino vote.
Critics of the hesitant Republicans say that not taking a definitive stand against current immigration policies only hurts their position among Republican voters that maintain hard-line opinions on immigration reform.
California’s Republican candidates have faced the issue of Latino voters’ growing numbers for awhile now and have often wound up “two-faced” as they try to appeal to Republicans by claiming support for crackdowns on undocumented immigration, but then turn around to soften their political appearance for the sake of Latino voters in favor of bills like the DREAM Act (see: John McCain).
Right now, California Republicans’ immigration proposal has a few “tweaks” that may make it easier to pass than Arizona’s SB 1070, and Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado said he has little hope that leaders will be able to or even WANT to stop the passing of the proposal.
“You can pull the life-support machine off the party, just pull the plug,” he said. “Because there’s no secret, if you look at obituaries and you look at the birth notices in any newspaper, I can tell you what California is going to look like in the next 10, 15, 20 years. If you continue to alienate the fastest-growing population, then you can continue to be a party that is successful in certain areas, but you won’t be able to run the state.”