"It's going to be the same Republicans on the amnesty side and the same Democrats on our side," she said.
Still, the tea party chat rooms and message boards Virginia Gomez reads are full of foreboding that some Republicans are changing their stance on the issue. "They have moved away from securing the border and standing firm," said Gomez, 67, who recently retired from a banking job in Illinois and moved to rural Utah. "They are trying to cater more to the people who are here illegally, but they are alienating people like myself, Hispanics who are born here in this country."
Michael Long, a retired Air Force employee in Colorado Springs who actively monitors the immigration debate, is resigned to the GOP cutting a deal. His antipathy for the idea is balanced by his respect for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a point man on the bipartisan agreement, and his understanding of political realities.
"The last election scared the heck out of Republicans, and the numbers aren't going to go down for the Latino vote," said Long, 50.
Jan Taylor also expects her side to lose the political battle. She worked at an American consulate in Mexico during the last major immigration deal, in 1986, when President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that allowed 3 million illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens. She remembers the stampede of people brandishing what she described as clearly forged papers showing they qualified for the amnesty. "It was kind of a game," she recalled.
Now, at 71, she's retired, living in Colorado Springs and dismayed the country may go down a similar road. For years, she's written to congressional and state representatives urging tougher enforcement of existing immigration laws and warning against another amnesty. She's not sure what else she can do.
"I'm only one person," Taylor said.
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