Many in the United States are shocked, amazed, surprised, and happy that the Senate was able to agree on a bipartisan level on the issue of immigration reform. But there are many, like me, who are far more realistic. This was not a Kumbaya moment, this was a matter of necessity and not for the illegal immigrants in America, but for the GOP.
After the last election, exit polls showed that 10 percent of 2012 votes came from self-identified Hispanics, and they delivered a crushing 71-27 percent edge for the president over Mitt Romney.
So Republicans need to wake up to the reality that not only is the face of America hanging ( literally), but the demographics of the voting population is as well. Republicans can no longer ignore the fast growing Hispanic population, for if they do, they will continue to lose seats in the House, Senate, and not be able to regain the commander in chief's seat in the oval office. So as the demography of America and the American electorate changes, so must the Republican Party.
Now I am sure many Republicans will begrudgingly vote for this, a measure which is very much in line with the newly re-elected Democratic president's idea of what immigration reform should look like. But America should not be fooled by this working-together attitude. Not to be a naysayer, but I'm pretty confident that regarding the economy, future needs for the debt ceiling to be increased, healthcare issues, etc., the Republicans will fight long and hard and filibuster whenever possible.
So this seemingly festival of love taking place in the Senate is all for show—a show the Republicans will continue to put on in the forthcoming years to get Hispanics, African Americans, and women to believe that they're not a party that has been excluding them or voting against legislation that would help them, their causes, their communities, and of course, with regard to women, their gender.
And that will be a hard sell. But I believe Republicans are counting on Americans to be forgiving and forgetful. Historically we have very short memories and forgive easily the sins of politicians' pasts. That is what the GOP is hoping for.
Not to put a damper on the progress that is being made in providing a pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants in America, but let's at least be honest with ourselves as to the true motivation: votes. That is why the GOP's doing this. Votes, and nothing more.
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