GOP & Immigration as an Election Issue: A Failed Strategy
Although proven to be a failed strategy, Republican candidates running for office are using immigration as a political wedge issue once again. Steve Poizner Republican candidate for California governor raised the issue at the state GOP convention saying that “tough economic times and a $20 billion budget deficit require the next governor to take a hard stance.”
While a broad coalition made up of labor, civil rights, family, faith, and immigrant rights groups continue to press the federal government to pass immigration reform, Republican candidates are promoting tougher immigration enforcement.
Using immigrant as a political wedge issue in the 2008 election resulted in big losses for the Republican Party. Conservative strategists such as Karl Rove have said that Republicans need to change their stance on immigration policy in order boost their image among Latino voters. Poizner and other Republicans should remember that promoting immigration enforcement only policies is not going to win them votes.