On Tuesday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) told a radio host, “The bill that’s in place right now probably can’t pass the House. It will have to be adjusted.” This was in regards to the Senate gang of eight immigration bill that Rubio has been involved in crafting.
For those who have been following this immigration debate, this comment from Senator Rubio isn’t a big surprise. Back in February of this year, Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) told NPR’s Morning Edition that he and his colleagues in the House GOP would not vote for an immigration bill with a pathway to citizenship. And as recently as last week, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) was indicating that the process of putting together the House version of the immigration bill would be slow and deliberative — meaning that there would be more opportunities for people to scrutinize the bill.
While the Republican Party has been making attempts to make inroads with Latino voters, recent polling shows that Latino voters would be less likely to vote for the GOP if they attempt to block immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. According to a Latino Decisions poll from February of this year of Latino registered voters, 42% said that they would be less likely to vote Republican if the GOP took a prominent role in blocking immigration reform with the path to citizenship. That same poll shows that 44% of Latinos indicate being more likely to vote Republican if the GOP took a leadership role in getting immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship passed.
While this debate in the House is going on, immigration advocates continue to insist on a pathway to citizenship. Just last week at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, Janet Murguia, reiterated her organization’s principles for immigration reform, which included “creating a roadmap to legalization and citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans…”