In California, there are a lot of immigrants from all around the world, with a huge number from south of the border. At one point, California was deemed “Reagan Country” with a majority of its leadership being Republican, but this is no longer a reality here. California has about a million more Democratic voters in the state who have elected a majority of Democrats into all branches of the state house. Right now, the Governor, 25/40 State Senators and 52/80 State Assembly members are Democrats, not to mention that both U.S. Senators and a majority of U.S. Congressional members are Democrats as well.
In recent years, the Democratic party has done a good job at appealing and wooing immigrants. According to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)”the shrill voices of some Republicans turn off Hispanic voters”, a sentiment that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney agrees. The issue of legal versus illegal immigration is one sticking point that some have misconstrued as an “us versus them” fight against immigrants for Republicans. However, in years past it was a Republican President Ronald Reagan that gave amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants.
Republicans need to win immigrants if they are to win places like California. One way to do this is to address the issue of immigration, something President Obama promised but has yet to deliver on. Republicans need to find a comprehensive solution to legal immigration and make the process more transparent, giving priority to those who try to immigrate through legal means, especially those with families already here. As a party that champions families, liberty and opportunity, this message should be louder and clearer in the 2012 election cycle if Republicans want to expand their voter base and win in places like California.