Fear of a Brown Planet

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 30 2013 12:33 PM

Fear of a Brown Planet

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Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, speaks as Politico Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen looks on during a Politico Playbook Breakfast November 28, 2012 at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

My latest story looks at the risks to Republicans if they swallow hard and pass immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. They don't lead with this, or brag about it, but they noticed that the rising Hispanic vote is making it harder and harder for them to win national elections. A new common response: That cake is baked, and we need to win those people back.

“I’ve heard a lot of conservatives say, ‘Hispanics are pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and they should be Republicans,’ ” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and a longtime pro-reform conduit between business groups and Republicans. “That’s good. But you can't go to someone's house, knock on the door, and say: ‘I want to talk to you about all the things we agree on. While we talk, you won't mind if Igor here grabs your grandmother, who’s 87 years old and has lived here forever, and drags her across the border 1,000 miles away? Oh, and we’ll grab your friends from school and drag them out, too, because we have such a great time together.’ If you remove the threat of self-deportation, it becomes a completely different conversation.”

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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