A new Huffington Post article reports that a poll of likely voters in 20 congressional swing districts represented by Republicans shows that three fourths of them support the broad outlines of comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship, with or without increased border security.

See Immigration Reform Backed By Voters In Republican-Led Swing Districts, Poll Shows, November 12.

www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/immigration-reform-poll_n_4257914.html?view=print&comm_ref=false

The Huffpost writes:

"The poll indicated that likely voters in the 20 congressional districts want to see movement on immigration, with 70 per cent saying it is 'very important' to deal with the issue and another 23 percent saying it is 'somewhat important'. A strong majority - 77 per cent said that they would prefer even an imperfect solution to nothing at all."


The article also reports that 76 per cent of the respondents favor a pathway to citizenship.

The poll was conducted by Basswood Research and Republican pollster John Lerner on November 2 and 3. Of the 1,000 people polled, 39 percent were Republican, 35 per cent Democratic and 23 per cent independent.

This is one more piece of evidence that voters in both parties are far ahead of the House GOP on immigration reform. Why is the House Republican leadership so tone-deaf to the voice of the great majority of the American people on this issue?

Robert Bowen writes in examiner.com that the reason is the Republican right wing's fear and hatred of Latinos. See Republican House won't pass immigration reform, November 1

www.examiner.com/article/republican-house-won-t-pass-immigration-reform

Bowen writes:

"It is not a lack of time that prevents Republicans from taking up immigration reform. The reason is Republicans in the House do not want to see immigration reform enacted. They know that Republican policies accompanied by years of racist rhetoric have alienated Latinos, and even if a pathway to citizenship takes ten years, when that day comes, those new citizens will not vote for Republicans." (Emphasis in the original.)

Bowen continues:

"House Republicans know that what you sow, you reap. They are well aware what their party has sowed with Latinos, and so they must burn the crops in the field.

The Republican strategy for closing their voting gap with Latinos is not allowing up to 11 million more Latinos to vote."

Bowen also writes that there are two Republican parties:

"One Republican party believes, like Senator [Lindsey] Graham [R-SC] and the three Republican House members who endorsed immigration reform, that the GOP should reach out to Latinos. The other Republican party - the party led by Ted Cruz [R-TX], believes all the racist garbage spewed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others."

He concludes:

"It is a sad commentary that the former party of Lincoln is now the Party of hate, racism and division." (Emphasis added.)

If immigration reform is to have any chance of passage in the foreseeable future, reform advocates will have to stop making excuses for the House Republicans and what Bowen accurately calls their "Tea Party Masters" who are determined to kill reform at all costs, and focus on the real reason that is blocking reform.

This reason is the same one that has poisoned American attitudes and policies toward immigrants from the time of the 19th Century Know Nothings and Chinese exclusion laws up until now. Until we confront and overcome right wing anti-minority bigotry in America, immigration reform is likely to remain an empty dream.