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The GOP willing to deal on immigration reform

Published: Monday, Jan. 27 2014 12:59 p.m. MST

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, leave the Capitol after final passage of the Senate's immigration reform bill, in Washington, in this Thursday, June 27, 2013 file photo.  (J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press) Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, leave the Capitol after final passage of the Senate's immigration reform bill, in Washington, in this Thursday, June 27, 2013 file photo. (J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press)

On Jan. 24, 2014, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg stated that if the Republican Party ignores the looming immigration debate then it may face a perilous future, as reported by Donna Cassata of the Washington Times. “If you are against the fastest-growing voting bloc in the country, you and your party don’t have a future,” Bloomberg was quoted as saying.

Recently, the Arizona Republican Party formally censured Sen. John McCain for “a liberal voting record,” according to Politico's Burgess Everett. The resolution that the state party adopted cited his critical viewpoints against conservatives in the Republican Party and his willingness to work closely with Democrats on issues like immigration reform.

“In adopting the censure, state GOP leaders affirmed that until McCain champions the party platform they will ‘no longer support, campaign for or endorse John McCain as our U.S. senator,’ ” Everett wrote.

However, McCain is not the only Republican willing to make a deal on the immigration debate, according to the Washington Examiner's Byron York. Republicans are preparing for their annual retreat this weekend, and Speaker John Boehner revealed that the GOP will compose a statement of “principles” on the matter.

"The focus of the retreat is how do we address the economy and jobs," a strategist involved in the GOP retreat told York. "There are going to be a couple of specific issues that are brought up because they are clearly things that are going to have to be dealt with — the debt ceiling, health care, and immigration is one of those, as well."

But on Friday, the Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler said that GOP leaders were attempting to “put one over on voters who oppose reform.”

“An effort by House lawmakers to overhaul immigration policy, which seemed all but dead for much of last year, is about to be revived and take center stage in Congress, with a new push by House Republican leaders and a fresh pitch by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address Tuesday,” wrote Meckler.

She also said, “They will include a call to grant legal status to millions of people now in the country.”

Not all people think, however, that a deal on immigration would be hurtful to Republicans, and some even think Democrats are worried about it. Washington Time’s Alfonso Aguilar wrote on Friday that “President Obama and many Democrats are not as happy with this new development. They are fearful that this may help the reconnect with Hispanic voters and begin making considerable inroads with this key segment of the electorate.”

The GOP's focus on immigration reform may affect how President Obama tackles the issue in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at: eraymond@deseretdigital.com @RaymondErik

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