Mostly though it will still be a waste of time. The Latino vote is a long shot. It will take a great deal of work to begin making real inroads. The Republican Party would have to build an infrastructure of business and religious groups that lead up into state parties. It’s doable but the Democrats have far too much of a lead and too much control over immigration policy.

The Republican Party would be wiser to concentrate on the Chinese and the Indian vote, two groups that are easier to sell on the Republican agenda and that are still somewhat “fresh” and whose layers of political infrastructure haven’t completely solidified yet. But again the methods would have to be the same.

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Minority groups and immigrant groups that are isolated don’t just want a story about how free enterprise can benefit everyone. It’s a great story, but it’s also not going to fly. Those groups are going to want communal benefits. They are going to want to know what’s in it for them. And that means pork and community organizers and all the tawdry gimmicks of urban machine politics that may be rotten, but that do win elections.

The Republican Party has two options on immigration. It can try to close it down. Or it can learn to play the same game as the Democratic Party if it wants to compete for their votes. What it cannot do however is pretend that there is a third option in which it can have open immigration and political campaigns based on the virtue of free enterprise by second-generation immigrant politicians who speak Spanish or Fujianese (not exactly a winner with today’s Chinese immigrants)  and still win.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

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