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As I wrote over at The Corner, Rand Paul made a fool of himself earlier today in a speech on immigration by claiming that the 5 million or so illegal aliens who overstayed visas (as opposed to infiltrating across the border) “somehow lost their documentation.” (Yes, that’s what he really said, and it doesn’t appear to have been an April Fool’s joke.)
As hilarious (or dumbfounding) as that is, my question for Ricochet is about the overall topic of his speech: How the Republican Party and/or the conservative movement can reach out to American voters with roots in Latin America. For all his supposed iconoclasm, Paul’s approach seems to be the same as the rest of the GOP political/donor class: Amnesty, loose enforcement, and ever-higher levels of immigration.
But those moves are bad for the country and wouldn’t win any larger share of Hispanic voters anyway. (For a tsunami of evidence on the big-government preferences of Hispanics and immigrants, see this exhaustive report from Eagle Forum.) My question is this: What would you do to try to make the GOP more appealing to Hispanics and/or immigrants?
One proposal I made was for the party, or a conservative group, to open American Opportunity Centers in immigrant neighborhoods, where grassroots volunteers could teach citizenship courses, English language, etc. There must be other ideas, however, and Lord knows the GOP establishment is desperately in need of them. What are yours?