Republicans have historically been a tough sell on immigration reform, unless you're talking about the kind that builds a ginormous fence along the border. Yet we've seen a noticeable shift in the last couple of days. Some Republican senators joined with their peers across the aisle to offer a proposal for sweeping reform, including a path to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here.
Washington's own Doc Hastings, the conservative Congressmember from Central Washington, issued a statement that seems to indicate he might support the effort.
Sure it was vague. "Enacting long overdue changes to our immigration system is necessary to preserve our security, economy, and way of life," Hastings said, according to the Yakima Herald. And aside from beefing up enforcement, Hastings might just be talking about establishing a guest worker program--a favorite concept in the agricultural heartlands that comprise much of his district -and not about a path to citizenship, something Republicans often dismiss as a "blanket amnesty."
Still, he didn't automatically dismiss the overarching reform on the table, the broad themes of which President Barack Obama threw his weight behind yesterday.
To at least one Daily Weekly commenter, the seeming shift is an obvious one.
As commenter BrianRichardson writes:
The GOP should see the light by now: we need a fix to a broken system. Also, if Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert, and others want economic development in their districts, immigration reform and legalizing reliable workers just makes sense.