Senators John McCain, Lindsey Grahmnesty, and Marco Rubio, former President George W. Bush, and his aspiring brother Jeb Bush all want you to believe that if the GOP doesn't support "comprehensive immigration reform" and a path to legalization, aka amnesty, for illegal immigrants, the GOP will never win another presidential election. We've already told you how the nation's changing demographics have already cemented that reality, with the GOP winning the popular vote only one time in 25 years, now let's take apart the myth that being tough on illegal immigration hurts GOP candidates.
First, let's look at the Hispanic vote over the last 50 plus years of presidential elections:
1960: Kennedy (D) 85%, Nixon (R) < 15%.
1964: Johnson (D) 61%, Goldwater 38.4%.
1968: Humphrey (D) 87%, Nixon (R) 10%.
1972: McGovern (D) 60+% , Nixon (R) 35%.
1976: Carter (D) 82%, Ford (R) 16%.
1980: Carter (D) 60.1%, Reagan (R) < 40%.
1984: Mondale (D) 66%, Reagan (R) 34.8%.
Of special note, in debates during the '84 presidential election Reagan actual called for amnesty, by name, for illegal immigrants. In 1986, he would go on to sign the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act. Still, his share of the Hispanic vote actually went down over his 1980 election despite his percentage of the popular vote growing significantly.
1988: Dukakis (D) 70%, Bush (R) 30%.
George HW Bush was the VP to Reagan, the only modern President to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. Yet, his share of the Hispanic vote declined from Reagan's despite the election being held just 2 years after amnesty was granted.
1992: Clinton (D) 61%, Bush (R) 25%, Perot (I) 6%.
1996: Clinton 71%, Dole (R) 21%.
2000: Gore (D) 67%, G.W. Bush (R) 31%.
2004: Kerry (D) 67.7%, G.W. Bush (R) 31.4%.
President Bush pushed for "comprehensive immigration reform" throughout 2005, 2006 and 2007. Aided by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
2008: Obama (D) 67%, McCain (R) 31%.
Before running for office Sen. McCain championed, along side President Bush, a "comprehensive immigration reform" plan that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. McCain was one of the foremost supporters in the GOP for amnesty. Yet, his share of the Hispanic vote actually declined from what Bush received in the prior election.
2012: Obama (D) 71%, Romney (R) 27%.
What this data reveals is that even the most ardent supporters of amnesty like Reagan, Bush, and McCain actually lost support among Hispanics after enacting immigration reform plans that provided paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants. This evidence directly contradicts what supporters of "comprehensive immigration reform" claim about the future prospects of the Republican party if they continue to call for enforcement of existing immigration laws.
But, don't take our word for it. Let's look at what the academics say:
A study published in Social Science Quarterly concluded that there was, "no evidence that incumbent Republicans could increase their share of the Latino vote by embracing less restrictive immigration policies. In fact, doing so may cost them votes among non-Hispanic whites."
The government estimates anywhere from 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants, the vast majority of which are Hispanic, would be granted legal status if current iterations of "comprehensive immigration reform" were to become law. If the average party support of Hispanic voters over the last 50 plus years were to hold true, then the Democrats would gain 69.7% of those legalized immigrants as new voters or between 7 and 8.5 million new voters. Now imagine that 10 to 12 million illegal immigrant number is closer to the 20 million independent immigration organizations estimate...
President Obama won the 2012 popular vote by less than five million votes. And THEY want to talk to us about the future prospects of the Republican Party if they do not support "comprehensive immigration reform"? Really?