Jeb Bush called illegal immigration an "act of love." Rand Paul said the Republican Party needs to get "beyond deportation." Conservatives who think those sentiments should disqualify either man from winning the GOP nomination for president in 2016 don't get it, says Javier Manjarres, editor of a conservative website.
"The problem here lies within the Republican Party. They're the outreach party, and that's where they make the mistake," Manjarres, editor of the Florida political website The Shark Tank
, told John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "They need to be the party of inclusion.
"Hispanics are here. Whether they're here illegally or legally, they're here to stay," he said Wednesday.
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Manjarres said that in order to court Hispanic voters, Republicans don't just need to change how they think about immigration reform, they need to change their mindset, from that of a political party that makes inroads to minority voting blocs, to one that naturally accepts them.
"Because, look, when you reach out to someone, you're not anywhere near them, you have to reach out to them," Manjarres said. "So, include them. They live here, they're your neighbors, they're the people you see at the grocery store. Include them, and that's the message that the Republican Party has to convey to win this election and future elections."
That inclusive nature doesn't mean Manjarres supports giving in-state college tuition rates to undocumented children of illegal immigrants, even those so-called "Dreamers" who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children by their undocumented parents.
That debate is a red-hot political issue in Florida, but Manjarres said giving those children the discounted rates for higher education is the start of a slippery slope.
"You sympathize for these people, but again, the law is the law. So, as far as the in-state tuition, I disagree with that," he said. "Where does it end? What's next? Are they all going to get amnesty because they opened the door with the in-state tuition?"
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