California GOP Divided on Immigration Solutions

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 01:27 PM

By Alec Weisman

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California Republicans are increasingly divided on how to resolve the situation of the country's nearly 12 million illegal immigrants, a quarter of which live in the state.

At least six GOP state lawmakers have aligned with Democrats in Sacramento by supporting a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, while some California congressional Republicans are considering endorsing a more targeted approach to citizenship as part of a more comprehensive immigration reform package, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The demographic changes are … irrefutable, and they require not just small message changes in the Republican Party but a tectonic shift,” state Assemblyman Jeff Gorell suggested. Latinos are the state’s fastest growing group of voters.

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In addition, U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert, who once said he was “wholeheartedly against amnesty,” is now considering some changes. Although he sees some resistance in the party, “I have a lot more people who understand that we're not going to do mass deportations.”

Nevertheless, some state Republicans remain vehemently against policy changes without stricter border control.

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter explained, “You've got to secure the border, and you've got to prove it's secure. Period. We'll talk after that.”

Others, such as Rep. Tom McClintock, have also refused to budge. “There is a path to citizenship,” he said. “It's followed by millions of legal immigrants who have obeyed all of our laws.”

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