Nevada Republicans became the first state GOP party to endorse comprehensive immigration with a clear path to citizenship. In a statement, officials said the GOP’s hard line on immigration reform conflicts with the “party’s historic commitment to civil rights.” They proposed some of the same tenets in the Senate’s bipartisan framework:
The GOP has increasingly found itself in positions that do not meet the demographic realities of the State’s electorate. These positions also conflict with our party’s historic commitment to civil rights. To that end, Republicans must become more inclusive, reflecting our desire to secure a better life for all Americans, and equally important, for our children.
We support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that would require registering with the government; and, include the ability to communicate in English, performing military or other community service, and proof of financial responsibility as required by the USCIS. One hundred and fifty years ago, our country fought a bloody Civil War. That war affirmed we have only one class of citizens — American.
Nevada has the nation’s fifth-highest Latino population, at 26.5 percent. Immigrants play a major role in the state’s economy, as well, contributing $1.6 billion each year in state and local tax revenue.
Not everyone on the right is ready to embrace an issue most Americans view as common sense. But after Republicans’ major losses among Latino voters in 2012, conservatives began to embrace comprehensive reform, including Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (R).