Exhibit A: Presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney is warning his donors that Republicans must win back Hispanic voters or face “demographic doom.”
Exhibit B: House Republicans are pushing policies that disproportionately harm Hispanics.
This study in contrast leaves Republicans on the horns of an election-year dilemma: As they eagerly seek to rebuild bridges with Hispanics, party leaders are simultaneously pushing bills that would make life harder for members of that same community.
The Republican-led House advanced legislation Wednesday that aims to prevent parents who immigrated to the country illegally from receiving tax credits for raising children. And that’s inciting the ire of influential Hispanic advocates.
“An estimated 85 percent of families affected by this policy change are Hispanic,” warned the National Council Of La Raza, a premier Latino group, in a statement Monday urging Congress to oppose the measure. The organization estimated that the policy would cost the typical undocumented family $70 per paycheck. “Approximately 3.5 million Latino children and their families would face greater hunger, poverty and other severe hardships if this proposal is enacted,” the group said.
The Republican-led bill — still at the committee level — seeks to deny eligibility for the Child Tax Credit to parents who file their return with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Many undocumented immigrants — the lion’s share of whom are Hispanic, and whose children are often U.S. citizens — file taxes using an ITIN because they do not qualify for a Social Security number.
“The legislation will help deter abuse and fraud that costs taxpayers billions of dollars by preventing those without Social Security numbers, including illegal immigrants who are currently ineligible to work in the United States, from receiving checks from the IRS in the form of the refundable child tax credit,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) in his opening statement. “This provision will save taxpayers $7.6 billion over the next 10 years.”
The measure, part of a larger Republican plan to forestall automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs set to kick in Jan. 1, also axes food stamps and other domestic programs for low-income people, a disproportionate share of whom are Hispanic. The push is mostly political as the Democratic-led Senate is widely expected to reject it.
But it underlies the difficulty Republicans will have courting Hispanic voters on the merits of their policies. Instead they’re relying on a weak economy, hunger for change and disillusionment with President Obama to help them make inroads with the community.
Ironically, the GOP helped create that disillusionment. Under pressure from their conservative base, Republicans have made comprehensive immigration reform — a high priority for Hispanics — a nonstarter in Congress. With some help from Democrats, the GOP also blocked the popular DREAM Act, which would have provided legal residency to undocumented children who attend college or serve in the military.
Part of the GOP’s strategy now is to obscure its role in thwarting those reforms.
“I would also remind Latino and Hispanic voters who are concerned about this particular issue that you have a president that has either lied or is so grossly negligent in following through on his promises when it comes to immigration that he shouldn’t be trusted,” Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus told reporters on a conference call this week. “Obama promised pathway [to citizenship] and DREAM Act … and he delivered nothing. He’s not to be trusted.”
[notice] Rachel Maddow – Can Bush help Romney court Latino voters? [/notice]
Published on Apr 15, 2012 by Licentiathe8th