Today we find ourselves in the unusual position of writing something positive about U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for the second
time in two weeks.
Kentucky’s junior senator demonstrated this week that the Republican Party is figuring out why it got such a butt kicking in last year’s presidential election.
Our eye surgeon turned senator came out strongly in favor of a major overhaul of America’s immigration system, a change that could create a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants within our borders.
His speech at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce signaled that the GOP is beginning to understand why President Obama got 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012.
The other part of his message is that he and any other Republican interested in the presidency in 2016 must broaden their party’s appeal to minority voters.
We’re proud of what Paul said to that gathering of Latino business leaders:
“Immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution. I am here today to begin that conversation.”
His message to undocumented residents from other countries was simple:
“If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you.”
Paul’s speech followed the release of a report by the Republican National Committee that sharply criticized the party’s past efforts to attract and retain minority voters.
He plans to travel and make speeches to groups of Republicans that the Grand Old Party must be more inclusive in a
nation that is becoming so diverse.
Often speaking in Spanish, Paul told the group:
“Growing up in Texas, I never met a Latino who wasn’t working. I never met a new immigrant looking for a free lunch.”
The proposal he favors will not include amnesty for those already here illegally but it also will not force their deportation.
One of Paul’s likely opponents if he decides to run for president in 2016 will be U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the son of Cuban immigrants and a key player in the immigration effort in Congress.
The two senators finished neck and neck in a straw poll conducted last week by a national conservative political organization.
Paul won by 2 points.
Paul’s name recognition went up when he delivered the Tea Party’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
In our opinion, Paul’s proposal makes sense for the Republican Party and reflects our values as a nation of immigrants.