Republicans for Immigration Reform is the name of a new political action committee that aims to take on anti-immigrants who have dominated the GOP in recent years.
Even before it raises money and establishes target races for 2014, organizers told The Washington Post, the group will help smooth the way for wavering Republican lawmakers to vote next year for an immigration overhaul, which suddenly gained momentum last week after GOP leaders watched President Obama’s dominance among Hispanic voters help carry him to an Electoral College landslide.
Spearheading the group is Carlos Gutierrez, the Cuban American former Commerce secretary under President George W. Bush. He is joined by Washington lawyer Charlie Spies, co-founder of the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, which, illustrating the very trend that the new PAC aims to thwart, aired some tough ads during this year’s primaries accusing Romney’s rivals of supporting "amnesty" and being "too liberal on immigration."
"There’s currently only energy on the anti-immigration reform side, and we want to be able to provide some cover for Republicans that vote in support of an immigration reform approach," Spies said.
It is interesting that one of Romney’s top PAC fundraisers is behind this group even though he was on the other side on this issue just weeks ago. It shows just how dramatically the politics have changed since the election and just how scared the GOP is that the demographic realities are such that they cannot be anti-immigrant and be the party in power.