One day after the GOP suffered a crushing presidential defeat that spotlighted the party's unpopularity with Latino voters, Fox News star Sean Hannity announced that his position on undocumented immigrants had "evolved" and that he now supports a pathway to citizenship. (Listen above.)
Musing on his radio show about how his party could convince Latinos to switch parties, Hannity proposed a solution:
"We've gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It's simple for me to fix it. I think you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don't say you gotta home. And that is a position that I've evolved on. Because you know what--it just--it's gotta be resolved. The majority of people here--if some people have criminal records you can send' em home--but if people are here, law-abiding, participating, four years, their kids are born here... first secure the border, pathway to citizenship... then it's done. But you can't let the problem continue. It's gotta stop."
His declaration comes amid a wave of Republican soul-searching in the wake of Tuesday's loss. One of the central takeaways of the election was that the GOP has a serious demographics problem; white voters, who have long served as the party's base, are decreasing as a share of the country's population, while Democrats have successfully cobbled together a slim majority with overwhelming support from Latinos, blacks and Asians.
Democrats and Republicans have not seen eye to eye on immigration in the past few years. In 2010, the DREAM Act, legislation that would have provided some undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship, failed to secure enough Senate votes during a lame-duck session, largely as a result of GOP opposition. Republicans in the last Congress then adopted a harsher tone on the issue than their predecessors. President Obama bypassed them altogether in June when he announced that his administration would stop deporting undocumented immigrants under 30 who had arrived in the United States before the age of 16.