There’s no guarantee that passage of bi-partisan immigration reform would bring big GOP gains with Latino voters, but it is guaranteed that if Republicans block reform they’ll gain nothing—and probably lose even more ground—with America’s fastest-growing voter bloc. This means political suicide: Mitt Romney swept white voters by a 20 point landslide but lost the election because non-whites voted three-to-one against him.
Immigration policy matters deeply to Hispanics and Asians, who together represent 20 percent of the electorate. No, illegal immigrants can’t vote, but they all have children, siblings, friends and neighbors who can—and do. The right reason to back reform is that it’s good for the country, but conservatives should also realize that if the GOP drags us back to a broken, indefensible status quo, it will make future victories even more improbable.