With victories around the country this election and 2016 around the corner, Republicans now have a golden opportunity to present a clear vision on immigrants and immigration in America. The question now is, will they take it?
Immigration stands alone for its combined economic, social and political impact for Republicans.
Just two weeks ago, nearly 200 leaders on the cutting edge of social and economic change came together in Washington to talk about the value of immigrants to our communities. Conservative tax reformers, Southern Baptist pastors and military veterans alike emphasized that for America to thrive, new Americans must have the opportunities, skills and status to reach their fullest potential.
The bottom line is that most Americans recognize that our immigration system is broken and that eventually Congress will need to replace it with a process that works for all of us.
Administrative action appears likely, and our elected leaders can respond with fury that sends young and minority voters away from the political process, or they can lead on real immigration reform that honors our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. Only Congress can answer this challenge once and for all.
Administrative action is not ideal, but it would make our country more secure. Until Congress acts, administrative action would allow law enforcement to prioritize valuable resources. And stronger trust in law enforcement among immigrant communities will make all of us safer.
The key will be how Congress acts. On Election Day 2016, voters will reward leadership on immigration.
Everyone understands that how we treat new immigrants reflects our commitment to the values that define us as Americans. We believe that families should stick together, that we should look out for each other, and that hard work should be rewarded.
No matter the political calculations here, Americans recognize that immigrants are changing the face of America in positive ways.