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Immigration provides opportunity for a much-need GOP makeover

Scott Applewhite, AP

Never let it be said that Republicans cannot take a hint.

After a significant majority of Latino voters favored the president and his policies over the fare that the GOP was offering, there seems to have been a change in the attitudes among some of the Republican faithful. Some of them are looking at their tarnished brand and realizing the need for a makeover. After all, despite the fact that the nation considered dating Mitt Romney, a four-year relationship was just out of the question.

Despite some Republican voices who wanted to make the current beau in the White House a one-term fling, other Republicans realize that many people, including Latinos, do not want to come to their party. Some have started to reach across the aisle.

One progressive and long overdue example of this new hand holding is the recently proposed, bipartisan legislation to start an overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.

Good job, Republicans! This is a decent first step to try and stop your downward spiral into irrelevancy.

Immigration reform is not only important to Latinos, it is important to the nation. Hopefully, the country will continue to flourish and call to those seeking to improve their lives and to contribute to the fantastic democratic experiment that is the United States. To this end, smile and embrace, Republicanos! Time to stop covering your eyes. Perhaps it has dawned on you that the undocumented people here are too many to lock up and too many, too scattered and too expensive to deport.

Relax. You like being heroes, correct? Think of all the corridas that will be written about how the Republicanos became the friend to the pueblo. Think of how many parents, newly documented, will nurse their babes with the gentle murmur, “The GOP did this.” I can see the next wave of registered Republicans, all happily sitting in their strollers right now.

You have also come to the conclusion that it seems unproductive to educate immigrants, award them advanced degrees, then send them back to other countries. It did not take you long to figure out that keeping the brainpower here may actually benefit all of us. You may even get the opportunity to slap each other on the back while pointing to the next naturalized Nobel Prize winner in physics and proclaim, “We gave her that green card!”

You have wisely decided that it is best to discourage future illegal immigration by making sure that an employment verification system is in place. It might be worthwhile to have a talk with those within the party who have previously been forgetful about this employment verification business. We wouldn’t want to be caught with our undocumented nannies and landscapers out in the open.

And you have come to embrace the idea of importing more low-skilled laborers. Unless droves of U.S. citizens start clamoring for those coveted back-breaking jobs, someone is going to have to pick your fresh fruits and vegetables.

And how sweet that produce will be — handpicked by GOP supporters!

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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