Nothing like an English Conservative Euroskeptic MEP – that would be member of the European Parliament – to advise the GOP on how to gain Latino voters. Nothing like an English Conservative Euroskeptic MEP who was born and raised in Peru to advise the GOP. And there’s really nothing like an English Conservative Euroskeptic MEP from Lima Peru to tell the GOP that Canada has the answers when it comes to the future of Latino voters in the US. Daniel Hannan in an effervescent piece in the Washington Examiner, relates how the Conservative party of Canada has managed to improve its image amongst immigrant voters there and that they, especially former minister of citizenship Jason Kenney, now minister of employment and social development, managed to change the party’s image among immigrant voters by providing early contact, if you will, through various initiatives that brought recent immigrants into contact with the party and helped dispel negative images that the Liberal party had actively encouraged.

Does any of this help the GOP? Does Canada have over 200,000 illegal immigrants (a proportionately similar amount) mostly from a neighboring country that has had a confrontational history with Canada and is currently being ripped apart by drug wars? Does Canada have to maintain an armed vigil over any of it’s borders to ensure that an endless stream of refugees willing to break the law do not overwhelm its ability to secure its borders? The answer is no, and in fact the Conservatives main appeal among immigrant groups is among Chinese immigrants to Canada, many of whom do not arrive “penniless” in the words of Hannan, but rather are successful investors and businessmen who have accumulated considerable wealth in China and subsequently parked a portion of it in cities like Vancouver and Toronto. The GOP needs to be clear on what its policy is regarding illegal immigration, and it is clear that however that policy is articulated in the new congress, it will annoy the great majority of immigrants, illegal and otherwise, from Mexico. Can a grassroots campaign help? Perhaps, but if applying the rule of law is seen as an affront by those who deem it their right to enter the US by any means they can, then getting close to Mexican immigrants may be of little use. Latino voters are, of course, a broader group, and here maybe the GOP can and should spend some effort. But a panicky courting of Latinos due to demographic fears seems the wrong way for the GOP to try and get re-elected.

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