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How to Win Over GOP on Immigration

Author: Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow
August 2, 2013
cnn.com

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When Congress passed the last truly major immigration reform, the 1965 Immigration Act that opened the door to the modern era of mass immigration to the United States, it was supported by three-quarters of Democratic lawmakers and 85% of Republicans. That's the right way to pass big laws that can have transformative effects on a society.

With the House of Representatives now tangling over immigration reform following passage of a comprehensive Senate bill last month, there seems little prospect for anything approaching that level of comity. Indeed, as Congress heads to its August break, many have declared the Senate immigration reform bill dead on arrival.

But the road ahead may not be as impassable as it seems. A new poll from a pro-immigration Republican group shows that nearly three-quarters of Republican voters would support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants if coupled with tougher border security. There is surprising bipartisan agreement on most of the Senate bill's provisions and plausible paths on the very tough issues that still divide the two parties. Here's a way to get across the finish line:

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