An outpouring of support from Hispanic voters helped usher President Obama to a resounding reelection win Tuesday, and immigration reformers say those dynamics have set the stage for a bipartisan reform deal next year. Exit polls indicated that Hispanic voters favored Obama this year, 71 percent to 27 percent.
Conservatives in Congress have successfully killed efforts to pass immigration reforms over the last decade — even when a GOP president proposed them. But Obama's dominance over Mitt Romney among Hispanic voters, advocates say, will force Republicans to accept some version of reform or risk losing national elections into the foreseeable future.
President Obama has said that he is confident immigration reform will be accomplished next year. In an off-the-record interview before he was re-elected, Obama commented that should he win a second term, a big reason will be because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community.
The changing demographics have prompted a number of prominent conservatives — including former President George W. Bush — to warn Republicans to soften their hard line on immigration or risk a long-term backlash.