Does Peurto Rico hold the key to the GOP’s immigration dilemma?

The GOP wants to halt illegal immigration, seal the southern border – but can’t afford to alienate a nation of Hispanic voters.

WASHINGTON — A Republican governor — a very Republican governor — has an idea for solving one of his party’s conundrums. The party should listen to Luis Fortuno, the Reaganite who resides in Puerto Rico’s executive mansion.

Conservatives need a strategy for addressing the immigration issue without alienating America’s largest and most rapidly growing minority. Conservatives believe the southern border must be secured before there can be “comprehensive” immigration reform that resolves the status of the 11 million illegal immigrants. But this policy risks making Republicans seem hostile to Hispanics.

Fortuno wants Republicans to couple insistence on border enforcement with support for Puerto Rican statehood. This, he says, would resonate deeply among Hispanics nationwide. His premise is that many factors — particularly, the Telemundo and Univision television channels — have created a common consciousness among Hispanics in America.

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