Here's what Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told TIME about the politics of immigration reform last month.
We need a bill because our immigration system is so broken. But politically, if the bill fails and Republicans are blamed in the eyes of the public for not being practical it makes it virtually impossible for us to win the White House in 2016.
Well, I think we can safely take out the "if" from that sentence.
Americans are more likely to fault Republicans than Democrats if the drive to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws crashes in Congress, according a new poll that offers fresh caution for the GOP.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey asked people who they would most blame if Congress is unable to come to agreement on an immigration bill before its current term ends. It found that 44% of people would blame Republicans in Congress, while 14% would blame Democrats in Congress and 21% would principally blame President Barack Obama.
The divide was even starker among Hispanics. About half said they would mainly blame congressional Republicans, while just 6% would blame congressional Democrats.
That may be worrisome for Republicans who hope to do a better job of appealing to the growing bloc of Latino voters.
The problem for the GOP is the base is much closer to Steve King than Lindsey Graham when it comes to
keeping out the brown people immigration reform.