Immigration Debate Splits GOP

Fears for party's future amp up rhetoric for and against legalization path for immigrants
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2007 1:13 PM CDT
Immigration Debate Splits GOP
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. makes comments about the Iraq war as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, right , watches during the Republican Debate at University of South Carolina's Koger Center for the Arts, Tuesday, May 15, 2007, in Columbia, S.C., during a debate...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Deep divisions within the GOP over immigration reform have become increasingly bitter in recent weeks, the LA Times reports, with senior figures on both sides  engaging in a rare public spat. On one side are those who fear alienating the mostly white conservative base; on the other those who want the party to woo the fast-growing Latino community.  

Bush was unusually harsh last week in criticizing conservative opponents of the bipartisan bill that would offer a route to citizenship to illegal immigrants;  Rush Limbaugh attacked the Bush-backed plan as the "Destroy the Republican Party Act."
(Read more Bush administration stories.)

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