Should reform fail to pass this Congress, many Latinos might be so fed up with both parties’ that they might be more likely to sit out the next election than turn out to punish Republicans. Perhaps for that reason, Democrats appreciate that the time has arrived to deliver on Obama’s promise. The number of union households in America is declining and will continue to do so, while Hispanic households are growing rapidly. Democrats know, too, that in the near term, passing immigration reform will benefit them more than Republicans.

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, supporting immigration reform won’t be the beginning of the end of Republicans’ problems with Hispanic voters, but it might be the end of the beginning…

The GOP won’t be rewarded for it with greater Hispanic support in the next election or probably the election after that. All they will have achieved is an overdue and sensible solution to a national problem and the opportunity to start talking to Latino voters about something other than whether they want their relatives to self-deport.

Eventually the party will likely find support among more than a quarter of these voters for its principles of low taxes and limited government and for conservative social values. It might take a while. But it had better happen before a Republican presidential nominee loses the state of Texas to go along with the Democrats’ control of California and New York — before, in other words, Republicans become a permanent minority for having alienated too many other minorities.