Rand Paul Says GOP Must Get 'Beyond Deportation'

Credit: Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., delivered the opening remarks today at the launch of the Media Research Center's first ever Spanish-language media watchdog, 'MRC Latino.'

Worried that a left-leaning political bias may already be present in the Spanish-language media in the United States, MRC Latino's aim is to be a champion among journalistic integrity.

Quoting Ronald Reagan's "Hispanics are conservative they just don't know it yet," Senator Paul - a potential 2016 White House contender - said that if conservatives engage with Hispanics directly and address their concerns, they will come to realize their values are in fact conservative values.

In an effort to pump life back into the Republican Party and broaden its voter base, Paul focused on immigration.

"The bottom line is the Hispanic community is not going to hear us until we get beyond this issue," he said.

Paul argued the Republican Party must get beyond the issue of deportation in order to break through to the Hispanic voters and address other pressing issues facing the community.

"What's happened is that there is not the perception of empathy coming from the Republican Party that we care about Hispanics and where they are coming from and what their problems are," he said. "Until we get to that point they are not going to listen to any of the next message. Are there many in the Latino community who go to church and believe in traditional values and who are conservative? Yes. Maybe half. Maybe sixty percent … there's enormous upside potential."

In 2012, Democrats received a substantial percentage of the Hispanic vote - 71 percent compared to Republicans who managed to gain only 27 percent. However, Paul is confident Republicans can double their Hispanic vote in 2016, but first conservatives need to "get the door ajar." One way to do this? To assure that "Mrs. Garcia's nephew is not going to be sent home to Mexico."

The Obama Administration has come under fire on multiple occasions receiving criticism for record-high deportation rates - deporting immigrants faster than any other president in United States history.

Last year, Paul voted against a bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate, saying today that this was in part because the bill made it illegal to switch jobs. Paul noted that forty percent of the 11 million of those who came here with a legal visa have somehow lost their documentation.

"We as Conservatives talk about big government and how big government never seems to work. We're always talking about Obamacare now and how it's a disaster they are trying to take over health care. Well guess what, big government is not very good with the visas system either," he said.

The event, held at the Newseum in Washington, concluded with closing remarks from MRC President Brent Bozell and a video message delivered in Spanish from Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fl., in support of MRC Latino.