Will the GOP base bite back if their leaders flip on a path to citizenship?

With an immigration-reform compromise coming soon, including some path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the question is, how willl the GOP base respond?

On the Democrats’ side, immigration reform moves their leaders more closely in line with their base voters.

But on the GOP side, if you recall the last GOP primary and the name Rick Perry rings a bell, things are different. The GOP base is in the Tancredo camp, for the most part.

Just a few days ago, on Friday’s KRMA-TV Channel 6’s “Colorado State of Mind,” you had Colorado State Sen. Ted Harvey trashing a path to citizenship:

Harvey: The problem is, we did that once. Ronald Reagan  did it in the 1980s. When he gave amnesty to about 10 million people, saying, “All right, this is the last time we’re going to do this. We’re going to stop the illegal immigration. And we’re going to allow this population to be normalized.

Well, that didn’t work. We now have upwards to 50 million illegal immigrants in the United States looking for help. And it is a tough situation. You know, a lot of these kids have been here a long time. They think of themselves as American. But if we do this, it’s just going to encourage an entire ‘nother generation. Just like the Reagan policy did. And that’s something that is not good for America. We are a country of laws.” (BigMedia emphasis)

So how will a guy like Harvey, and GOP activists who share his views, respond to fellow Republicans, like Rep. Cory Gardner, who told Fox 31’s Eli Stokols he’s reviewing an immigration compromise, despite Gardner’s history of opposition to proposals involving a path to citizenship?

That’s the story to watch for, as the immigration compromise unfolds. How will it be received by the GOP base?

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