Reports National Journal:
Cannon, the defeated ex-congressman, didn’t mince words about the state of affairs in Utah. He said that the Latino population has surged enough to be seen—it’s now at 13 percent—but not yet enough to be heard.
“A lot of people in Utah got threatened by them and that threat got exploited,” Cannon said, recalling his ouster. He predicted a coming “backlash to the backlash” against his fellow Republicans for taking “distorted, perverted, weird, and stupid” hard-line positions on immigration.
Chaffetz strongly disagreed. He insisted that he and the GOP can win over both sides—Latinos and the hard-liners—by trying to “fix legal immigration,” the nation’s byzantine maze of visas, wait lists, and regulations.
Now 45, Chaffetz is young enough to care not just about Utah’s present, in which a forceful stance on illegal immigration is still the path to power in the GOP, but also about its growing Latino future. He is the kind of keen political operator who became chief of staff to the state’s former governor, Jon Huntsman, while still in his 30s. And his early record in Congress on immigration issues is more nuanced than the caricature Colbert was creating, or even that his original campaign’s rhetoric suggests.
He has not wavered from his tough immigration stands in Washington, but his emphasis has shifted. In a recent interview, Chaffetz didn’t mention deportation or detention until directly asked.