Our immigration system is broken. More than a few Republicans appreciate this - and want reform. Yet, there is a divide in the party as to what direction to take. Which side ultimately wins will have a big impact on the party - and our country.
On the reform side, occupied by Mr. Rubio and growing numbers of conservatives, is a party that wants to rekindle its pro-growth roots, that has remembered it succeeds when it exudes optimism and solves problems. That is why the media judgment that the GOP is simply in search of "Hispanic votes" is trite. The right's budding embrace of reform reflects something bigger, an effort to reclaim principles that appeal to broad swaths of the public.
The other side—the Heritages, the National Reviews, the Jeff Sessions—are still channeling the party's more angry, reactive element. That bitterness—the obsession with income redistribution and equality, the fear-and-envy approach—are traditionally the remit of the far left of U.S. politics.
The test for the GOP now is which side wins out. That is why so many conservative leaders came out this week for efforts to fix our broken immigration system. They know that if they are to avoid a repeat of 2007, now comes the hard part.