In reality, Hispanics are a relatively normal swing constituency: They tilt Democratic overall and then tend to move toward one party or the other in much the same way that the country as a whole does, rather than swinging wildly left or right depending on whether the Republican candidate is willing to whisper the words “comprehensive immigration reform” at the correct frequency.
For Hispanics as for most voters, pocketbook issues matter more than identity politics, and a candidate’s overall ideological profile matters more than his positioning on a single issue.
(Yes, a Republican who runs a nakedly xenophobic campaign is likely to have a particular problem with Latinos — but then again a nakedly xenophobic campaign is likely to turn off non-Hispanic swing voters as well.) George W. Bush won a larger-than-average share of the Hispanic vote because he campaigned as a center-right figure in general, not because of his particular focus on amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Read more: http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/myths-of-the-hispanic-vote/