Only Hispanics and Asians increased their vote for Obama. Coincidentally, these have been our two largest immigrant groups over the last several decades. (It's sort of touching that Democrats couldn't get Americans to vote for them, so they had to bring in new voters from other countries to start winning elections again. Immigrants really are doing the job Americans just won't do.)
The canard about Hispanics being "natural conservatives" comes from the same cliche machine that gave us the one about blacks being "natural conservatives." At least blacks really are social conservatives -- they just vote Democratic, anyway.
As Charles Murray has pointed out, Hispanics are less likely to go to church or be employed than non-Hispanics. They are less opposed to gay marriage than everyone else -- 44 percent compared to 50 percent. (By contrast, 55 percent of African-Americans oppose gay marriage, according to a 2012 Washington Post/ABC poll -- even more, according to how they vote.)
Nor, unfortunately, do Hispanic immigrants become more Republican the longer they've been here, as some Republicans claim without bothering to see if it's true.
To the contrary, they get more liberal. Cubans used to vote Republican nearly as reliably as Mormons. In 2012, 49 percent of Cubans voted for Obama.
Will amnesty win the Cubans back? I don't think so: They already get amnesty under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act. Same with Puerto Ricans, who are automatic American citizens.
Trying to appeal to Hispanics with amnesty would be like trying to win over baseball fans by shouting "Go Yankees!" at a Mets game. Except that would at least capture some baseball fans.
It's not clear that amnesty wins any Hispanics, apart from the ones who can't vote (because they're illegal) and their ethnic "spokesmen," whose power increases as the Hispanic population grows.
So why do Hispanics vote Democratic? Like most legal immigrants since Teddy Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Act, Hispanic immigrants are poor. The poverty rate of second-generation Hispanics is lower than the first -- but the third generation's poverty rate is higher than the second.
Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Hispanics have the highest illegitimate birthrate in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010, for every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women, 80.6 had children out of wedlock, compared to 65.3 for unmarried black women and 29 for unmarried white women.
If Republicans think we can have mass amnesty for millions of government-dependent immigrants and become a more libertarian country, they're crazy.
This isn't because of a failure to "reach out." Republicans can't beat Democrats at the government assistance game. From single mothers to corporate subsidy-takers, they want your money and the Democrats promise to give it to them.
Instead of trying to compete with the ethnic lobbies, welfare schemes and racialized politics of the Democrats, perhaps Republicans should allow our immigration system to admit more immigrants who won't immediately go on government assistance, as 60 percent of new immigrants do now.
Putting 12 million to 20 million of them on a "path to citizenship" won't make them like Republicans; it will make Republicans lose.