Humanizing people who are usually vilified in discussions about immigration policy might be just what the GOP needs to do in order to connect with a changing electorate.
But former Florida governor and potential 2016 GOP presidential frontrunner, Jeb Bush, is catching heat from his own party for doing just that.
The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally... because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love.... there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.
That sentiment is in stark contrast with the aggressive rhetoric from many in the Republican party, but that's exactly why it might work in Bush's favor.
Because he wasn't talking about immigration, he was talking about people. And people tend to notice that sort of thing - particularly if you're one of the only people in your party doing it.
Latino voters had an enormous impact on the 2012 presidential election. They accounted for 10% of all voters on election day, a large number of those young, first-time voters.
And every year, roughly 800,000 US born Latinos turn 18 and become eligible to vote, which means they're likely to keep making waves at the ballot box.
Despite some common misconceptions, Latino voters ranked immigration as only the fifth most important issue to them in a 2012 poll, after education, jobs, healthcare and national debt.
But Bush didn't make any promises of amnesty - he didn't even outline a specific policy on illegal immigration. He simply talked about undocumented immigrants like people instead of problems, like they were actually in the room.
That's seen as audacious by many conservative observers, but it may earn him favor with exactly the people the Republicans need to take the White House in 2016.
Because it isn't just Latinos who've all but forsaken the Republicans - roughly 9 out of 10 people who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 were non-Hispanic whites.
Some in the GOP write off the roughly one in four Obama voters who were Black, attributing their vote solely to race, but there's no writing off the fact that in every racial category except "other" Democrat numbers were at least double the Republicans'.
And you don't really need a graph to see the difference between the two major parties when it comes to racial diversity, just look a the contrast between these two images from the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
That's a sample of the crowd at Joe Biden's acceptance of the Democratic VP nomination. And here's a sample of the people at the RNC that same year:
Not everybody in that picture is White, just the overwhelming majority, and the data shows it's a very representative picture. If Republicans want to continue to exist as a major party in the future, they have to no choice but to broaden the appeal of their message.
Some people will undoubtedly reject the humane sentiment voiced by Bush, but whether or not the Republican party embraces a softer, more understanding take on immigration - and perhaps other issues - might be the decision between an executive sea change and four more years of Democratic leadership in 2016.