There was a day, though I can not tell you the exact date, that Republicans acquiesced to the Democrats in the debate over illegal immigration. That day was when the Republicans accepted, as they often do, the Democrats' premise that immigration reform was needed. Instead of the Republicans articulating the roots of their Party that reach deeply into the soil of law and order, they put that concept on the back burner and accepted the premise of a debate they could never win against Democrats.
The Democrats were brilliant, or maybe the Republicans were just that stupid, in implementing their strategy to fill their voting rolls with a fresh supply of an underclass that would stay dependent on big government and vote for the purveyors of that big government, i.e. Democrats. During the last six years, the Obama administration has refused to execute immigration laws currently on the books, and when border states like Arizona tried to do it themselves, they were set upon by the brown shirt enforcement arm of the Obama administration; Eric Holder and the Justice Department.
The refusal by the administration to enforce existing immigration laws created a border crisis exponentially greater than what had existed, and which could have been resolved with stricter enforcement of current laws and beefed up border security. This placed Republicans in the position of articulating how the system for dealing with illegal immigration was not "broken", or giving into the Democrats' premise of a crisis they deliberately created. The Republicans chose the latter, and from that day forward put themselves in a position that was going to be subservient to the Democrat position no matter what they did.
The proof of this capitulation by congressional Republicans is the amnesty bill masquerading as a "comprehensive" immigration reform bill passed by the Senate last year, with Republican senators lining up to curry favor with the Hispanic voting bloc, and creating quite the pandering spectacle. As if their pandering, or all the pandering in the world, was going to drive Hispanic voters away from Democrats into the arms of Republicans. The presidential election of 2012 proved that even if that happened it would have to be to such a great extent as to be out of reach for Republicans simply by passing amnesty.
According to Byron York of the Washington Examiner, Mitt Romney would have had to secure the votes of 73% of Hispanic community in order to have won the presidency. And this after having pandered to the all important "independent" vote, which he received the lion's share of and still lost. When are Republicans going to quit following the advice of Democrats for how they can win elections, and stand on their conservative principles which when articulated well always win?
One thing is for sure, no matter what President Obama does with regards to executive amnesty, the Republicans lost this debate when they did not initially stand on the principle of law and order and demand that the federal government enforce its current immigration laws and build better border security. Instead they have accepted that the immigration system is "broken" and needs a big government solution that has its roots in amnesty, an idea pushed by Democrats for their own political advantage.