Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Will Republicans Be Able To Deport Enough Hispanics To Win In 2016?


Alabama racist Mo Brooks would like to take away a little of Steve King's thunder to adorn his own Confederate glory. Last week, the House passed Brooks' latest anti-Hispanic scheme, 221-202, every Democrat voting NO and 20 Republicans abandoning the party's racist, anti-immigrant core. Brooks and his followers have voted to discourage the Pentagon from allowing DREAMERs and other undocumented immigrants from serving in the military.

Most of the Republicans who defied the dominant racist wing of the House GOP are in districts where such extremism and reactionary behavior endangers reelection bids. These were the Republican NO votes (bolded names are in districts with Latino populations of over 20%):
Mike Coffman (R-CO)- D+1
• Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)- R+1
• Jeff Denham (R-CA)- R+1
Charlie Dent (R-PA)- R+2
• Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)- R+5
• Bob Dold (R-IL)- D+8
Chris Gibson (R-NY)- D+1
Richard Hanna (R-NY)-R+3
Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)- R+2
John Katko (R-NY)- D+5
Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)- R+4
Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)- D+1
Tom MacArthur (R-NJ)- R+1
• Martha McSally (R-AZ)- R+3
Dan Newhouse (R-WA)- R+13
Dave Reichert (R-WA)- R+1
• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)- R+2
Elise Stefanik (R-NY)- even PVI
Fred Upton (R-MI)- R+1
• David Valadao (R-CA)- D+2
After the vote, Hillary Clinton's national political director, Amanda Renteria, said, "If these courageous young men and women want to serve, they should be honored and celebrated, not discriminated against... [W]hile we keep up the pressure for comprehensive action, allowing DREAMers to serve in the military is the right step forward."

Meanwhile, yesterday America's Voices pointed out that 69,000 Latinos and 16,000 Asian-Americans turn 18 every month-- and that's 4 million new voters combined between the 2012 and 2016 voting cycles. The significance in congressional races, though lost on the incompetent clods at the DCCC, can be huge. Just a few years ago, CA-25-- the Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Antelope Valley district where northern L.A. County meets Ventura County-- was considered safe for GOP incumbent Buck McKeon. Last year, demographics tipped the balance to the Democrats, who regularly win Hispanic-heavy Antelope Valley and who now hold a slight registration advantage for the entire district. CA-25 will now be won or lost based on voter turn-out activities, a weak point for a DCCC that has long forgotten how to win races beyond spending a ton of money on largely ineffective TV ads.
Six months ago, President Barack Obama announced several actions to improve America’s immigration system, including a program dubbed Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, were scheduled to begin the implementation of DAPA today. This program would provide temporary relief from deportation and work authorization on a case-by-case basis to parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have been in the country for at least five years. The president also increased the age limit to qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA-- a program that protects undocumented individuals who entered the country at a young age, known as DREAMERs.

However, the implementation of DAPA has been blocked instead. In response to a lawsuit brought by Texas and other states, an ideologically motivated judge from one of the most conservative circuit courts in the country issued a preliminary injunction against DAPA. Today, in response to this deadlock, a coalition of faith, labor, business, and community groups will join public officials to demand an end to the lawsuit blocking the implementation of DAPA and DACA expansion, allowing the programs to move forward.

In addition to conservative opposition in the courts, congressional votes to terminate both DACA and DAPA have overwhelmingly split along party lines-- with Republicans trying to block these programs, while Democrats seek to preserve them. Those who oppose DAPA are ignoring the signifiant fiscal and economic benefits the program offers, as well as key electoral implications that have the potential to play a significant role in upcoming elections.

...Implementing DAPA is not only the right thing to do for families and the economy-- it also has key electoral implications. Reflective of the overall immigrant population, potential DAPA recipients are largely Latino and Asian immigrants along with a smaller but growing African immigrant population. Opponents of DAPA will likely alienate a critical and growing voting demographic within the United States while champions of the program are likely to engender significant support from these same voters.

There are 3.7 million individuals who would benefit from DAPA. Combined, these individuals have 5.5 million U.S. citizen children-- all of whom already are or will eventually become eligible to vote. If DAPA were implemented, these 5.5 million individuals would no longer have to fear that their parents could be detained or deported at any time. More than half a million of these children-- nearly 600,000-- are currently of voting age, and 1.7 million will be of voting age by the 2020 presidential election. These numbers could provide sizable contributions to the margin of victory in swing states. In Florida during the 2012 presidential election, for example, these new voters would have comprised 70 percent of the margin of victory; in North Carolina, they would have represented one-third of the margin of victory. These figures do not take into account other citizen members of “mixed-status” households that include DAPA-eligible individuals-- voters who would also feel the effect of DAPA implementation.

Demographers and electoral analysts know a lot about the electoral demographics of the Latino and Asian populations, and their voting power is felt-- and will continue to be felt-- across generations. In 2016, the voting eligible population will be 13 percent Latino and 7 percent Asian. Every month, nearly 69,000 Latinos and 16,000 Asian Americans turn 18 years old, resulting in more than 4 million new voters combined between 2012 and 2016. Of the new Latino voters, nearly 2 million are the children of immigrants. That means that at least 2 million people who personally understand the challenges and fears of having an immigrant parent will become part of the electorate in 2016. Over the course of the next five presidential elections, today’s citizen children of undocumented parents will have been able to cast nearly 11 million ballots. The intimate understanding of the immigrant experience is felt broadly in the Latino and immigrant communities: 16.6 million people have a family member who is undocumented, and nearly 60 percent of Latino registered voters of all ages said they knew family, friends, co-workers, or others who were undocumented.

As The White House Task Force on New Americans-- an interagency effort focusing on immigrant integration into American communities-- describes, USCIS adds approximately 700,000 naturalized citizens each year to the 19.3 million who were already living in the United States as of 2013, all of whom are eligible voters. Notably, naturalized immigrants and children of immigrants are more likely to vote than third-generation immigrants.

These voters and voters-to-be overwhelmingly support DAPA. Polls find that 89 percent of Latinos support these deferred actions. Additionally, 65 percent of Asian Americans polled in 11 states support executive actions on immigration. And support is not just limited to Latinos and Asian Americans: Americans favor the DAPA policy by a 76 percent to 19 percent margin.
One racist Republican who has consistently refused to back the legitimate aspirations of Latinos and who could lose his seat in 2016 is Blake Farenthold, who represents the area around Corpus Christi (TX-27) and the coastal suburbs almost all the way to Houston. Gerrymandering was supposed to make Farenthold safe, but demographics have created a 50% Hispanic district. In fact, 45% of the voters are Latino and 60.5% of the newly eligible voters in the district are Asian, Latino and immigrants. 77% of the district supports comprehensive immigration reform.

Even Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy finds himself in an increasingly untenable situation. His Central Valley/Bakersfield district still has a strong Republican PVI (R+16, which will probably be reduced this year to R+12), but the Latino voter percentage has continued to grow and was already 30.9% in 2014. 76% of likely voters in the district tell pollsters they support comprehensive immigration reform, which McCarthy doesn't. Newly eligible voters in the district are overwhelmingly Asian, Latino and immigrants (52.6%).

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