The Hispanic Vote

Claim:
To get the "Hispanic vote", you need massive immigration. And, that's the reason why politicians favor massive immigration.
Summary:
The first is not entirely accurate, and the second is questionable

Supporters of massive immigration frequently claim that there's a monolithic "Hispanic Vote". And, they claim that "reform" is necessary in order to get that vote. Many politicians use what could be a cover story of "getting the Hispanic vote" for what might be their real motives.

Hispanics have various countries of origin, and some have been in the country for generations while others are new arrivals. Some family members might have arrived here legally, some illegally, and some might have been here before this was the U.S. It's obviously false to claim that all or most people of one ethnic/linguistic group favor the same policy when they have such widely varying backgrounds.

Obviously, many Hispanics do favor much less restrictive immigration policies, some are supporters of illegal immigration, and a few extremists even favor no borders at all.

The people in those groups would tend to be varying degrees of left-wing, and there's little chance of them voting for the GOP no matter what they did. In fact, reaching out to those groups would seem to be quite counterproductive: if many Hispanics favor massive immigration, bringing in more people with the same ideology will simply lead to even more immigration, and so on indefinitely. And, of course, the Democratic Party can always undercut the GOP in border matters: no matter how porous the GOP wants to make the border, the Dems will always come up with a less American plan.

Do we really want people in the U.S. who want to open the border? Do we really want people who want a race-based immigration policy, just as long as that policy favors their race?

Many of those behind spreading this myth are far-left, Ford Foundation-sponsored racial identity groups. Should the GOP really adopt the Democratic practice of supporting those groups' ideology?

Should the GOP support a race-based immigration policy? Should the GOP give in to the wish of one race to surround themselves with more people of the same race?

Perhaps those who are pushing this meme should determine just how far down the road paved by the Democrats they want to go.

There's also the possibility that for some politicians this myth is simply a smokescreen, when in fact they support massive immigration simply because they take contributions from companies that profit off it.

More information:

  • Politicians Snub Latinos' Real Wishes: a new opinion poll released last week [7/19/04] by the Pew Hispanic Center finds that Latinos in the United States are most concerned about education, jobs, the state of the economy and access to affordable healthcare - just like everyone else in the country. Eleventh on the list of things that Latinos are concerned with - several notches below the vague notion of moral values - is immigration.
  • AP: 62% Oppose [California Driver's] Licenses for [Illegal] Immigrants: "Three out of four white, non-Hispanics said they are opposed to issuing regular driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, while Hispanics favor the idea by a two-to-one margin. Of all other races, 77 percent are opposed... Almost nine out of 10 Republicans -- 86 percent-- reject the idea. Fifty-six percent of Democrats also are opposed."
  • Most in state oppose immigration reform: "In the Sun-Sentinel poll, Hispanics, who made up 15 percent of the respondents, were no more supportive of pro-immigration changes than other groups polled. Only two in 10 Hispanics favored a law allowing undocumented immigrants to work legally in the country. Only two in 10 favored issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. And only 38 percent of Florida's Hispanics who are likely voters said they thought immigration helped the United States."
  • Many oppose licenses for undocumented, poll shows: An El Paso Times/KVIA-ABC 7 poll indicates that 59 percent of the 300 registered voters interviewed in April favored the creation of a work program for undocumented immigrants. But 65 percent of the same voters said they opposed giving undocumented immigrants driver's licenses, a much-debated issue for years... the answers to the two immigration questions were similar among Hispanic and non-Hispanic voters. Sixty-one percent of Hispanics and 72 percent of non-Hispanics disapproved of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, and 64 percent of Hispanics and 50 percent of non-Hispanics favored a work program. The margin of error was plus or minus 6 percentage points.
  • Poll: Texans believe illegal immigration is a serious problem (also here): Eighty-six percent of those surveyed for the Scripps Howard Texas Poll released Saturday said illegal immigration is a very serious or somewhat serious problem. Nine percent said it is not very serious and four percent said it is not serious at all... Bush's [guest worker] plan has the most support among Hispanics, with 55 percent favoring the proposal and 40 percent opposing it. Forty-nine percent of Anglos support Bush's plan and 45 percent are opposed. Fifty-six percent of blacks oppose the plan while 37 percent support it... Sixty-nine percent of Texans said the U.S. government is not doing enough to stop unauthorized immigration. That represents an 11 percent increase over the last poll in August 2001. Twenty-three percent said the government is doing enough... Responses to that question were sharply divided along racial lines. Fifty-five percent of Hispanics said the government is not doing enough, compared with 71 percent of Anglos and 78 percent of blacks... The survey of 1,000 Texas adults was offered in Spanish and English between Feb. 12 and March 3 [2004]
  • "Bush Didn't Win 44% of Hispanic Vote - The Smoking Exit Poll"
  • "Hispanic Republicans - A Media Myth"
  • "Discredited Hispanic Vote Share Myth Goes Marching On At RNC"
  • this comment: redstate.org/comments/2005/10/6/21218/0889/11#11

Citations