April 28, 2007


Immigration set to boost Texas, Florida Republicans (GERRY SMITH, 4/28/07, Cox News Service)

Immigration is driving the growing electoral power of Texas and Florida, as census projections show a shift of congressional seats to those states, and Republicans are expected to reap the biggest immediate gains, demographers say.

After the 2010 census, when House seats are redistributed based on population, Texas will pick up three seats and Florida will pick up two seats. Six of the seven states projected to gain seats in 2010 now lean Republican, according to Mark Mather, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau.

By 2030, Texas will gain eight seats and Florida will gain nine seats. And Republicans could double their advantage in the Electoral College from 34 votes to 68 votes if voting patterns remain unchanged, according to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institute.

But with Hispanic immigrants driving much of the population growth, the future for Democrats may not be entirely grim, analysts say.

Which is why W's amnesty is the vital final piece of his legacy.

A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves (JASON DePARLE, 4/22/07, NY Times)

About 200 million migrants from different countries are scattered across the globe, supporting a population back home that is as big if not bigger. Were these half-billion or so people to constitute a state — migration nation — it would rank as the world’s third-largest. While some migrants go abroad with Ph.D.’s, most travel as Emmet did, with modest skills but fearsome motivation. The risks migrants face are widely known, including the risk of death, but the amounts they secure for their families have just recently come into view. Migrants worldwide sent home an estimated $300 billion last year — nearly three times the world’s foreign-aid budgets combined. These sums — “remittances” — bring Morocco more money than tourism does. They bring Sri Lanka more money than tea does.

The numbers, which have doubled in the past five years, have riveted the attention of development experts who once paid them little mind. One study after another has examined how private money, in the form of remittances, might serve the public good. A growing number of economists see migrants, and the money they send home, as a part of the solution to global poverty.

Yet competing with the literature of gain is a parallel literature of loss. About half the world’s migrants are women, many of whom care for children abroad while leaving their own children home. “Your loved ones across that ocean . . . ,” Nadine Sarreal, a Filipina poet in Singapore, warns:

Will sit at breakfast and try not to gaze

Where you would sit at the table.

Meals now divided by five

Instead of six, don’t feed an emptiness.

Earlier waves of globalization, the movement of money and goods, were shaped by mediating institutions and protocols. The International Monetary Fund regulates finance. The World Trade Organization regularizes trade. The movement of people — the most intimate form of globalization — is the one with the fewest rules. There is no “World Migration Organization” to monitor the migrants’ fate. A Kurd gaining asylum in Sweden can have his children taught school in their mother tongue, while a Filipino bringing a Bible into Riyadh risks being expelled.

The growth in migration has roiled the West, but demographic logic suggests it will only continue. Aging industrial economies need workers. People in poor countries need jobs. Transportation and communication have made moving easier. And the potential economic gains are at record highs. A Central American laborer who moves to the United States can expect to multiply his earnings about six times after adjusting for the higher cost of living. That is a pay raise about twice as large as the one that propelled the last great wave of immigration a century ago.

With about one Filipino worker in seven abroad at any given time, migration is to the Philippines what cars once were to Detroit: its civil religion. A million Overseas Filipino Workers — O.F.W.’s — left last year, enough to fill six 747s a day. Nearly half the country’s 10-to-12-year-olds say they have thought about whether to go. Television novellas plumb the migrants’ loneliness. Politicians court their votes. Real estate salesmen bury them in condominium brochures. Drive by the Central Bank during the holiday season, and you will find a high-rise graph of the year’s remittances strung up in Christmas lights.

Across the archipelago, stories of rags to riches compete with stories of rags to rags. New malls define the landscape; so do left-behind kids. Gain and loss are so thoroughly joined that the logo of the migrant welfare agency shows the sun doing battle with the rain. Local idiom stresses the uncertainty of the migrant’s lot. An O.F.W. does not say he is off to make his fortune. He says, “I am going to try my luck.”

A kilometer of crimson stretched across the Manila airport, awaiting a planeload of returning workers and the president who would greet them. The V.I.P. lounge hummed with marketing schemes aimed at migrants and their families. Globe Telecom had got its name on the security guards’ vests. A Microsoft rep had flown in from the States with a prototype of an Internet phone. An executive from Philam Insurance noted that overseas workers buy one of every five new policies. Sirens disrupted the finger food, and a motorcade delivered the diminutive head of state, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who once a year offers rice cakes and red carpet to those she calls “modern heroes.”

America has always been made up of such heroes, who revitalize the tired blood of the natives.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2007 7:43 AM

These stories about shifting seats cracks me up.

The House should be reapportioned to 4350 seats, not an obscenely small 435.

These members should vote electronically from their districts, and almost never set foot in DC.

This is true representation, and the not the increasingly shabby illusion of representation we supposedly have now.

Interestingly this would amplify the "Center-right" leanings of the nation.

Posted by: Bruno at April 28, 2007 10:55 AM

Bruno - good thoughts.

As for the first article there is the assumption that the new members of Texas, FL, and others will keep the state red and not push it blue. Same goes for when population leaves NE for the South and SouthWest. Only time will tell if this is true or if the new population simply pushes these states to purple or even blue.

Posted by: AWW at April 28, 2007 2:41 PM


Posted by: Sandy P at April 28, 2007 3:56 PM

The turkish immigrants in Germany became social democrats in no time, many even vote green - not because they share the values but because the multiculti left is nice to them and gives them more "benefits". If the 600.000 who have German citizenship had voted the same way as the rest, Gerhard Schroeder would not have had a second term.
Not sure if there is a lesson for America.

Posted by: wf at April 29, 2007 7:42 AM

Of course there's a lesson: the racist Right is not your ally.

Posted by: oj at April 29, 2007 9:20 AM