January 7, 2019


Why Republicans Should Support Immigration (Jordan Bruneau, Jan. 2, 2019, NY Times)

Hard as it is to believe today, California once reliably voted Republican in presidential elections. Other than Lyndon Johnson, no Democratic presidential candidate won the Golden State in the four decades between Harry Truman and Bill Clinton. Now, Democrats control the entire state government and hold 46 of its 53 House seats and both Senate seats.

What happened? Mr. Wilson, then governor, went after immigrants, championing Proposition 187, a 1994 ballot initiative that barred illegal immigrant children from attending public schools and using other social services. Though the measure passed after a contentious fight, it was a hollow victory. An injunction was granted three days after passage, and the measure was ultimately deemed unconstitutional.

Several studies have found that Republican support of Proposition 187 and other anti-immigrant efforts alienated white and Latino voters in California from the Republican Party. One of these studies, published in The American Journal of Political Science, points out that Proposition 187 actually reversed the trend of Latinos increasingly supporting Republicans, with "no counterbalancing gain in party supporters from other groups, particularly non-Hispanic whites." The authors conclude that the "results raise serious questions about the long-term efficacy of racially divisive strategies for electoral gain." This study should be required reading for Trump Republicans.

The Hispanic portion of the United States population today is similar to the portion in California in the early 1990s. About 20 percent of the country is Hispanic; in 1990, 26 percent of California's population was. You don't have to be a political wizard to understand that alienating growing blocs of voters -- not just Latinos, but also other immigrants and younger people -- is bad political strategy.

"I hate you; vote for us!"

Posted by at January 7, 2019 3:51 AM