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Immigration Is Changing the Political Landscape in Key States

Immigration Is Changing the Political Landscape in Key States

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The voters have spoken, and the message is clear: Getting right on immigration and getting behind real and enduring immigration reform that contains a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country is the only way to maintain electoral strength in the future.
The voters have spoken, and the message is clear: Getting right on immigration and getting behind real and enduring immigration reform that contains a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country is the only way to maintain electoral strength in the future.

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Published by: Center for American Progress on Apr 08, 2013
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1Center or American Progress | Immigration Is Changing the Political Landscape in Key States
Immigration Is Changing thePolitical Landscape in Key States
Philip E. Wolgin and Ann Garcia April 8, 2013
In he wake o he overwhelming Laino and Asian American suppor or PresidenBarack Obama in he November 2012 elecion
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—suppor ha was criical o his re-elec-ion—he poliical winds on immigraion have shied signicanly o avor immigraionreorm wih a pahway o ciizenship or he approximaely 11 million undocumenedimmigrans living in our counry.
2
A ull 71 percen o Laino voers and 73 percen o  Asian American voers suppored he presiden in he elecion,
3
and poll aer poll illus-raes ha hese groups srongly opposed he “sel-deporaion” policies o Republicanpresidenial candidae and ormer Massachusets Gov. Mit Romney and inseadsuppored Presiden Obama’s immigraion-reorm eors.
4
Changing demographics,especially he rapid growh o he Laino populaion and heir power as voers, ensuredha key swing saes such as Florida, Colorado, and Nevada voed or he presiden.
5
In he weeks aer he elecion, prominen conservaives “evolved” on he issue o immi-graion reorm, including conservaive pundi Sean Hanniy, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY)and John McCain (R-AZ), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and House Majoriy Leader Eric Canor (R-VA).
6
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) summed up he Republicanpredicamen bes when he old he Washingon Ideas Forum on November 15 ha, “I’sreally hard o ge people o lisen o you on economic growh, on ax raes, on healhcare, i hey hink you wan o depor heir grandmoher.”
7
Since he beginning o he year, rheoric has urned ino acion wih negoiaions on animmigraion reorm plan moving ino he nal sages. A biparisan “Gang o 8” in heSenae is expeced o release a dra bill in he nex ew weeks, and a biparisan group inhe House is coming o a consensus as well.
8
Presiden Obama reieraed his suppor andopimism or passing immigraion reorm by he end o he summer in an inerview wihelemundo on March 27, and Senae Judiciary Commitee Chairman Parick Leahy (D-V) has promised “swi and horough acion” on an immigraion bill.
9
A he hearo he eor is a ough bu air road map o earned ciizenship or he 11 million undocu-mened immigrans living in he counry.
 
2Center or American Progress | Immigration Is Changing the Political Landscape in Key States
 As we move ino he congressional debae on immigraion reorm, we should remem- ber ha he poliical shis ha have opened a space or reorm—grounded in demo-graphic changes—were no a phenomenon ha debued in 2012. Tese changes began in he mid-1990s, when ani-immigran poliics in Caliornia helped urn hesae reliably blue.
10
  And as our naion moves oward a poin where by 2043 we will have no clear racial orehnic majoriy,
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oher saes such as Arizona, exas, Norh Carolina, and even Georgiaare also reaching demographic ipping poins. Wheher or no hese saes urn bluein he uure has a lo o do wih how poliicians in boh paries ac and wha hey alk abou on he subjec o immigraion reorm.In his issue brie we review he pas, presen, and uure o immigraion poliics, as wellas he changing demographics in key saes.
 The past
California
In 1994 Caliornia’s Proposiion 187 awakened he Laino voe and pushed he saeino he reliably Democraic column. Ten-Gov. Pee Wilson (R) srongly supporedhe ballo measure, which argeed unauhorized immigrans in he sae, atempingo cu o all public services ouside o emergency healh care o people wihou legalsaus. Proposiion 187 passed overwhelmingly by a margin o 59 percen o 41 percen,hough he cours ulimaely sruck i down as unconsiuional. Te backlash o he ballo measure and he governor’s suppor o i was swi, however, galvanizing Lainoso go o he polls. In ac, no a single Republican won saewide oce rom he passageo Proposiion 187 in 1994 hrough he elecion o Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in2003, and he sae has voed Democraic in every presidenial elecion since 1992.
12
 
The past:
California
The present:
Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia
The future, near term:
Arizona, North Carolina
The future, long term:
Georgia, Texas
Demography is destiny
 
3Center or American Progress | Immigration Is Changing the Political Landscape in Key States
FIGURE 1
The growth of the Latino electorate in key states
20M25M30M22.5M27.5M
201220142016
23,676,37625,692,00027,733,227The increase in the number of eligible Latino voters nationwideby 2016, an increase of about
4M17
%
National estimates of eligible Latino voters, 2012-2016Percentage of statewide net increase in all eligible voters who are Latino
Alabama41.2%101,60035.9%39,700Arizona71.4%178,80072%85,400California82.2%1,355,00082.6%645,400Colorado35.9%92,10035.5%44,200Florida54.6%600,50053.9%282,900Georgia51.7%189,90041.2%83,000Iowa45.7%23,20044.2%10,700NewMexico68.8%66,70068.4%32,400Nevada49.5%101,10049.1%47,300NorthCarolina32.4%200,90029.5%85,300Texas58.1%905,50057.8%432,300Virginia38.4%127,70035%57,5002012-2014 (Midterm election)
Circle represents 100 percent. Number of actual new Latino voters in box below.
2012-2016 (Presidential election)
Circle represents 100 percent. Number of actual new Latino voters in box below.
Sources: State estimates are based o o tabulations and extrapolations o changes in eligible voters ound in the 2008 and 2011 American CommunitySurvey PUMS one-year estimates. Percentages were calculated beore rounding. See: “American FactFinder,” available at http://actfnder2.census.gov/ aces/nav/js/pages/searchresults.xhtml?reresh=t. National projections are the average o estimates graciously provided to CAP by the Pew HispanicCenter and Latino Decisions.

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