Latino Voters and Immigration Reform: A Closer Look

Clarice Feldman
Ed Morrissey cites a new Los Angeles Times op-ed by Steve Malanga which suggests that all the hand-wringing about the negative impact on "the Latino bloc" of the flame out of the President's immigration proposal may have been based on some false assumptions:
The data Malanga uncovers opposes almost everything we've been hearing about the Latino bloc. Republicans managed to garner a little more than a third of those voters when Reagan and Bush 43 got elected and re-elected. Bob Dole only got 21%. What does that mean? Right now, we only have a ceiling of around a third of this bloc, and a floor of about a fifth. That's not a large window in which to work, and given the overall voting numbers, it's not something that should change party policy, especially on national security.

The immigration numbers seem especially intriguing. The Southwest has Hispanic families that go back centuries, and who do not especially treasure illegal immigration. Malanga notes that 78% of Arizona's Latinos oppose expanded immigration, and one can find similar sentiment in New Mexico. The warnings on immigration policy stem from an assumption that Hispanics automatically want amnesty and open borders, but at least in the Southwest, that is a false assumption.

As in the case with the African-American community, closer engagement would eliminate many of the false assumptions on both sides
Ed Morrissey cites a new Los Angeles Times op-ed by Steve Malanga which suggests that all the hand-wringing about the negative impact on "the Latino bloc" of the flame out of the President's immigration proposal may have been based on some false assumptions:
The data Malanga uncovers opposes almost everything we've been hearing about the Latino bloc. Republicans managed to garner a little more than a third of those voters when Reagan and Bush 43 got elected and re-elected. Bob Dole only got 21%. What does that mean? Right now, we only have a ceiling of around a third of this bloc, and a floor of about a fifth. That's not a large window in which to work, and given the overall voting numbers, it's not something that should change party policy, especially on national security.

The immigration numbers seem especially intriguing. The Southwest has Hispanic families that go back centuries, and who do not especially treasure illegal immigration. Malanga notes that 78% of Arizona's Latinos oppose expanded immigration, and one can find similar sentiment in New Mexico. The warnings on immigration policy stem from an assumption that Hispanics automatically want amnesty and open borders, but at least in the Southwest, that is a false assumption.

As in the case with the African-American community, closer engagement would eliminate many of the false assumptions on both sides