As you can imagine, I don’t ordinarily read The Nation, but a friend sent along this revealing excerpt from the current issue:
As CCC’s Bhargava argued, widespread legalization could mark “a structural change in the politics of the country that will make the country more generous to immigrants in the future. So, if you want better immigration policy ten years from now, you’d better support and do what’s necessary to get the current undocumented population legal.”
“Structural change in the politics of the country” means “more Democratic voters.” There’s nothing new here: As I point out in my Encounter Broadside, Barney Frank and the SEIU’s Eliseo Medina have publicly said the same thing. Ruy Teixeira wrote earlier this year in a piece for the Center for American Progress:
These data suggest that there is really only one way for the GOP to effectively compete for minority voters, and it’s a way that Republicans have rejected so far. The party must, quite simply, become less conservative. They will have to jettison their bitter hostility to active government, spending on social services, and immigration reform and develop their own approach in these areas that minorities might find appealing. [emphasis added]
Likewise, University of Maryland political scientist James Gimpel has found that:
A comparison of voting patterns in presidential elections across counties over the last three decades shows that large-scale immigration has caused a steady drop in presidential Republican vote shares throughout the country. Once politically marginal counties are now safely Democratic due to the propensity of immigrants, especially Latinos, to identify and vote Democratic. The partisan impact of immigration is relatively uniform throughout the country, even though local Republican parties have taken different positions on illegal immigration. . . . Future levels of immigration are likely to be a key determinant of Republicans’ political prospects moving forward. [emphasis added]
In fact, everyone seems to understand that continued mass immigration means the end of the GOP as a conservative party — except the people actually in charge of the GOP.