Hispanic Immigrants: Weak Party ID, But Strong Liberal Views

by Mark Krikorian

I argue on the home page that passing an immigration bill that amnesties illegals and increases immigration would be politically disastrous for the Republican party long before any of the legalized aliens or new legal immigrants step into a voting booth for the first time. While I specifically don’t address voting behavior, a reader (or Tweader?) offered as rebuttal a new Latino Decisions report that shows weak party identification among immigrants from Latin America who have not yet become naturalized Americans. The political purpose of the report (Latino Decisions is a strongly pro-amnesty, high-immigration research group) is to persuade Republicans to back the Senate amnesty bill by showing that the legalized illegal aliens might well vote Republican: “The GOP has a real opportunity to win the partisan hearts and minds of Latino immigrants.”

Except that the report shows nothing of the kind. All it shows is that most Hispanic immigrants don’t have strong partisan leanings — not how they’d vote. For instance, among illegal aliens from Latin America, only 28 percent identified with either of the two major parties (that’s U.S. political parties). But the partisan split among those who did have such an identification was 25-3 in favor of the Democrats (89 percent Democrat). Among Hispanic legal permanent residents (green-card holders), 29 percent reported a partisan identification, 23–6 in favor of the Democrats (79 percent Democrat). Among naturalized citizens originally from Spanish-speaking Latin America the split was 44–15 (75 percent D).

This overwhelming preference for Democrats is consistent with polling on the policy preferences of Hispanic voters. They support Obamacare, favor tax hikes over benefits cuts, support gun control, want government action to prevent climate change, oppose fracking, and support gay marriage. And that’s just from Latino Decisions’ own research — the same group that’s lying about how “the GOP has a real opportunity to win the partisan hearts and minds of Latino immigrants.” A more accurate assessment comes from another Latino Decisions paper, which is headlined: “It’s True: Latinos are Liberals.”

Republicans need to do better outreach to all segments of the American people, and getting the support of a somewhat larger share of voters with roots south of the border is a real possibility. But the party’s pooh-bahs need to understand the limits of such efforts, and the importance of not digging an even deeper hole by continuing to back continued (or even increased) mass immigration.

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