News / USA

    US Immigration Reform Battle Has Electoral Implications

    US Immigration Reform Battle Has Electoral Implicationsi
    X
    August 29, 2013 12:54 AM
    The fate of U.S. immigration reform could hinge on whether the Republican-controlled House of Representatives embraces a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. In the second of a two-part report, VOA's Michael Bowman looks at opposition to a comprehensive bill - and the possible political fallout if the reform effort fails.
    Michael Bowman
    The fate of U.S. immigration reform could hinge on whether the Republican-controlled House of Representatives embraces a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. Opposition to a comprehensive bill persists, and there could be political fallout if the reform effort fails.

    Backers of immigration reform have held large-scale rallies to pressure lawmakers. Opponents have held fewer and smaller events like this one in Richmond, Virginia, attended by an arch-foe of a path to citizenship for the undocumented.

    “If we reward people for breaking the law, we get more law-breakers. They got here on their own, and if the opportunities are not here - if we shut down the jobs magnet, if we secure the border - then a lot of people will find a way back to their home country,” said Republican Congressman Steve King.

    The event was held near the district of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. He and Speaker John Boehner will decide if the chamber ultimately votes on a reform package.

    “If immigration reform fails to pass, Republicans will get the blame," said Republican strategist John Feehery. He said his party risks the wrath of America’s fastest-growing segment: Hispanics.

    “If they alienate this voting bloc, they are going to have a coalition that will continually vote against them, and they will be in big trouble,” he said.

    In 2012, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney got less than 30 percent of the Hispanic vote.

    The party's stance on immigration reform is a big reason why, according to activist Angelica Salas. “They [Republicans] keep reminding us of why we should not vote for them or stand with them.”

    The voting trend is confirmed by Hispanic researcher Mark Lopez at the Pew Research Center. “We have seen a surge in the number of Hispanics who identify with or lean towards the Democratic Party in recent years.”

    Lopez adds that immigration reform, however, is only one issue Hispanics care deeply about. Others include economic opportunity and education. Lopez said the Hispanic electorate stands at 23 million today, and could reach 40 million by 2030.

    “In the last decade, Hispanics alone accounted for more than half of U.S. population growth.  Moving forward, they will continue to account for a significant share, perhaps even a majority of U.S. population growth,” he said.

    Republican Strategist Feehery sees little chance of passing immigration reform this year, but hopes his party eventually will embrace a path to citizenship for the undocumented.

    “What people vote for, ultimately, is their pocketbooks. And I think that as Hispanic voters become more prosperous and are introduced more to the mainstream of American society, they will start voting their pocketbooks [in their economic interests] and they will look at Republicans. The reason I think we should pass comprehensive immigration reform is to speed that process along,” he said.

    House Speaker John Boehner said he knows immigration reform is needed. “The current system is broken. It needs to be fixed.”

    Boehner has ruled out, though, a vote on a bill not backed by a majority of his caucus. That would appear to rule out a path to citizenship, for now.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: tombarnes from: md
    August 30, 2013 12:30 PM
    For the Republicans to get 50 + 1 % in the next election,
    they need
    16% more Black votes
    or 21% more Hispanic votes
    or 3% more White votes.
    Which do you think is easiest?
    In Response

    by: Eleonor Rigbi
    August 31, 2013 2:39 AM
    They could get a good chunk of the hispanic vote if they bring a solution about family values and unity, like not deporting or not destroying families.
    In Response

    by: Michael Dre beats from: Palm Beach
    August 31, 2013 1:30 AM
    Very well said, another republican member that makes me proud to say Am a republican.

    by: CUNOS from: ILLINOIS
    August 30, 2013 12:07 AM
    I REALLY HOPE THAT GOP IT WILL GOING DOWN AND THAT THEY WILL BE BLAME FOR NOT PASSING IMMIGRATION REFORM! I AM REALLY AGAINST REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THERE IDEOLOGY OF HUMAN HATE ! SO PEOPLE WILL NEVER BELIEVE AND NEVER VOTE FOR REPUBLICAN PARTY AGAIN! GOP 1 IS THE ENEMY OF USA ! I RESPECT OBAMA THE GREAT LIDER OF OUR NATION ! GOD BLESS AMERICA
    In Response

    by: Jafo from: Florida
    August 31, 2013 4:23 PM
    It's obvious you're on the safety net. I don't think the USA should allow law breakers into this country. You're biased because you're a latin. However, I'm a hard pressed Democrat that spawned from European settlers. The true Americans in this country!!! Go home!!!!!!!!!
    In Response

    by: MasonNY from: Rego Park NY
    August 30, 2013 1:25 PM
    Many people oppose a path to citizenship (as do I, a Democrat). People who migrated to the U.S. for economic reasons shouldn't be demanding a path to citizenship. I believe there should be some kind of legal status for them, yes, and a stop to deportations. I still oppose a path to citizenship. The Democratic Party and Hispanic lobby have pushed for citizenship and did not want to compromise with those of us who oppose it. They miscalculated, and so immigration reform is dead.

    by: joel e from: Colorado
    August 29, 2013 2:57 PM
    “If immigration reform fails to pass, Republicans will get the blame," said Republican strategist John Feehery. He said his party risks the wrath of America’s fastest-growing segment: Hispanics.
    =======================
    It is not the fastest growing segment at all. The illegal aliens, and particularly the Hispanic Illegal Aliens are the fastest growing group in the nation, and as long as we five the WIC's, or Women with Infant Children, the idea of having a child which is presumably a citizen, but is not, is a great way to keep up with inflation. Hispanic Citizens, and all the other groups in the United States, are sort of at a stand still. So rogue employers are helping them come in as they disregard the law with Congresses consent, but that won't last.

    by: Suzanne from: New York
    August 29, 2013 2:23 PM
    There is something all of you fail to realize. Behind and next to each undocumented citizen is a circle of friends and family and a community support system who are not undocumented and who are registered voters. Remember all of the school teachers in America who love to vote and love those little undocumented children in their classrooms. I am one of them. The power is much greater than any of you know.Just wait and see or pass a path to citizenship before the next election.
    In Response

    by: Dickie Vee
    August 30, 2013 5:08 AM
    Suzanne,
    I wonder if you are also teaching the children of any of the 20 million Americans who are out of work. You know the ones who paid taxes and your salary as a public school educator. (I don't ink you work at a private school because most undocumented go to public school).
    And for your working parents who have students at your school, do you explain to them why their child's electives are being cut because the school has to offer more English as a Second Language for kids who don't speak English. There are only limited resources but I'm sure you are willing to take a cut in pay to do your part.
    And you wonder why so many schools are failing.

    by: Dave from: Kansas
    August 29, 2013 5:42 AM
    "“If they alienate this voting bloc, they are going to have a coalition that will continually vote against them, and they will be in big trouble,” he said."


    And nobody has ask the Hispanic Voters what do they base their support on for amnesty of 11 million illegal aliens?
    In Response

    by: Ben from: Seattle
    August 31, 2013 4:33 PM
    I'm sorry guys, you're right. Immagration reform would be bad for the USA. I was reading too many publications. You guys put some sense in my noggin. I wasn't thinking about the 20 million Americans out of work. That would only add to the 20 million and create 31 million out of work. Then we have to worry about them getting on welfare and other programs. Over 40% of Latin Americans are already on social welfare. It would be a nightmare for this country. Also, most of these people can't even speak English or write it.
    In Response

    by: MasonNY from: Rego Park NY
    August 30, 2013 1:19 PM
    @Ben. Immigration reform is dead because of Democratic intransigence over a path to citizenship. I am a Democrat who would support some form of legalization for illegal immigrants, but never, never will I support a path to citizenship. The U.S. is a country, not an economic enterprise zone. For many of us -- and I consider myself a liberal Democrat -- U.S. citizenship has a meaning. Since 1900, there has been a legal pathway to both immigration and citizenship. Hispanic migrants as well as Irish immigrants overstaying in New York have broken our laws. No, they will never deported en masse, and yet progressives think these folks should be rewarded with U.S. citizenship. That's unacceptable to me, and it is why the Senate bill is doomed: the pathway to citizienship. It will not happen soon, as Republicans and conservatives will pick up Congressional seats in 2014 and 2016 (whether the next president is Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Christie or Rubio). It's over, and progressives' hubris and pandering to the Hispanic lobby have killed it.
    In Response

    by: Ben from: Seattle
    August 29, 2013 6:29 PM
    "there is a very ugly feeling about the efforts of the Senate to thug us."
    The Senate bill passed with a significant bipartisan majority and it would pass the house TOMORROW in the same fashion if the Republican leadership had the guts to put it to a vote. You are fooling yourself if you think a majority of Americans are not open to the idea of at least providing some sort of legal status to the 11 million. Again, you and your inability to have an open mind about this issue is a perfect example of why the Republicans are being deserted en-masse by Hispanics, even in places like Florida where they once had a solid block of Hispanic conservatives to rely on. Texas is next and then the Republicans can say goodbye to their status as a national party. If you fail to change with the changing times you go the way of the dinosaur.
    In Response

    by: mark from: California
    August 29, 2013 3:29 PM
    Dave, the more they are hiding, the more the economy is not benefitting..so if they work legally they can boost more the economy! get it! now, with fake social security numbers, govt is just taking the money..how much more those who has no SS numbers and they will contribute..even you will benefit later on.
    In Response

    by: joel e from: Colorado
    August 29, 2013 2:48 PM
    Any thinking person who has explored this issue knows that it is more complex than that. If the Republicans insist on this kamikaze mission to sink the best chance at meaningful immigration reform in a generation, they can say goodbye to any hopes they have of regaining the White House.
    ===============================
    The Democrats don't mind at all if the illegal aliens run the foreign policy of the United States, or the internal immigration affair of the United States, but American Citizens do mind. And in fact, if you look at reputable polls on the subject (ones that publish the basis for the poll) you will discover the numbers have not changed in a long, long time. 70% of us do not want citizenship, and there is a very ugly feeling about the efforts of the Senate to thug us. Over 60% do not want unlimited, or as many Green Cards. I think the Republicans are going to win, and I think you will be going home.
    In Response

    by: Maddy from: victor
    August 29, 2013 10:37 AM
    There are plenty of Hispanics who will vote Republican ONLY if amnesty FAILS to pass.

    Hispanics aren't stupid, they don't want 20-25 mn new folks competing with them for scarce jobs.

    I'm an immigrant - legal- myself and definitely do NOT support any form of amnesty.

    In Response

    by: Ben from: Seattle
    August 29, 2013 10:03 AM
    Do you know why Hispanics will never vote for the Republicans in large numbers? Its because of you and people like you. Your inability to see this issue in terms other than "amnesty for 11 million illegals." Any thinking person who has explored this issue knows that it is more complex than that. If the Republicans insist on this kamikaze mission to sink the best chance at meaningful immigration reform in a generation, they can say goodbye to any hopes they have of regaining the White House.

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    August 29, 2013 1:37 AM
    I understand republican's position. All laws should be complied and undocumented immigrants are illegal. But at the same time, I feel present status should not be easily ruled out. US has been interested in and aiding foreign people struggling in poverty. I am sure US can afford to educate and offer jobs to undocumented people in its soil. US is a country founded by immigrants from the beginning.
    In Response

    by: Dickie Vee
    August 30, 2013 5:16 AM
    20 million Americans out of work. Trillions borrowed from China and you think the "US can afford to educate and offer jobs" to people who are not even from the country?

    Geeze. Where would we get the money from? No don't tell me, we'll just have the U.S. mint print more money.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora