The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Earls (202) 494-8555

Texas GOP Targets Immigrants, Alienates Latinos and Threatens to Become the New California

Ignoring Demographic Trends, Party Convention Seems Intent on Driving Itself Off the Cliff


At their
party convention this weekend, Texas Republicans embraced a hard-line
anti-immigration stance by calling for
an Arizona-like anti-immigrant law, endorsing a mass-deportation
policy, and pledging support for a repeal of the birthright citizenship
component of the 14th Amendment. Unfortunately for Texas
Republicans, the state's changing demographics ensures that future
political success in the state will be near impossible if the state's
rapidly growing Latino population brands the GOP as anti-Latino.

to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, "Texas
Republicans are a Democratic operative's dream-come-true. Instead of
reaching out to the state's Latino population, Texas Republicans seem
hell-bent on driving away the fastest group of new voters in their
state. Pete Wilson led the California Republican Party over the cliff.
The Texas GOP seems intent on proving the definition of insanity."

find information on the growing Latino population in Texas and Latinos'
expanding political power in the state, as discussed in the America's
Voice report, "The Power of the
Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections
" and the America's Voice
Education Fund report "The New Constituents."

  • Texas Will Owe its New Congressional Seats to
    . Latinos
    comprise 63% of the population growth in Texas from 2000 to 2008 and are
    the single largest reason that the state is projected to gain four
    seats in the U.S. House due to congressional reapportionment after the
    2010 Census.
  • Latino Voters Are
    Increasingly Making Their Presence Felt
    . In Texas, the Latino share of the voter population grew
    between 2000 and 2008 to encompass over one-fifth of the
    electorate. Although Texas has had a large Latino population
    throughout its history, Latino voting registration and turnout each
    jumped by approximately 30% from 2000 to 2008, and the Latino share
    of the overall electorate increased to over 20%.
  • Almost 2/3 Texas
    Congressional Districts are at Least 25% Latino
    . 20 of the state's 32 congressional districts have
    Latino populations exceeding 25%, including TX-21, the district of
    anti-immigration ringleader Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).

America's Voice -- Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform. The mission of America's Voice is to realize the promise of workable and humane comprehensive immigration reform. Our goal is to build the public support and create the political momentum for reforms that will transform a dysfunctional immigration system that does not work into a regulatory system that does.