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Hispanic Heresy: What Is The Impact Of America's Largest Group Of Immigrants?

by Angel L. Reyes

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from the book, "Hispanic Heresy: What Is The Impact Of America's Largest Group Of Immigrants?" published by Mead Publishing, January 2009.

Politics and Justice for Hispanics in America

Two pivotal issues need to be understood and addressed as Hispanics expand and assimilate into America: politics and justice. Two treasured cornerstones of being American are the right to free elections and the right to a fair trial. This chapter addresses these concepts.

The Third Rail of American Politics

How will Hispanics affect democracy in America? The Hispanic population is undoubtedly booming. But many Hispanics are ineligible to vote due to the fact that one third of the Hispanic population increase in recent years is a result of immigration. These recent immigrants are not citizens, and therefore, do not have voting rights. Although another third of the increase in Hispanic population growth are American citizens through birth, they are not of voting age yet.

Politically speaking, Hispanic immigrants are similar to the third rail on the New York City subway system. This is the rail that carries power or electricity to run the trains and as such no one dares to touch it. President Bush learned this when he tried to bring undocumented immigrants into the mainstream if they paid taxes, learned English and paid a fine. The Republican base revolted and conservative talk show hosts began screaming, “Just what part of ‘illegal’ do you not understand?”

Today, neither party has embraced a comprehensive solution to the undocumented Hispanic immigrant problem.

Slippery Slope of Immigrants and Minorities

Political decisions on immigrants and racial minorities have become a slippery slope as election issues, because ethnic and racial minorities will constitute the majority of the American voting public by the middle of this century. Political parties will have to become responsive to Hispanics or find themselves in the minority.

Republicans have historically not fared as well with Hispanics as have Democrats. Ronald Reagan only mustered a third of Hispanic votes, while George W. Bush fared slightly better. In the 2008 election, McCain had similar results to Reagan receiving only a third of the Hispanic vote.

Restricting Hispanic immigration on one hand reduces the number of Hispanic voters, but the Republican restrictions on immigration sends an unfriendly signal to Hispanics that they are not appreciated by Republicans. Attempts to make illegal immigration a defining issue such as abortion or gun control is having an adverse effect at the polls as the Hispanic voting population expands.


About The Author

Angel L. Reyes frequently offers his expert advice to the Dallas Morning News and has appeared on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" as well as Fox News. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan and recently completed his Masters in Business Administration in 2008 at Texas Tech University. Reyes is on the board of directors for several Dallas]area organizations including, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit an appointment which came from a unanimous City Council vote, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Executive Committee, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association and the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Reyes currently resides in Dallas, Texas. For more information, please visit www.angelreyesblog.com.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.


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