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.
Below, 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. 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).