Posted on June 2, 2011

Hispanics Like Law and Order, Too

Lamar Smith, Politico, June 1, 2011


But in the 1986 election, after a Republican president signed into law the largest amnesty for illegal immigrants in American history, only 23 percent of Hispanics voted for Republican candidates.

More recently, a November 2009 Zogby poll found that 82 percent of likely Hispanic voters strongly or somewhat support reducing the illegal immigrant population over time by enforcing existing immigration laws, such as requiring employers to verify the legal status of workers and increasing border enforcement.

Exit polls reported by CNN reveal that 38 percent of Hispanic voters cast ballots for House Republican candidates in 2010, significantly more than in 2006 (30 percent) and 2008 (29 percent). And this level of Hispanic support for Republican candidates came despite widespread pre-election claims by advocates for illegal immigration that a pro-rule-of-law stand would alienate Hispanic voters.

{snip} Voters elected Susana Martinez governor of New Mexico, Brian Sandoval governor of Nevada and Marco Rubio to the U.S. Senate from Florida. All are Republicans.

And these Hispanic candidates come from states with large and growing Hispanic populations. According to 2010 census data, states with the largest Hispanic share of total population include New Mexico (46 percent), Texas (38 percent), California (38 percent), Arizona (30 percent), Nevada (27 percent) and Florida (23 percent).

Voters also elected five pro-enforcement Hispanic Republicans to the House of Representatives: {snip}

How did Republican candidates appeal to Hispanic voters? They focused on the fundamental values of patriotism, rule of law, freedom, family, support for small businesses, jobs and education.

The pro-enforcement movement is not anti-Hispanic; it is pro-rule-of-law. Time and again, American voters–including Hispanics–have defeated amnesty attempts, including the 2007 comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Contrary to the claims made by some, the record shows that Republicans will continue to attract Hispanic voters, and more Republican Hispanic candidates will be elected to public office. {snip}

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.