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More Listening, Less Labeling: The ‘Hispanic’ vote is AGAIN not about MORE Immigration…and BOTH parties still don’t get it

author Published by Christy Shaw

Jonah Goldberg asks and answers his own question:

So why would I enjoy it if Hispanics voted decisively for Trump? Because it would make some people look like idiots and force pretty much everyone to re-think their locked-in positions on not just immigration, but identity politics in general.

I agree with him, at least what he says in this article. But even he, along with the rest of the media, have too often at other times assumed that Hispanics will vote for the candidate, most often a Democrat, who offers amnesty and increases in legal immigration. Now Goldberg, at least in this article, seems to be recognizing some flaws in that assumption.

Media hype and members of both parties for far too long want to neatly wrap and label a very large and disparate group of Americans Spanish-speakers – or those who trace their origin to Spanish-speaking countries – as “Hispanic,” and claim that most all of them share the same views on immigration. This is not only incorrect, but very wrong. A recent Rasmussen poll of LIKELY “Hispanic” voters shows the following:

  • 54% of Likely “Hispanic” voters support a reduction in immigration
  • 65% of Likely “Hispanic” voters DO NOT support an increase in immigration

Ryan Girdusky brought attention to an op-ed in The New York Times citing a poll that asked voters how “convincing” they found arguments against illegal immigration and the negative effects it has on their communities.

Almost three out of five white respondents judged the message convincing. More surprising, exactly the same percentage of African-Americans agreed, as did an even higher percentage of Latinos.

The authors were despondent with those results because, according to their logic, certain groups aren’t supposed to hold certain views.

The obsession with saying “Hispanics” think this or that, takes away from them as first and foremost being Americans. And as the Rasmussen poll has shown consistently in the past and in this most recent result, the majority of Americans who identify as Hispanic want a strong border and reductions in immigration.

Consider for example, the potential for wide disparity among say, Cuban-Americans’ voting preferences and Mexican-Americans. Their cultural and historical experiences, whether or not they are 1st or 10th generation Americans, and even how they arrived in the U.S., legally or illegally, have a significant impact on how they choose to vote. And consider also as an example, that Puerto Ricans ARE U.S. citizens by birth, or how an illegal alien’s and a 5th-10th generation Hispanic-American’s views on immigration are possibly going to be oh-so different!

While Goldberg in his more recent article linked above, seems to have taken this into account for the current election cycle, he has not always done so. Coming into home stretch for election 2016, he clearly grouped “Latino” voters (that was his label of choice for the previous election apparently) almost entirely in the camp of Hillary Clinton. Read the article here.

I was a Spanish and French language teacher for 20 years in public and private middle and high schools. I have spoken to many Spanish-speaking colleagues and friends, as well as NumbersUSA members from Latin America, Mexico, Cuba and even Spain. They ALL have expressed frustration with the fact that the media and politicians want to insist on treating them as outsiders.

NumbersUSA is a nonpartisan place for civil discussion about the need to lower immigration. And what matters most in that important discussion is the numbers. The number of people we reasonably should legally allow to immigrate into the United States on a yearly basis to achieve and maintain a stable population.

Americans should be treated equally regardless of where they were born. Neither race nor ethnicity should be factors in setting or debating immigration policies. This has always been a core value of NumbersUSA, and it sure should be for politicians and the media who attempt to speak on behalf of any American. If political parties actually cared about and listened to what individual voters want, they would see that Hispanic voters in poll after poll want less immigration, significantly less.

Let’s stop focusing so much on forcing labels on people, and focus on the numbers. Numbers count and sensible immigration policies defined in those terms only, will get us a lot closer to a more equal and equitable outcome for the good of EVERY American.

CHRISTY SHAW is the Member Services Manager for NumbersUSA

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