In an op-ed published by the Washington Post this past weekend, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who will likely become the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee in the next Congress, detailed the support Republican House candidates received from Hispanic voters during the recent mid-term elections. Rep. Smith referred to exit polling that revealed a 9 percent increase in the support of Hispanic voters for House Republican candidates.
Rep. Smith wrote that while the Democratic Leadership is saying Hispanic voters punished Republicans for their mass support of Arizona's immigration enforcement law and saved the Senate for the Democrats, the reality is that 38 percent of Hispanic voters supported Republican candidates - up from 30% in 2006 and 29% in 2008.
Rep. Smith also pointed out that Republican House candidates received a higher level of support from Hispanic voters only once - in 2004. He said that a growing number of Hispanics recognized that the pro-enforcement, anti-amnesty position taken by most Republican candidates line up with Hispanic values.
Rep. Smith cited exit polling conducted by CNN.
Rep. Smith pointed out that Hispanic voters face real challenges in the job market from illegal immigration.
Hispanic workers face the impact of illegal immigration head-on. Among native-born Hispanics without a high school degree, 35 percent are either unemployed, are so discouraged that they have left the labor force or are forced to work part time.
Many Hispanics indeed voted for the very Republican candidates most identified as having a pro-enforcement or anti-amnesty stance. And these Republicans generally did as well as, or better than, the Republicans running for the same positions in the previous election.
To read Rep. Smith's full op-ed, see the Washington Post.