Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Trump creating an opportunity for Democrats to lead on immigration

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

The president’s purge of Homeland Security leadership this week does two things: first, that whatever might be called the Administration’s immigration policy has become hostage to a Mexican border enforcement policy, one which the courts have repeatedly curtailed and to a fight with the countries of origin for migrants at the border. Second, the shakeup is punishing the congressional Republicans, who are more attuned to the complexities of immigration on America’s main streets. Congressional Republicans have no independent voice on immigration.

This gives to congressional Democrats an opportunity to show leadership on immigration – something they have avoided — and likely will continue to avoid. Is there any Democratic presidential candidate whose immigration views are known, much less designed to lead as opposed to react?

An immigration policy needs to take into account three things: the impact on the United States, the impact on the countries of origin, and the migrants themselves.  Democrats have a golden opportunity to articulate a constructive, achievable approach to all three.

The Democrats could show (probably will not) an awareness of both the pluses and minuses of immigration today in America. The minuses generally involve problems in cultural integration.  They could show (this will be easy) a better understanding of how to work with Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, the key countries of origins. And they could give a lot more attention to crafting immigration policies which place the right emphasis on who is admitted (limiting family related immigration to immediate family and expanding economic categories of immigrants).

 

The divergence over immigration

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Democrats and Republicans largely thought alike about immigration until after around 2010. A widening gap grew not only over immigration, but also over other issues such as over race and racial justice. Democrats have moved much more left since about 2010.

From an article in Vox

 

Immigrant representation in Congress: 68

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

14 members of Congress are foreign-born and 54 are children of immigrants in the 116th Congress. That’s 16% of the Senate (16) and 12% of the House (52).

19 represent California, or 35% of that state’s entire representation. California’s population is ¼ foreign born, and contains ¼ of all foreign born persons in the country.

Newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and fled with her family in 1991 after the country’s civil war started. Her family spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya and later moved to America, where she became a citizen in 2000. Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., was born in communist Poland before coming to the U.S. at age 6 with his mother.

Others had parents who fled their native countries. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., was born to a Polish mother who survived the Holocaust and came to the U.S. in 1950. Rep. Joe Neguse, also a Democrat representing Colorado, was born to Eritrean parents who fled their country in 1980 when it was embroiled in war with Ethiopia.

The countries most represented by current or children of immigrants are: Mexico (13), Cuba (8), Germany (6), and India (5).

Under the U.S. Constitution, an immigrant taking office in the House must be a U.S. citizen for seven years or more, age 25 or older and living in the state where he or she is elected. Nine years of citizenship are required to serve in the Senate, and the person must be 30 or older and live in the represented state when elected.

By the authors of this study: “In this analysis, we examined lawmakers’ birthplaces and parentage through news stories, obituaries, candidate statements, and congressional and genealogical records, as well as contacting congressional staff.”

From Pew Research.

The standoff

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

Trump’s base hates DACA. The polls give a confused picture with much Republican ambivalence until one gets to Ann Coulter and Stephen Miller. Trump wants to keep the DACA people hostage, and the Dems in Congress will not agree to a wall unless the entire DACA community gets permanent protection. The entire DACA eligible community is about 2 million, far more than the roughly 700,000 already enrolled, and permanent protection downstream entails tricky situations where the normalized DACA people seek legal status for their unauthorized parents.

If this sound like an explosion in the making it is. But Trump does not want a comprehensive solution to immigration and certainly not a national commission to come up with solutions, because it removes the issue from his control.

A national commission would take into account security, e-Verify, legal immigrant targets, temporary visas, etc. and last beyond 2020, and would probably involve suspension of the Trump Administration’s administrative changes such as “public charge” criteria for awarding green cards.

The key is if a bipartisan solution can be found in the Senate.

 

Why Trump is fighting over The Wall

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

The Wall is smack dab in the center of the movement of voters switching between the two parties in successive Novembers. People who voted for Obama, then Trump, and then voted Democratic in November 2018 are the “switcher” voters today.  A poll reveals that Trump’s Wall is not just aimed at his base, but at the relatively small band of voters who switch.

David Leonard of the NY Times interpreted a poll of switchers this way: “People who voted for both Barack Obama and Donald Trump are closer to loyal Republicans on immigration and gun control — but much closer to loyal Democrats on health care, jobs and education.”

The poll categorized voters along a spectrum of loyal Democrats to loyal Republicans, with switchers in the middle (those who switched in any direction the past few elections. It asked about building The Wall:

“Our preliminary results suggest that many voters who swung to Democrats in 2018 are to the right on the issue of border security. While straight Democratic voters oppose increasing border security, including “building a fence along part of the US border with Mexico” by a 66-7 margin, Obama-Trump voters who swung Democratic support increased border security by a 63-12 margin, up to a 73-13 margin for Romney-Trump voters who swung Democratic in 2018.”

I assume that Trump understands this dynamic, which is why he has raised building a wall to the level of a national crisis. the switchers want The Wall, by a not overwhelming majority.

Abolishing ICE

Switchers do not want to abolish ICE: “Respondents across the political spectrum opposed abolition of ICE. While loyal Democrats narrowly supported outright abolition of ICE, every other group of voters on net opposed abolition. We note that while abolition of ICE is typically couched with a reminder that border-related crimes in fact remain crimes with or without ICE, and would be pursued as such by traditional law enforcement agencies at the Federal, state, and local levels, here we simply asked respondents whether they approved or disapproved of outright abolition. That said, there is not presently widespread political support for abolishing ICE.”

Time line of the citizen census question

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

 

The Census Bureau’s current plan

The Census Bureau plans to use the same wording as what is already used in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which asks respondents to check one of five categories to describe their citizenship status. Three categories apply to people who are U.S. citizens at birth: born in the U.S., born in a U.S. territory, or born abroad with at least one U.S. citizen parent. People who say they are a naturalized U.S. citizen are asked for their naturalization year. The fifth category is “not a U.S. citizen.” The survey does not ask whether noncitizens are legally in the country.

1880 – 1950 Census includes question about citizenship. Question then was dropped.

January 20, 2017.  Trump Administration begins.

May 2017. Commerce Secretary Ross expresses frustration that his plans to introduce a citizenship question are not being supported (reported by NY Times). “I am mystified that nothing has been done in response to my months-old request that we include the citizenship question,” he groused in a May 2017 email to an aide tapped out on his iPhone. “Why not?”

July – November 2017. Ross conversed with Stephen Bannon and Kris Kobach. Koback recommends that the Census use the same question as that used in the American Community Survey. Sept. 17, Justice Dept responded to Ross that “the AG is eager to assist.” On Nov. 23, Ross joined Mr. Trump for Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, Upon his return, he fired off another message to his general counsel. “We are out of time,” it read. “Please set up a call for me tomorrow with whoever is the responsible person at Justice. We must have this resolved.” (per NY Times)

September 20, 2017. Internal Census Bureau memo discusses respondent confidentiality concerns.

November 2, 2017. Internal Census report warned of adverse impact of citizenship questions.” CSM researchers have noticed a recent increase in respondents spontaneously expressing concerns about confidentiality in some of our pretesting studies conducted in 2017. We recommend systematically collecting data on this phenomenon, and development and pretesting of new messages to avoid increases in nonresponse among hard-to-count populations for the 2020 Census as well as other surveys like the American Community Survey (ACS).”

December 12, 2017. Justice Department wrote the Census asking that a citizenship question be re-instated in the 2020 census.

December 29 2017 Pro Publica reported that The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them.

March 20, 2018 Ross told the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee that the insertion of the question had been initiated “solely” by officials at the Justice Department, with no involvement from officials in the White House. “Has the president or anyone in the White House discussed with you or anyone on your team about adding the citizenship question?” asked Representative Grace Meng, Democrat of New York. “I am not aware of any such,” Mr. Ross testified.

March 26, 2018 Department of Commerce announced that a question on citizenship status will be reinstated to the 2020 decennial census questionnaire to help enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Press release said that “Secretary Ross’s decision follows a request by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 decennial census.”

March 26, 2018 The state of California sued the Trump administration Monday night, arguing that the decision to add a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census violates the U.S. Constitution. The state’s attorney general acted just after the Commerce Department announced the change in a late-night release. The lawsuit is here.

April 3, 2018 The District, Virginia, Maryland and 15 states filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block the Trump administration from adding a last-minute citizenship question to the 2020 decennial Census. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, also includes six cities and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors and comes a week after California sued the administration over the same issue.

July 3, 2018 Judge Jesse Furman of Manhattan’s Southern District allowed a multistate lawsuit to move forward amid “strong” evidence that the Trump administration acted in bad faith in its push for a controversial citizenship question to be added to the 2020 Census, plaintiffs in the case said. Furman also granted a request for discovery, according to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, whose office filed the case on behalf of 18 states, the District of Columbia, nine cities, four counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

July 17, 2018 Furman allowed a lawsuit to move forward against the Trump administration over its controversial decision to add a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census.

Furman ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did in fact have the authority to add a citizenship question on the census. But the way in which he carried out that authority, the judge said, may have violated the plaintiffs’ rights to equal protection under the law. Ross’s decision to add the citizenship question, the judge said, “was motivated at least in part by discriminatory animus” and by President Trump himself.

Furman said the plaintiffs gave plausible evidence that U.S. officials intended to discriminate against immigrant communities, driven by President Trump’s incendiary statements about immigrants of color.

September 21, 2018 A federal judge ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to sit for a deposition in a lawsuit challenging Ross’s addition of a question about citizenship to the U.S. census.

November 2, 2018 The Supreme Court refused to delay a trial in which a number of states and civil rights organizations allege there was an improper political motive in Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

November 5, 2018 Trial began.

Hispanic voters in Florida growing fast

Monday, November 5th, 2018

The number of Hispanics eligible to vote in Florida has reached a high of nearly 3 million this year, up from 2.9 million from 2016. As of August 31, there are about 837,000 registered Democrats, 775,000 unaffiliated voters, 527,000 Republicans for a total of 2,139,000 or about 70% of eligible Hispanic voters.

Nationwide, eligible Hispanic voters register to vote much less (57%) than the national average (70%).

Since 2010, all registered voters have increased every two years by an average of 3.9%. Hispanic registered voters have increased by an average of 11.8%. Today they account for 16.4% of all registered voters.

Some of the Hispanic voter growth may be due to Puerto Ricans. Puerto Ricans have been the state’s fastest-growing Hispanic-origin group over the past decade. The state’s Puerto Rican population now rivals that of New York, the main destination of the mid-20th century’s migration from the island. They make up a third (31%) of Florida’s Hispanic adult citizens, a similar share to that of Cubans (31%),

Since the 2016 election, the number of Hispanics registered as Democrats has increased by 5%, approximately twice the 2% growth rate for Hispanics registered as Republicans. The number of Hispanic registered voters with no party affiliation has grown the fastest (14%).

From Pew Research

Breitbart and Trump’s immigration ideas

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

With the arrival of a key Breitbart executive to the top ranks of the Trump campaign, count on a high-decibel nativist assault on immigrants and immigration by Trump. A large part of the Breitbart publication’s content is devoted to immigration topics such as “the refugee resettlement industry.”

A typical article, published on August 16, starts with:

The politically powerful refugee resettlement industry is accelerating its propaganda campaign to significantly increase the number of Muslim refugees allowed into the United States with a rally in Washington, D.C., on August 28. “You have got to hand it to them (to the likes of George Soros and big progressive funders like the Tides Foundation), they know how to promote a propaganda campaign,” Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch says of the August 28 event.

The financial backers of the rally include most of the big political players in the lucrative refugee resettlement industry, where government funded “voluntary agencies” [VOLAGs] receive more than $1 billion from taxpayers annually to resettle on average 70,000 refugees each year in the United States.

Among those rally sponsors on the VOLAG federal gravy train are the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (whose local affiliate is currently embroiled in the Twin Falls, Idaho refugee rape controversy), Church World Service, the International Rescue Committee, World Relief, HIAS (formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), the Episcopal Church, and the Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc…….

The Hispanic vote in Arizona in 2016

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Republican presidential candidates have won Arizona in the past four elections, getting 54% of the vote in 2012. As of today FiveThirtyEight predicts 46.4% for Trump, 46.3% for Clinton, and 5.9% for Johnson. How might the Hispanic and other minority vote affect the outcome?

The Hispanic vote is credited with moving New Mexico into the Democratic column, and it may well be determinative this November in Nevada and Colorado. Arizona is on the edge.

Romney won 53.5% of the vote in Arizona in 2012. Obama won 74% Hispanic vote then, according to exit polls by NBC.

The Center For American Progress Action Fund, in a December, 2015 analysis of six states, says that the Latino population in Arizona increased from 13% in 1980 to 33% today. Whites, today 55% of the population, are 66.7% of eligible voters and 74% of the electorate. Latinos, with 33% of the population, make up 22.6% of eligible voters and 18% of actual voters. (Nationwide, Latinos may account for 12% of the entire presidential vote in November.) Asian/other voters are 7.7% of eligible voters in 2016.

The Pew Research Center reported national polling results that Clinton is well ahead of Trump among Latinos, but the spread varies among voter segments. Among millennials (18 to 35 year olds) – who make up 44% of all Hispanic eligible voters – Clinton leads 71%-19%. Her advantage is roughly as large (65%-26%) among older Hispanics (those 36 and older). Among Hispanic women, 71% say they support Clinton while 19% say they support Trump. By contrast, among Hispanic men, 61% support Clinton and 30% support Trump.

Clinton holds an 80%-11% lead among Hispanic voters who are bilingual or Spanish-dominant (those who are more proficient in Spanish than English); these voters make up about 57% of all Latino registered voters. However, among the smaller group of Hispanic voters (43%) who are English-dominant – those who are more proficient in English than Spanish – just 48% back Clinton (41% would vote for Trump).

 

Six common features of the 1920s and the 2010s on immigration sentiment

Monday, July 11th, 2016

The 1920s can help us understand  immigration’s hold on public opinion and politics during the 2010s.

One: Disruption. Both periods were burdened with war’s aftermath. And the speed of corporate innovation in the consumer economy alarmed and today alarms many.

Two: New immigrants. Both periods experienced huge surges in immigration from new sources, which contributed to disruptions and also served as a simplified explanation for troubles.

Foreign immigration had surged since the 1880s, the peak year being 1907, when 1.3 million people entered legally. (That’s equivalent to over 4 million new immigrants a year now.) Germans had been the dominant source; Eastern and Southern Europeans and Jews took over. Since the 1980s, non-Europeans have dominated immigration.

Three: Black-white relations were a factor. Then, migration of a million southern blacks to Harlem added to anxiety that white dominance was under siege. Now, conservatives demonize Black Lives Matter.

Four: Purity, pollution and order. Then, white racial purity movements flourished. Now, Donald Trump launched his campaign by castigating the morals of Mexican immigrants. He encourages conspiracy thinking.

Five: Intellectuals’ ambivalence, shown by avoidance. Then, as also now, liberal media often avoided the issue of cultural cohesion, focusing on economic inequality and class. The liberal media today also overlooks today economic disruption of immigration.

But some intellectuals added to support for curtailing immigration. In 1922 John Dewey said, “The simple fact of the case is that at present the world is not sufficiently civilized to permit close contacts of people with widely different cultures without the deplorable consequences.” He said that tighter immigration would allow for “rest and recuperation.” Today, some intellectuals are calling for lower immigration to preserve cultural cohesion, but none of Dewey’s stature.

Six: National politics becomes ethnic. Then, the Democratic Party discovered the national ethnic vote — New York Governor Al Smith’s 1928 presidential campaign won the major cities. This northern bloc of Democrats paired with Southern Democrats in 1932 to give the election to Roosevelt. Now, Reps and Dems fret over the Hispanic vote.

Jefferson Cowie’s The Great Exception (2016) illuminates some of these themes. Cowie holds that the New Deal would not have happened except for closing the borders to immigrants by the 1924 Act and exclusion of blacks from full labor and political participation.