Anti immigration Republican rhetoric

From NY Times :

A memo written by Jim Jordan: The memo — which is marked “CONFIDENTIAL — FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY” — repeatedly insinuates that immigrants could be sex offenders, highlighting a handful of arrests at the southwestern border and of Afghan evacuees.

From Five Thirty Eight:

FL governor DeSantis: “Joe Biden has the nerve to tell me to get out of the way on COVID while he lets COVID-infected migrants pour over our southern border by the hundreds of thousands. No elected official is doing more to enable the transmission of COVID in America than Joe Biden with his open borders policies.”

From Axios:

Nevada Republican Senate hopeful Adam Laxalt touts his opposition to protections for Dreamers. Laxalt is seeking the nomination to run against Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D), the nation’s first Latina senator.

In Ohio, GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance claimed President Biden supported “open borders.” He referenced his own mother’s heroin addiction by saying, “This issue is personal. I nearly lost my mother to the poison coming across this border.”

BUT Voters in the Southwest in recent elections have rejected conservative candidates who have used harsh anti-immigrant language, GOP consultant Mike Madrid told Axios.

Trends in public opinion re unauthorized persons

Americans are sharply divided over legalization of unauthorized persons. (From Civiqs). Keep in mind that 60% of unauthorized persons have resided in the U.S. for at least ten years.

Overall, the division has been stable, turning more towards deportation very recently. These figures are for April. It used to be about 57-32. It is now 53-37

Whites are far less willing to grant citizenship that other racial / ethnic groups.




Strong support for citizenship is concentrated in young people.





Hardly any Republicans support citizenship.




Mexican Americans vs. Cubans in political clout

Mexican Americans are relatively weaker than Cuban Americans in national politics. Mexican Americans account for 11% of the total population but only 3% of Senators and 6% of Congresspersons. Cuban Americans account for 0.7% of the population by 3% of Senators and 1.7% of Congresspersons.

There is 1 Mexican American Senator for every 10 million persons of Mexican descent but 1 Cuban American Senator for every 666,000 Cuban American.

The Senate includes three Mexican Americans — Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Alex Padilla, (D-Calif.). — with the Mexican American population overall of about 37 million people. Roughly a quarter of Mexican-Americans are unauthorized. They were subjected to decades of discrimination. Many have little formal education – until very recently less than 10% of new Mexican immigrants had a college degree. . They are concentrated in states which are not swing states, such as Texas and California.

Cuban Americans, who number just 2 million, are represented by three Cuban American senators: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Large numbers of Cubans, many from elite, mostly white wealthy families, started arriving in the 1960s after Fidel Castro overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista. Over 20% are college educated. They form a potent voting bloc in a swing state – Florida.

Cold War Cuban refugees were given clear and quick paths to U.S. citizenship. Since 1966, the Cuban Adjustment Act treats all Cubans as refugees. Cubans who arrive in the United States are eligible for legal permanent residence one year after arrival. Under a1980 law, certain Cubans are also eligible for welfare benefits similar to refugees. No other nationality group has such preferential or immediate access to green cards and welfare benefits. Cuba has refused to take back its nationals who have been ordered deported.

Mostly from Axios, here.

Central American governments and emigration to US

Juan Orlando Herandez. president of Honduras, was an unindicted co-conspirator in his brother’s trial for drug smuggling into the U.S., and has been reported to having accepted bribes from drug smugglers. Three former attorneys general from Guatemala and El Salvador who have been forced into exile over the past four years.

Excerpts from an article on Central America:

Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are not just poor and violent; they are beset by corruption and ineffectual, often predatory governance. On nearly all of the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, including the effectiveness of government, rule of law, and control of corruption, countries in northern Central America lag well behind even their Latin American and Caribbean peers.

Over the past three decades, irregular migration from northern Central America has steadily grown, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of non-Mexicans (predominantly Central Americans) apprehended at the southern U.S. border—from the low 10,000s in the 1990s to nearly 700,000 in fiscal year 2019. The Biden administration is now bracing for even more irregular migration across the U.S.-Mexican border. Through a series of executive actions, it has begun to reform antiquated border-processing infrastructure and the overtaxed asylum system, slowly unwinding Trump-era policies that eliminated migrants’ ability to claim asylum at the U.S. border and crippled the already limited capacity to deal with increased migration.

The United States cannot, of course, impose change. Rather, it should lift up local actors who are already responding to legitimate, popular demands for better governance. Where governments are open to reform, such as empowering national prosecutors to root out corruption and reforming laws to allow for the collection of more income and wealth taxes, Washington should provide political and technical support for those efforts. But where corrupt governing elites are resistant to change, Washington should partner with civil society.

The Trump administration turned its back on anticorruption efforts led by three former attorneys general from Guatemala and El Salvador, who have been forced into exile over the past four years. The United States must never betray such officials again. Instead, it should create a protection program to allow vulnerable officials and civil society leaders to seek refuge in the United States, signaling clearly that such actors are U.S. allies.

From Central Americans Are Fleeing Bad Governments To Stanch Migration, Washington Must Address a Deeper Crisis, By Dan Restrepo

What happened with the Hispanic and Asian vote in November?

Analysis of the Presidential election by David Shor  In November 2020. Hispanic support dropped by 8 to 9 percent. The jury is still out on Asian Americans. We’re waiting on data from California before we say anything. But there’s evidence that there was something like a 5 percent decline in Asian American support for Democrats. [PFR: Due to social conservatism and anti-Communism of many Hispanics and Asians, I am surprised that the decline is this modest.]

Democrats gained somewhere between half a percent to one percent among non-college whites and roughly 7 percent among white college graduates (which is kind of crazy). Our support among African Americans declined by something like one to 2 percent. And then Hispanic support dropped by 8 to 9 percent. The jury is still out on Asian Americans. We’re waiting on data from California before we say anything. But there’s evidence that there was something like a 5 percent decline in Asian American support for Democrats, likely with a lot of variance among subgroups. There were really big declines in Vietnamese areas, for example.

One important thing to know about the decline in Hispanic support for Democrats is that it was pretty broad. This isn’t just about Cubans in South Florida. It happened in New York and California and Arizona and Texas. Really, we saw large drops all over the country. But it was notably larger in some places than others. In the precinct-level data, one of the things that jumps out is that places where a lot of voters have Venezuelan or Colombian ancestry saw much larger swings to the GOP than basically anywhere else in the country. The Colombian and Venezuelan shifts were huge.

One of my favorite examples is Doral, which is a predominantly Venezuelan and Colombian neighborhood in South Florida. One precinct in that neighborhood went for Hillary Clinton by 40 points in 2016 and for Trump by ten points in 2020. One thing that makes Colombia and Venezuela different from much of Latin America is that socialism as a brand has a very specific, very high salience meaning in those countries. It’s associated with FARC paramilitaries in Colombia and the experience with President Maduro in Venezuela. So I think one natural inference is that the increased salience of socialism in 2020 — with the rise of AOC and the prominence of anti-socialist messaging from the GOP — had something to do with the shift among those groups.

As for the story with Hispanics overall, one thing that really comes out very clearly in survey data that we’ve done is that it really comes down to ideology. So when you look at self-reported ideology — just asking people, “Do you identify as liberal, moderate, or conservative” — you find that there aren’t very big racial divides. Roughly the same proportion of African American, Hispanic, and white voters identify as conservative. But white voters are polarized on ideology, while nonwhite voters haven’t been. Something like 80 percent of white conservatives vote for Republicans. But historically, Democrats have won nonwhite conservatives, often by very large margins. What happened in 2020 is that nonwhite conservatives voted for Republicans at higher rates; they started voting more like white conservatives.

the fundamental problem is that Democrats have been relying on the support of roughly 90 percent of Black voters and 70 percent of Hispanic voters. So if Democrats elevate issues or theories that a large minority of nonwhite voters reject, it’s going to be hard to keep those margins.

Where immigrant communities swung to Trump

The NY Times reports, “Across the United States, many areas with large populations of Latinos and residents of Asian descent, including ones with the highest numbers of immigrants, had something in common this election: a surge in turnout and a shift to the right, often a sizable one, based on a New York Times analysis of voting in 28,000 precincts in more than 20 cities. Biden won in almost all these precincts but the margin for the Democratic candidate narrowed.

In Cook County (Chicago) Biden won by 50 percentage points but 2,158 of immigrant-heavy precincts shifted right compared with 1,508 that shifted left. The Hispanic vote went more towards Trump. In Chinatown, Trump’s vote increased by 34 percent over 2016, while Mr. Biden received 6 percent fewer votes than Hillary Clinton.

In Miami, where a majority of Latinos are of Cuban descent, Biden’s margin of victory was just seven percentage points, down from Clinton’s margin of 29 percentage points in 2016. And two Democratic congresswomen lost their seats there in this election.

Across Texas, the red shifts were most pronounced in precincts with the highest proportion of Latinos. The Democratic margin in 80 percent Latino precincts dropped an average of 17 percentage points. In Houston’s 245 precincts with the largest share of Latinos, turnout was up sharply from 2016, and Trump won nearly two-thirds of the additional votes.

In Philadelphia, precincts in the Northeast — home to a mix of many Asian and Eastern European immigrants — shifted in Mr. Trump’s direction, even though a majority still favored Mr. Biden.

In New York City, where 38 percent of residents are immigrants, most areas shifted right, even though they all remained strongly Democratic. This included virtually every predominantly Latino precinct and ones where a majority of residents are of Asian descent.

In the city’s 100 precincts with the largest number of Latinos, Mr. Trump received 18 percent of the vote this year, compared with just 7 percent in 2016. In precincts with large numbers of residents of Asian descent, turnout was up 20 percent, with Mr. Trump winning most of the additional votes.

California is home to a third of the country’s residents of Asian descent. One of the most drastic red shifts in the country came in Orange County in precincts with many Vietnamese residents, who basically switched sides.

Asian-American votes for President in 2020

The number of Asian eligible voters rose from 4.6 million in 2000 to 11.1 million in 2020, and from 2.4% to 4.7% of the electorate. This is how they voted for President in November.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund reported that Asian Americans favored Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a margin of 68% to 29%. There was no gender gap between Asian American men and women, with 67% of women and 66% of men voting for Biden and both groups supporting Trump at 31%. Only 35% of Asian-Americans had a favorable view toward Trump.

27% were first-time voters; 73% were not first-time voters. 54% were registered Democrats; 16% were registered Republicans; 27% were not enrolled in a party; and 3% were enrolled in another party. 27% were native-born U.S. citizens; 73% were foreign-born naturalized citizens.

Generally speaking, Asian-Americans who are U.S. born and are English-proficient were more likely to vote for Biden.

Some Asian-American groups were heavily pro-Biden, others voted more for Trump. Almost all Arab voters voted for Biden. Given their high concentration in Michigan, they likely explained the 85% pro Biden vote by Asian-Americans in that state.

Asian Indians voted for Biden by 72% to 26%.

Vietnamese and Cambodians voted Trump over Biden. These voting patterns were not explained; perhaps they are due to a high level of anti-Communist sentiment compared to other Asian-American populations. (Also, Koreans in Georgia voted for Trump over Biden.)

In Georgia, Asian Americans chose Biden by 62% to 36%. In the U.S. Senate races, Asian Americans voted for Democratic candidates over Republicans by a margin of 61% to 34%.

Immigration and the electorate 2000 to 2020

The Center for Immigration Studies summarizes the growth of the immigrant-related eligible voter population (both naturalized adult immigrants and their U.S.-born children):

Nationally, the number of voting-age citizens who are immigrants or their children increased by 71 percent, while the rest of the potential electorate grew by just 15 percent between 2000 and 2020. As a share of eligible voters, immigrants and their children increased their share from 14 percent to 20 percent.

As a share of eligible voters, between 2000 and 2020 adult immigrants and their adult U.S.-born children increased the most in New Jersey, from 23 percent to 36 percent; Texas, from 14 percent to 25 percent; Maryland, from 12 percent to 23 percent; California, from 33 percent to 43 percent; Georgia, from 4 percent to 13 percent; Virginia, from 7 percent to 16 percent; and in North Carolina, from 4 percent to 12 percent.

Immigration post-Trump

I have not posted since before the election. Now is time to make some initial observations on what the election results mean for immigration policy.

The starting point is the removal of a president with the most coherent immigration policy in generations – a policy basically to cut the inflow of immigrants in half, across the board, but with a tilt in favor of those with high formal job skills. And, this policy is to be run almost entirely through executive order, relying very little or not at all on Congressional approval.

The president replacing him is an immigration inclusivist, without expressed policy choices that would give liberals, moderates, and perhaps even some fiscal conservative much heartburn.

A key point to make today that there is little public support for the Trump policy of severe cutback in immigration. It appears to be supported by only his fervent supporters, and even then only a segment of his fervent supporters.

John Hibbing, in his 2020 book The Securitarian Personality, has polled Trump supporters. His key restrictionist followers are what Hibbing call “securitarians.” They are generally financially comfortable, have a good sense of well-being, and are preoccupied with threats to the country’s well-being and safety as they see it. One of the leading threats to them are immigrants who take advantage of America’s wealth. In one sense, their view is correct: overall, immigrants gain economically vs. their chances in their country of origin more than the U.S. economy appears to.

In the graph below, we see how Trump supporters feel threatened by immigrants a lot more (this is not being personally threatened, but the fabric of true America being threatened). The population segments are Liberals, Moderates, Conservatives who are not strong Trump supporters, and Trump supporters.


The next graph shows that immigration is the most important issue for Trump supporters.