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.
Andrew R. Arthur of the Center for Immigration Studies compares the two candidates on immigration. While his analysis is very — actually, too — brief, he promises more posts on the comparison.
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. (There remain 8 million Asians who are either not citizens or are citizens but under the age of 18).
Their party affiliations vary. Vietnamese Americans are more likely than Asian Americans overall to identify as Republican (42% vs. 28%). Indian Americans are the most likely to be Democrats of any Asian origin group, with 50% identifying as Democrats and just 18% as Republican. In 2018 poll, 64% of Vietnamese approved of Trump’s performance vs 28% of Indians and 24% of Chinese.
Based on polling between July 4 and August 16, 2020, among all those who had decided on a candidate to support in the upcoming Presidential race, 65% support Biden and 34% support Trump. These results are consistent with past trends.
Hispanics comprise about 13% of the eligible voters, and rising. From 2004 though 2018, the number of vote-eligible Hispanics rose by 66% even though the entire population of the U.S, grew by only 10%. That is an annual increase of 3% of Hispanic eligible voters, vs. an absolute decline in white eligible voters. These trends will continue for some years.
But Hispanics are poor in registering to vote: only 40% of eligible Hispanic voters get around to register and vote, compared with 55% for whites. Much of this can be explained by whites being older and with more formal education, factors associated with higher voting rates.
Hispanics favor Trump much less than do whites, The national spread between Biden and Trump is about 10% (i.e. 53% favor Biden and 43% favor Trump.) The pro-Biden spread among Hispanics is more like 30%.
The spread among Hispanics varies by state and country of origin. Hispanic men are far more likely than women to favor Trump. For example, in the most pro Trump state in the nation among Hispanics, the Biden – Trump spread Florida is Latina 17%, Latinos 10%.
Favorable to Trump (by men and women combined), by country of origin, are South Americans 39%, followed by Cubans (33%), Puerto Ricans (21%, Mexicans (18%), Central America (14%) and Dominicans (11%). Approval of Trump among Hispanices rises with level of education.
See here, here, here, here and here.
The chances of Latinx (Hispanics) greatly influencing the presidential election are significant in six states. Six states have relatively high Latinx population shares and are battleground states. They are (with the total pop share that is Latinx, 2018 estimates) Arizona (32%) , Florida (26%), Nevada (29%), North Carolina (10%), Pennsylvania (8%), and Texas (40%)
In all of these states Latinas are far more inclined to prefer Biden over Trump. Among Latina, the Biden – Trump averages around 30%. This is higher than the total woman margin for Biden (15% or higher). But the margin for Biden among Latinos is as low as 10% in Florida and North Carolina, and is not higher than 23% in all these states.
Of these six states the one with the smallest Biden margin is Florida(Latina 17%, Latino 10%) and the one with the highest Biden margin is Pennsylvania (Latina 44% Latino 23%).
I reviewed the relatively high growth on Latinx voting eligible people here.
This week’s Republican convention does not include a new platform statement. Here are highlight’s from the 2016 platform, as described at that time by the Migration Policy Institute:
The platform, for the first time in recent history, asks for a reduction in legal immigration by arguing that “it is indefensible to continue offering lawful permanent residence to more than one million foreign nationals every year.”
It contains two central themes embraced by presidential nominee Donald Trump since he made immigration a centerpiece of his campaign: building a wall on the southern border and screening immigrants from certain countries or with certain religious affiliations.
It calls for walling off the entire 2,000-mile border.
The platform advocates “special scrutiny” for foreign nationals seeking admission from terror-sponsoring countries or “regions associated with Islamic terrorism.”
In a major departure from one of Trump’s primary themes, and in a concession to the standard party position, the platform is silent on enforcement measures against the estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants—refraining from taking a stance on the candidate’s call for mass deportations.
And it seeks major revisions of the criteria for granting refugee or asylum status—by limiting protection to “cases of political, ethnic, or religious persecution.” The United States is one of 145 signatory countries to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which defines a refugee as someone fleeing persecution based on “reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”
Elsewhere, the platform reprises the traditional fare of prior blueprints, but with a sprinkling of the more hard-edged rhetoric common today. These include preventing states from issuing licenses to unauthorized immigrants, mandatory five-year prison sentences for illegal re-entry, penalizing states and localities that are commonly known as “sanctuary cities,” and recognizing the role of states in immigration enforcement.
Between 2000 and 2018 the number of Asian immigrant eligible voters doubled from 3.3 million to 6.9 million. Asian Americans are projected to make up 4.7% of U.S. eligible voters in 2020. (Go here).
Asian Americans used to be split between Democratic and Republican, back in 2000, roughly 55% Dem / 45% Rep. Since then affiliation with Dems soared, to 77% vs 17%. What happened? Possibly two things. One is that the voting eligible Asian-Americans, who are much better educated than the country overall (50% have at least a college degree), probably swung with higher educated people towards the Dems. Second, voting eligible Asian Americans are more female – 54% / 46% — and women tend to be more Dem. These trends are sharply shown by a 65% / 30% preference for Dems among college educated women. (Go here.)
Only in Hawaii do Asian Americans account for a larger share of eligible voters than any racial or ethnic group. They make up 38% of the state’s eligible voters, by far the highest share in the country. California has the next highest share with 14%. Among Asian American origin groups, U.S. Indian eligible voters ($139,000) have the highest median household income, while Burmese Americans ($69,000) have the lowest. (84% Indian immigrants speak English well, vs 49% of Burmese immogrants.)
Hispanics underperform in national elections. But there are more of them, and they appear to be better educated then in a past
Nearly a million more Hispanics Americans turn 18 every year. That’s roughly an annual increase of 3% of Hispanic eligible voters, vs. an absolute decline in white eligible voters. In 2018, Hispanic Americans made up 12.5% of eligible voters nationwide (28.8 million). They make up 30% and 29.8% of eligible voters in California and Texas, respectively, and almost 1 in 4 eligible voters in Arizona.
Many Hispanic eligible voters are immigrants. But the share that are born in the U.S, which was 73% in 2010, grew to 79% in 2018.
But Hispanics are poor in registering to vote: only 57% of Hispanic eligible voters registered to vote in 2012. Voters / total eligible is about 55% for whites, 40% for Hispanics. Much of this can be explained by whites being older and with more formal education..Both are associated with higher voting reates. U,S. born Hispanics have much higher educational attainment than immigrant Hispanics,
From The New American Economy, Power of the Purse: The Contributions of Hispanic Americans
Also go to Pew Research here.
Why don’t people register to vote? Go here.
Bernie Sander’s position on immigration reflects a deep skepticism about globalization. He has taken positions to support the legal and economic protections of low wage immigrants, is squarely in favor of granting unauthorized workers citizenship status “within five years,” and supporting family reunification-related immigration But (per his website) he takes no position on immigration of skilled workers and guest worker programs. And he opposed NAFTA, which led to more integration of the Mexican and American economies including their workforces.
If president, I expect that he will attempt to reverse all of Trump’s executive orders but also take the position that immigrants take jobs from Americans.
His historical record on immigration reflects the ambiguous position of Democrats on immigration. Unions until the 2000s often were opposed to immigration that appeared to compete with Americans for jobs. Democrats became increasingly more supportive of immigration. After 2010, Democrat turned. much more positive than Republicans about immigration (prior post here).
He voted against 2007 immigration bill, even though it promised legal status for unauthorized immigrants. The failure of passage resulted in the almost complete breakdown in bipartisan approach to immigration and to the extensive use of executive orders by Obama and then Trump to make immigration reform without Congressional approval. His vote supports the notion that Sander is not one to work toward compromise on difficult issues.
The bill was the last serious effort for some kind of comprehensive immigration reform, and compromise between the goal of normalization of status and enforcement. Supporters included Senator Kennedy and the senate Dem and Rep leadership. (An analysis of the bill is here.)
Vox writes that “Sanders broke with prominent Democrats to oppose a key comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2007 that would have provided a path to citizenship for millions of unauthorized immigrants living in the US. He opposed measures to increase the number of guest workers and offer green cards to citizens of countries with low levels of immigration. And he once voted for an amendment supporting a group of vigilantes that sought to take immigration enforcement into their own hands along the border (though he has since disavowed the group.)”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was trouncing other candidates with Latino and Hispanic caucus-goers in Nevada, according to NBC News entrance polling results that showed him with 53% of the vote with that demographic in the seven-person race. (From USA Today)
Latinos are the fastest growing group of eligible voters in the country, increasing at about 3% a year. 63% of 2020 Latino caucus-goers said in entrance polls they were attending their first caucuses.
The entrance polls showed former Vice President Joe Biden at 16% of the Latino and Hispanic vote, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 9%, billionaire activist Tom Steyer with 8% and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 7%.
Overall, Sanders leads among nonwhite voters as well. Nevada, the third state to vote, is the first with a significant minority population. About three in 10 Nevadans are Latinos, 10% of the population is black, and 10% is Asian American and Pacific Islander.
Vox said that Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez calls him “Tio Bernie.” His Latino support is grounded in policies that appeal to Latino voters: immigration, health care, and the economy. His immigration plan, which he has framed in the context of his signature issue of worker solidarity, is arguably the most progressive of the Democratic fiel
His immigration plan is certainly the longest.