Hispanic activists vow to flood voter rolls with 1 million immigrants, punish Trump, GOP at polls

–  – – – –

   Immigrant rights activists have vowed to sign up 1 million immigrants — mostly Mexicans — for citizenship and then quickly register them to vote in time to punish Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans at the polls in November for their harsh rhetoric.

The advocates say the new voters could make a difference in the presidential race, where most of the Republican field has tacked to the right in word and policy, and in key Senate races in Illinois and Florida, where Republicans will be reaching to hang on to critical seats.

With nearly 9 million legal immigrants already eligible to become citizens, the 1 million goal is not far-fetched. The activists say they are counting on


“This is a huge amount of latent power,” said Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans, the group he and other leaders announced Thursday at the National Press Club.

The effort is funded in part by the Open Society Foundation, the project of liberal billionaire George Soros.

Hispanic leaders insist they are ready to flex political muscles commensurate with their size as the second-largest racial or ethnic group in the country behind whites.

Hispanic immigrants, however, have shown a lower propensity to naturalize in the U.S. and have lower turnout rates overall than other demographic groups, challenging the community’s leaders to get them more motivated.

They hope Mr. Trump has taken care of that for them this year with his stern stance on illegal immigration.

An estimated 8.8 million immigrants have been in the U.S. for at least five years as legal permanent residents, making them eligible to apply for citizenship, according to a study by the Center for American Progress. They are heavily Hispanic, and 30 percent of them are Mexican.

That was the population Mr. Trump appeared to target when, in announcing his campaign, he vowed to crack down on illegal immigrants. He said Mexico sent rapists and other bad elements of society to the U.S.

The advocates are also counting on citizens to rally on immigration — particularly young Hispanics whose families are touched by the debate over President Obama’s executive actions.

Mr. Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty carved some 700,000 illegal immigrant Dreamers out of any danger of deportation and gave them work permits and access to Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses.

The president’s November 2014 plans would have granted that same status to as many as 3.7 million illegal immigrant parents — though courts have halted the action as an illegal use of executive power.

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat and top Hispanic leader, said when he speaks to high school students who are citizens, they are eager to defend their friends’ status. He also said many of those millions who stand to gain tentative legal status under the 2014 plan that is being blocked are parents whose own children or other relatives are eligible to vote.

“The undocumented are in the same families as the legal permanent residents and the U.S. citizens,” Mr. Gutierrez said. “Those families are going to mobilize.”

Hispanic immigrants, however, have shown a lower propensity to naturalize in the U.S. and have lower turnout rates overall than other demographic groups, challenging the community’s leaders to get them more motivated.

They hope Mr. Trump has taken care of that for them this year with his stern stance on illegal immigration.

An estimated 8.8 million immigrants have been in the U.S. for at least five years as legal permanent residents, making them eligible to apply for citizenship, according to a study by the Center for American Progress. They are heavily Hispanic, and 30 percent of them are Mexican.

That was the population Mr. Trump appeared to target when, in announcing his campaign, he vowed to crack down on illegal immigrants. He said Mexico sent rapists and other bad elements of society to the U.S.

The advocates are also counting on citizens to rally on immigration — particularly young Hispanics whose families are touched by the debate over President Obama’s executive actions.

Mr. Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty carved some 700,000 illegal immigrant Dreamers out of any danger of deportation and gave them work permits and access to Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses.

The president’s November 2014 plans would have granted that same status to as many as 3.7 million illegal immigrant parents — though courts have halted the action as an illegal use of executive power.

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat and top Hispanic leader, said when he speaks to high school students who are citizens, they are eager to defend their friends’ status. He also said many of those millions who stand to gain tentative legal status under the 2014 plan that is being blocked are parents whose own children or other relatives are eligible to vote.

“The undocumented are in the same families as the legal permanent residents and the U.S. citizens,” Mr. Gutierrez said. “Those families are going to mobilize.”

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: