Wednesday, March 29, 2006

G.O.P. Risking Hispanic Votes on Immigration

The NYT says that:

The battle among Republicans over immigration policy and border security is threatening to undercut a decade-long effort by President Bush and his party to court Hispanic voters, just as both parties are gearing up for the 2006 elections.

But the issue is a delicate matter for Democrats as well. Polls show large majorities of the public both support tighter borders as a matter of national security, and oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. Many working-class Democrats resent what they see as a continuing influx of cheap labor.

The stakes are enormous because Hispanics now account for one of every eight United States residents, and for about half the recent growth in the country's population. Although Hispanics cast just 6 percent of the votes in the 2004 elections, birth rates promise an imminent explosion in the number of eligible voters.

"There is a big demographic wave of Hispanic kids who are native born who will be turning 18 in even greater numbers over the next three, four and five election cycles," Roberto Suro, director of the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center, said. Rest here

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