The myth of the Latino vote

In a time where every Republican politician is seemingly bending over backward to court the “Latino” vote, an article by the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza takes exception with the idea that the Latino vote actually exists.

Citing numbers from the recent election and the work of his colleague, Carlos Lozada, Cillizza builds a case that immigration reform may not be of any help to the Republicans come election time.

He cites a number of factors, including census inaccuracies, national heritage, and the fact that immigration is low on the list of priorities for the average “Latino” voter.

“… there is no real “Latino vote” but rather a series of smaller splinters — based largely around country of origin — suggests that the current tendency in politics to treat all Hispanics with a broad-brush message may be missing the point.”

Cillizza makes a strong case that the work being done right now by more moderate immigration voices in the Republican Party won’t actually pay off in the way they are hoping it might. He argues that there will likely not be much of a political impact for the Republicans based on the new set of immigration reforms they are working so hard to pass.

I would take Cillizza’s reporting one step further and say that while there may not be much of an impact from the “Latino” community, Republicans may face fierce push-back from their base over the just passed Senate legislation. The perception of the immigration reform package pushing for amnesty before securing our borders will drive a large portion of the Republican constituency mad.latino_vote-2012-MMXLII

Further, Cillizza’s observations seem to reinforce the idea that Lindsey Graham and John McCain are much more interested in optics for the Party than they are in actually promoting conservative principles and values. They are willing to pass bad legislation in the hopes they win a few more votes instead of sticking to conservative values and pushing for legislation that will actually solve the problems we face.

I am all for immigration reform. I am all for a more open and fair immigration system that allows for more legal immigration. However, the package that the Senate just passed and the House will seek to pass is not reform. It’s more of the same. It’s pouring billions of dollars into a broken system without ensuring that the government will have to follow through with their promises of enforcement.

And there is no end in sight.