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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

The New Blue/Red Divide

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I've written several times in the past regarding how northern and primarily Democratic states are generally more friendly to immigrants than their Republican counterparts. For example, in the last vote on comprehensive immigration reform, of the 28 votes cast in the Senate in southern states, 23 voted against the bill. Reform would have passed easily were these states out of the mix. And today we're seeing the hostility continue with the red states passing draconian anti-immigration laws (Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, for example) and responding to DACA by making it clear that even with a valid work card and documentation that they are not going to be deported, drivers licenses will not be issued. On the other hand, we're seeing states like Illinois and California quickly moving in the opposite direction.

The election of 2012 may change the dynamic, but probably only in states where Latino voters have reached a critical mass and can alter election outcomes. That might be why Texas and Florida are not acting like other Southern states. It's why New Mexico's Republican governor has stopped pushing to end the state's law allowing people without status to get licenses.

All this may change if we get immigration reform, but lest people think that Republicans in Congress and people like Mitt Romney are single handedly responsible for pushing Latino voters to the Democratic Party, they need to look at the broader party. It's going to be a painful future for the GOP if state legislators and governors fail to change as well.

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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Nope...the New Union/Confederate Divide. The Last Stand of the Racist White Southerners and the GOP's Bigoted Southern Strategy. Just in Illinois...the state is moving more and more into the Democratic column because the GOP panders more and more to the racist southern whites who are still fighting the Civil War.
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