Re: Latino political behavior continues to be shaped by immigration policy and politics
David Damore’s piece on voting behavior and immigration policy highlights a major problem for Republican candidates going forward: as the Latino population in the U.S. continues to grow, and as immigration policy continues to be critical to the voting behavior of this demographic, how can Republicans hope to remain relevant and continue winning elections in this new America?
The answer is simple: have courage and vote with conviction. Trump’s views on immigration are not representative to the views of many, or even most of the Republican party. The average Republican is much more moderate on immigration than Trump, and many genuinely want to see reform. This has been especially true with Texas Republicans – who could forget the primary debate beating that Rick Perry took during his 2012 presidential bid for his support of the Texas Dream Act?
So if Republicans are more moderate on immigration than we thought, why is the perception of them so opposite? Trump certainly hasn’t helped, but the roots of this perception are older than that. Before Republicans face a general election, they must first win a primary – and in order to do that they must take a hard swerve to the right on issues across the board, including, unfortunately, immigration. For Republicans afraid to vote their conscience on immigration for fear of being primaried, I have this to say: You’re right. Voting with conviction on this issue could very well cost you a primary election. However, if you and other members of your party don’t stand up and defend your beliefs, you risk losing the nation’s largest growing demographic – a demographic that won’t stay a minority for much longer. If the Republican party has any hope of staying alive in the new America, they must start prioritizing general elections before primaries.
There’s no better time than the present – Republicans across the nation should stand up and commit to working on bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform in the 2017 legislative session. That is why I will be hosting a Student Lobby Day on behalf of FCNL, a faith based lobby group, on Friday, September 23rd, to lobby the local offices of Senator John Cornyn and Senator Ted Cruz – we will be asking them to commit to working on reform in 2017, and you should too. Senator Ted Cruz can be reached at (202) 224-5922, and has a McAllen office at 200 S. 10th St, Suite 1603 McAllen, TX 78501. Senator John Cornyn can be reached at 202-224-2934, and has a Harlington office at 222 East Van Buren Suite 404 Harlingen, TX 78550. The Rio Grande Valley has over a million voices – let’s use them!
Re: Registering prisoners to vote
South Texas county election officials should visit local and county jails, and begin a campaign to register qualified voters. If 18, NOT convicted of a crime, a United States citizen and Texas resident, the prisoner is eligible to register and vote. The officials will, of course, have to explain absentee ballots – how to request them, and then submit the resultant ballots. A wonderful step would be to bus the eligible prisoners to early voting sites in their respective counties. In a state, and particularly South Texas, where eligible voters often do not vote, and where millions who can register and do not, the prison suggestion is a small step in increasing the vote.
Eugene ‘Gene’ Novogrodsky