DACA: are Republicans about to gift Texas to the Democratic party?
by The Board
Migration can change the democratic balance of power in a state or country for centuries. Like the butterfly effect in physics, where small initial changes can result in large differences at a later stage, a relatively small group of migrants now can change the distribution of political power in the future because there is a relation between ethnicity or religion and political choice. Ethnic or religious preferences in migration policies are unconstitutional. However, a population would lose its democratic right to determine its ethnic, religious and political future if it is forced to accept every migrant regardless of his origin.
We previously 1) covered the impact of Ronald Reagan’s Amnesty Act of 1986, resulting in the shift of California’s population to Hispanic majority and consequentially making the state a bulwark of the Democratic Party, the Republicans’ rival.
We now wonder if the DACA deal, envisaging a path to citizenship for illegal minors currently present in the United States, could have a similar effect on Texas (the state with the second largest Latino population after California), so much so because the DACA has been enlarged from 800,000 individuals to 1.8 million.2)
There are a few questions to be addressed here: it is unclear where the estimate of 1.8 million given by the White House exactly comes from. At the moment, 124,000 of the 800,000 DACA subscribers are from Texas. There are an estimated 1.47 million illegal immigrants in Texas, 24% or 354,000 of which are under the age of 24,3)eligible for the DACA.
Depending on the year they enrolled or will enrol in the said immigration policy, they could all achieve the citizenship status by 2028-30.
Texas has a 10.4 million Hispanic population, 4.8 million of which, i.e. roughly 46%, enjoy voting rights.4)
By 2028, if the immigration trend between 2000 and 2010 holds, Texas’s population will have reached 35.7 million, of which Hispanics will make up 16.5 million. To simplify the reasoning, we apply the previously mentioned 46% eligible voters to the Hispanic population, which translates into 7.6 million eligible voters, to which we add the extra boost of 350,000 “expanded DACA” citizens, which means roughly 8 million Hispanic voters by 2028.
How many Hispanics vote in Texas anyway and how do they vote?
Here it gets a bit messy. The US Census 5) says that in 2016, 40% of eligible Hispanics voted, with a negligible (2.9%) increase from 2012. Others say it was higher.6)
As far as voting habits are concerned, some say the split between Hillary and Trump was 2 to 1, others say it was 4 to 1, with the Hispanics voting predominantly for Hillary.7) Polls did not prove to be exactly accurate, so we’ll continue our analysis with both scenarios.
Although the Texan population would jump from roughly 40% Hispanic now, to 46% in 2028, it will be politically counteracted by a notable low turnout among the Latinos, as compared to the 62% of Whites, 57% of Blacks, and 47% of Asians.8).
We apply the same turnout and voting preferences to a hypothetical 2028 election, with the Texan ethnic composition of 46% Hispanic, 36% White, 13% Black, 5% Asian.
An important note for the results is that these are rough estimations, it is not written anywhere that the 2028 election will have exactly the same turnout and voting preferences by race. Immigration laws may also change the growth of the Hispanic population.
At the current trend however, should Hispanics prefer the Democratic party with a 4:1 rate, then Texas will be blue in 2028. Should the preference be 2:1, however, the race would be tight. Here 350,000 votes could easily pull the lever in shifting the second largest US state in terms of the population from one party to another.
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1. ↑ The dangerous game of demographic change: Reagan’s lost best on Hispanics, Gefira 2017-10-27.
2. ↑ Trump offers to triple Obama’s amnesty number in exchange for tougher security laws, Washington Times 2018-01-25.
3. ↑ Profile of the Unauthorized population, Texas, Migration Policy Institute.
4. ↑ Latinos in the 2016 election, Texas, Pew Research Center 2016-01-16.
5. ↑ Despite high expectations for 2016, no surge in Texas Hispanic voter turnout, Texas Tribune 2017-05-15.
6. ↑ Here’s why US Census numbers likely underestimated Texas Hispanic voter turnout, Statesman 2017-05-17.
7. ↑ Donald Trump did not win 34% of Latino vote in Texas. He won much less, Washington Post 2016-12-02.
8. ↑ Reported voting and Registration by Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: November 2016 , US Census Bureau 2016-11.