In a front-page article in today’s Sunday edition, the L.A. Times tells us that the Latino vote increased heavily in this past election. So much so, in fact, that Texas may be a battleground state in the future. The article explains:
A major shift in the Latino vote took place in Florida and the Southwest, where the Obama campaign spent at least $20 million on targeted appeals and organizing, including one television ad in the final days featuring the candidate reading Spanish from a script.
Latinos made up a greater share of the electorate than in the past in every Southwestern state, according to exit polls compiled by CNN.
What explains these increases? A massive in legal immigration? A massive increase in the turnout of legally registered Latino voters?
Might some part of the increase be due to illegal immigration?
The article seems remarkably uninterested in that last possibility.
The article does drop some hints, such as when we were told of Obama’s campaign: “Much of the campaign’s attention in that effort focused on Latinos in the Rio Grande Valley.” Which, it just so happens, is right next to Mexico.
But the article makes absolutely no effort to determine whether these numbers have been in any way affected by massive increases in illegal immigration over the past several years. Indeed, the subject of illegal immigration comes up only as a way to rebuke Republicans for focusing on it: “Many Latinos, for instance, are angry at Republicans for the harsh anti-illegal-immigration rhetoric used by some in the party in blocking a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.”
Several days ago, I asked you: “What do you think is the single greatest source of voter fraud in this country?” To me, the answer is obvious and intuitive: votes cast by illegal immigrants.
By all accounts there are far more than 10 million illegal immigrants in this country. Most estimates are around 12-13 million; some are 16-17 million; some are as high as 20 million. We have gotten about 500,000 new illegal immigrants per year every year since 2004; from 2000-2004 this number was even higher, ranging from 800,000 to 850,000 new illegals every year.
We all know that these illegals do much of what citizens do: drive, work, receive health care, etc.
Many do these things off the books, driving without licenses and working without documentation. But many others do these things with phony documentation, obtaining fraudulent licenses and filling out work papers with bogus information.
Why wouldn’t they vote, too?
It certainly seems logically possible that there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal votes cast in this past election. If this is true, it is possible that illegal immigrants decided this election.
Tell me where I’m wrong.
But of course, none of this comes up in the article. This is a newspaper that loves to talk about the ills facing our society in general, and Southern California in particular — but somehow, the most obvious cause of those ills never gets mentioned.
P.S. You need to understand that this problem is self-perpetuating. The more illegal immigrants we let in, the more will vote. Even if you utterly discount the idea that illegal immigrants vote, it’s clear that Latinos in general are voting more heavily Democrat because they perceive an anti-immigrant bias from opposition to illegal immigration. See, for example, here (.pdf). This means that, more and more, politicians will feel the need to cater to that constituency. Meaning that our policies will get more and more lax still. Meaning still more illegal immigrants will be let in. And so on.
We have already lost the battle. We lost it long ago.
P.P.S. In the extended entry, I’ll take a quick stab at analyzing some of the numbers that the L.A. Times fails to analyze.
For some states, the article gives specific percentages of increases:
The Latino share of the vote nationally rose slightly from 2004, but the increases were sharpest in a few states: rising from 8% to 13% in Colorado, from 10% to 15% in Nevada, and from 32% to 41% in New Mexico.
Let’s look at Colorado, one of the three states for whom the paper gives numbers — and the linchpin of Obama’s Western state strategy.
According to FAIR, the estimated illegal alien population in 2007 was 270,000, or about 5.5% of the total state population of 4,861,515.
In addition, the number of foreign-born in the population was 508,480, meaning that the percentage of foreign-born who are illegal are 270,000/508,480, or about 53%.
FAIR also says: “The INS (now dissolved into the Dept. of Homeland Security) estimated in February 2003 that the resident illegal population in Colorado was 144,000 as of January 2000.” This means that there are 130,000 more illegal aliens in 2007 than in 2000. If the increase was steady, that would be about 18,571 people per year, or around 75,000 people since 2004.
Due to numbers I gave above, it is not quite a fair assumption that the increase has been steady. In the entire country, illegal alien increases of 850,000 per year from 2000-2004 gave way to increases of 500,000 per year from 2004-2007 — meaning that while there was an average increase of 700,000 per year (the total increase divided by 7) per year from 2000-2007, the average increase from 2004-2007 per year was only 500,000, or 71% of the average increase over the whole 7-year period. So if these numbers were true for Colorado, the average increase from 2004-2007 would be 13,185 illegals per year (71% of 18,571), or a total of 39,555 new illegals since 2004. (Births don’t count, since children born to illegals are considered legal.)
So we have just shy of 40,000 new illegal immigrants in Colorado since 2004.
Meanwhile, numbers from the Denver Post tell us that in 2004, there were 2,424,000 total registered voters in Colorado. 204,000 or those were registered Latino voters, and 165,000 of them voted. In 2007, there were 2,891,000 total registered voters in Colorado, an increase of 567,000. There were now 274,000 registered Latino voters, an increase of 70,000. Of registered voters, 8.4% were Latino in 2004, and 9.5% were Latino in 2007.
Does the increase of 70,000 new registered Latino voters from 2004 to 2007 have anything to do with the fact that the illegal population increased by almost 40,000 since 2004? I don’t know. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all.
At the very least, I’d like to see some discussion of these numbers in the L.A. Times.
I don’t know whether illegal immigrants decided this election. But certainly, if you take into account the phenomenon of legal Latinos voting Democrat because of the issue of illegal immigration, the case is pretty persuasive that this issue decided the election.