House Deportation Vote Won't Hurt GOP

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 06:43 AM

By Elliot Jager

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A House vote on Friday to speed the deportation of illegal migrant children probably won't hurt the GOP in the midterm elections, The New York Times reported.

"Hispanic voters may be flexing their growing political muscles in presidential elections, but they have far less sway over the composition of the House or the Senate, particularly in 2014," Nate Cohn of the Times wrote.

Party prospects for attracting Hispanic support were setback when the Republican-controlled House on Friday passed measures that would speed the deportation of illegal migrant children and rescind President Barack Obama' s authority to put off the expulsion of other illegals, the Times said.

At a news conference held by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus after the vote, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, speaking in Spanish, said that Republicans "want to punish our community. And the punishment will be reciprocated with a political punishment. Be sure that we are not going to forget the bad treatment that our community has received," The Washington Post reported.

There are few Hispanic voters in the most competitive Senate battlegrounds, according to the Times.

Hispanic voters comprise 5 percent or less of the voters in eight competitive states. In the ninth, Colorado, where Hispanics comprise 15 percent of voters, most anyway lean toward the Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall. Besides, his GOP opponent Rep. Cory Gardner broke with fellow Republicans to vote against the bill restricting Obama's authority.

The measure is unlikely to become law because of opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House.

The composition of the House is also beyond the influence of Hispanic voters. Hispanics are a negligible force in Republican-controlled districts while Republicans have long given up on districts where they do hold sway, the Times reported.

As a result of how congressional district lines are drawn by state legislatures, "half of all eligible Hispanics live in just 65 of the nation's 435 congressional districts. Most of these districts are noncompetitive," Cohn wrote.

The bottom line is that, "The country's growing Hispanic population has little influence on congressional Republicans," Cohn concluded.

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