Immigrant Politics Harmful to the Republic's Health

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on March 28, 2011

We're now seeing develop immigration-provoked political mischief. Here comes the next round of adverse political effects caused by mass immigration.

An article in Saturday's Washington Post indicates that identity politics plus reapportionment plus redistricting equal an ugly power struggle coming to America. This imbroglio will disenfranchise native-born Americans and enable the identity politics of the Left that undermine America's "out of many, one" ideal and heritage.

The foreboding lead sentence of the Post article warns: "For Anna Alicia Romero and other Hispanic activists, the release of final census numbers this week signaled the official start of an audacious new campaign: securing as many as 10 new Hispanic congressional districts across the country."

Immigration has added some 13.1 million new residents over the past ten years. Combined with births to immigrant women, that means immigration drove three-fourths of U.S. population growth this past decade. Though from many nations, the largest number of immigrants come from Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America, as well as Mexico. This phenomenon constitutes a sizeable bloc sharing a similar culture. Thus, all the attention by the news media, politicians, businesses, certain labor unions, Catholic and Protestant religious denominations, and the like to "Hispanics" and Hispanic growth in the U.S. population.

The Constitution requires that congressional seats be reallocated after every census. The once-a-decade reapportionment of seats among the states leads to each state's redrawing legislative jurisdictional lines according to population.

In the post-civil rights era, this reasonable adjustment has devolved into a recurring, bitter battle. (Ironically, the newcomers whose ancestors never faced the slavery and Jim Crow discrimination that American blacks did now appropriate the civil rights-era legal tools for their own political grab, at the expense of native-born blacks.) Racial and ethnic identity zealots fight dirty, leveling charges of racism and vigorously hurling ugly names against political opponents who resist the race- and ethnic-fixated groups' demands.

A quote from the Post story shows the full intention of the Latino lobby to wage no-quarter political warfare in this round.:

"We know as the Latino community that power is not given away. Power is taken," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials . . .

Those sure sound like fighting words.

Further, "Romero's group, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, is now preparing legal strategies in the likely scenario that many of the maps will have to be sorted out in court." Open-borders activists schooled in leftist tactics don't like the timing or outcomes of the democratic process. They prefer to sue their way to victory – with the help of judicial activists overrunning the will of the people as expressed through republican government.

In addition, new congressional lines are drawn on the basis of total state population (including U.S. citizens, legal immigrants, and illegal aliens). "'Any percentage that you're doing on Hispanic gets cut almost in half when you look at citizenship status,' said Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services and a redistricting expert." Yet, even illegal warm bodies get counted in redistricting under current law. They may not have a right to vote, or even to be here, but their presence tilts the political map nonetheless.

Where non-citizens are lopped in with citizens in bigger numbers, this dilutes the votes of other U.S. citizens. "If, as I suggest, one person, one vote, protects a right uniquely held by citizens, it would be a dilution of that right to allow noncitizens to share therein," wrote Judge Alex Kozinski in dissent in the 1990 case Garza v. County of Los Angeles. Thus, we end up with "rotten boroughs," vote dilution, and gross distortion, if not misallocation, of congressional apportionment and district line-drawing – on account of mass immigration, ethnic identity politics, and deliberate agitation based on race and ethnicity.

This hateful, cynical political activism empowered by legal immigration running at four times the traditional level, coupled with large-scale illegal immigration, attacks the health of America's body politic. To paraphrase Milton Friedman, it's just obvious that you can't have free immigration and a healthy, functioning republic.