More Immigration-Related Aspects of the Election

By David North on November 14, 2018

One of the most open-borders groupings in Congress is the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; it consists of both House and Senate members with Asian roots and the three non-voting delegates from American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

It has been growing steadily in recent years, and it will probably soon expand its numbers by either two or three seats in the House, depending on the latest vote counts. Here is a thumbnail portrait of its growth over the last three elections:

  • 2014: 1 senator (Hirono) +11 House members + 3 delegates = 15
  • 2016: 3 senators (adding Duckworth and Harris) + 12 House members + 3 delegates = 18
  • 2018: 3 senators (as above) + 12-15 members + 3 delegates = 18-21

Of the 18 elected in 2016, all were Democrats save Amata Radewagen of Samoa. The three open races involve two people named Kim: Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat, and Young Kim, a California Republican. The third is Gina Ortiz Jones, the only one of the three currently trailing; she is a Texas Democrat and is running in the large district along the Border east of El Paso.

One need not have four Asian or Island grandparents to join this caucus as the names Duckworth, Harris, and Jones suggest. Another member of mixed ancestry is Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), who had three African-American grandparents and one from the Philippines. Ancestral countries include China, India, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Four of the re-elected House members are of Indian origin.

Kansas. Perhaps I should have written "of Subcontinent origin" above, because one of the casualties of immigration policy interest in the recent election, the GOP's Rep. Kevin Yoder (Kansas-3), lost to Democrat Sharice Davids, a Cornell University-trained lawyer.

Besides being an evidently able candidate, and a progressive Democrat, Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin (formerly known as the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe). We will learn more about her immigration policy leanings in the months to come, but I suspect her membership in the Democratic party will be more significant to her votes than any memories of the post-1492 restrictive policies of her ancestors.

Yoder, who served four terms in the House, had a B- (69 percent) immigration-reduction grade from NumbersUSA, and was not particularly prominent in the immigration debate, with one perhaps long-lasting exception. He is the author of HR 392, a bill that would eliminate some of the nations-of-origin provisions in the immigration law, that would be very helpful to people from India and China, and harmful to those from just about every other country in the world, as was explained by my colleague, Jessica Vaughan, in a recent posting.

While the bill, per se, did not make much progress in the House, Yoder managed to insert it into the text of the pending spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security; unless the Senate deletes the wording, and prevails in conference, the provision will complicate our migration policy for years to come. Another possibility is that the wording will go away were Congress to do another omnibus spending arrangement, which would take the place of the specific appropriations bills. .

Illinois. A congressman we will not miss in the years to come is Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a long-serving member with an F- (0 percent) rating with NumbersUSA who was consistently seeking open-borders provisions in the law.

A former member of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, he worked his way up within the Chicago Democratic machine, first as an appointed city official, then as a member of the Board of Aldermen, and since 1992 as a member of the House. He gave up some seniority on another House committee to join the House Judiciary Committee a few years ago; he served on the immigration subcommittee. He made the switch, he said at the time, so that he could devote more time to immigration issues.

This year he declined to seek re-election though he had a heavily Democratic seat in the heart of Chicago. He will be succeeded by Jesus Garcia, another Democrat, who probably will be less active on migration issues. Garcia, in the grand tradition, is also a former member of the Board of Aldermen, as well as the Illinois state senate.

Topics: Politics