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Texas GOP to Hispanics: Separate and Unequal

Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance Contact: Adriana Cadena, Director 915-253-2262




Hispanic Texans are the direct reason for the states increased political clout following the 2010 U.S. Census.

Introduction: The Hispanic Vote

In a political era that has focused much attention on the rising Hispanic vote across the U.S., Texas has proven that the Hispanic vote is up for grabs. The 2010 election sent ve new Hispanic Republicans to the state Legislature and two more to Congress, underscoring the new basic principle of national politics: Democrats cannot take the Hispanic vote for granted, and Republicans must reach out to and respect the Hispanic electorate which will have exponential growth for years to come. Yet, Republicans in the state Legislature continue to give Hispanics the big Texas boot kick out of their political tent. While national Republican Party elders are showing worry over how to reach Hispanic voters without angering the hard-right conservatives that make up their partys base, Texas legislators are marching in lock step away from Hispanics with a policy agenda that ignores the interests of Hispanics. Drunken by the partys successes in the 2010 election, these Republicans have decided they can maintain their hold on the state without regard for issues that are important to most Hispanics and without concern about the projected increase in the Hispanic voter population going forward. In three specic policy areas, congressional redistricting, immigration and voting rights, state Republican lawmakers not only gave Hispanics the boot in this legislative season, but also attached sharp spurs to add injury to insult. The actions and policies of the conservatives disadvantage all Hispanics, regardless of party afliation.


Texas minority population -Hispanics and African-Americans -would be disenfranchised under the new Republican plan.


In this bold display of political pander, GOP legislators are risking the states hospitable reputation and economy by calling for Arizona-style legislation.


The governor signed the nations strictest Voter Identication law that again disenfranchises minority and poor voters. And this time, students and the elderly also are affected.


Eventually, Texas Republicans may come to learn what others are nding out: when it comes to the growing Hispanic vote, the smarter politicians will pay attention to the math.




Texas Population 2000

Texas Population 2010

Other 15%

Latino 32%

Other 17% Latino 38% Non Hispanic White 45%

Non Hispanic White 53%




20.9 million
6.7 millions

2011 25.1 million 9.5 million Source: U.S. Census Bureau and NALEO

Senate District 31 28 25 9 16

Current Senator Kel Seliger (Amarillo) R. Duncan (Lubbock) Jeff Wentworth (San Antonio) Chris Harris (Arlington) John Carona (Dallas)
two-thirds of the states overall population increase. Latinos now make up 38 percent of Texas population, compared to 45 percent for non-Hispanic whites. Across the state, the voting age population of Hispanics cannot be ignored. In the newly drawn state Senate districts, for example, Hispanics can inuence election outcomes, particularly if candidates aggressively reach out to them. Under the current state Senate districts, Hispanic registered voters make up at least 15

Hispanic % of Voting Age Population 32.88% 30.5% 26.5% 26.5% 25.8%

percent in 17 of the 31 districts. In the 19 districts held by Republicans, Hispanics make up at least 10 percent of voters in 11 of those jurisdictions. In the House, 70 percent of the 150 districts as currently aligned have a Hispanic electorate of at least 10 percent. After witnessing the demographic changes during the last decade, Entravision, the Spanishlanguage television network, has added Univision afliates in the new growth markets of Lubbock, Amarillo and San Angelo.

Source: Texas Senate map submitted to Gov. Rick Perry


How Did We Get Here?

Hispanic Texans are the direct reason for the states increased political clout following the 2010 U.S. Census. Texas population grew from 20.9 million in 2000 to 25.1 million in 2010, an increase of 21 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Latino population rose from 6.7 million to 9.5 million during the last decade, and accounted for nearly



Despite Latino and African-American population growth in Texas, their representation in Congress has stagnated.

Diluting The Minority Vote:

Cong ressional Redistricting
The Hispanic growth, coupled with the population shift across the country, guaranteed Texas four new congressional seats and promised that at least two of those seats would be Hispanic opportunity districts. Texas Republicans, however, disregarded Hispanics and even gave up the opportunity to court them by advancing a congressional redistricting map that will likely face legal challenges because it violates the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Texas minority population -- Hispanics and African-Americans -- would be disenfranchised under the Republican plan. Latinos and African-Americans accounted for almost 90 percent of the states population growth during the last decade.

The bold power grab can be seen in the raw numbers: Non-Hispanic whites comprise of 45 percent of the states population, but the Republican map gave Anglo Republicans more than 70 percent of the congressional districts, resulting in a statewide retrogression of minority voting strength, according to the Lone Star Project. The Republicans could have created a new Hispanic district in North Texas. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there are now more than one million Latino voters. Instead, the lawmakers carved out up to eight congressional districts in the Metroplex to dilute the voting strength of Hispanics. In short, Republicans proved they would rather split up and dilute the voting strength of minorities -- particularly Hispanics -- than to try to win their votes.




Putting Hispanics In Crosshairs:

Anti-Immig rant Proposals

Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who wants to enter the GOP presidential primary race, began the legislative session by placing a proposed ban on sanctuary cities on his list of emergency items. However, there is not any emergency, as none of Texas major cities are sanctuary cities Texas police chiefs and sheriffs strongly oppose the measure because it would undermine their community policing efforts, take away time and resources now assigned to solving crimes, and opens the door for systemic racial proling. The sanctuary cities proposal became a cover for GOP lawmakers who wanted to show they could make life harder for immigrants than Arizona, which notoriously enacted a draconian antiimmigrant law in 2010. They did not want to copy Arizona; they wanted to show right-wing extremists they could be tougher. During the regular session of the Legislature, the lead sponsor of the immigration measures, Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Tommy Williams, R-Woodlands, resurrected the sanctuary cities provisions in committee after providing only a one-hour public notice. When Democrats complained that the public should have been given an opportunity to testify at a public hearing, Williams response was short: This is a public hearing. Republicans could not be concerned.

The Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA) brought together a broad, unprecedented coalition of sectors in Texas to pressure legislators. After Democrats successfully blocked GOP lawmakers from passing anti-immigration legislation during the regular session, conservative leaders in the House and Senate re-led the bills during a special session and waited for Perry to add the issue to the special sessions agenda. In this bold display of political pander, GOP legislators are risking the states hospitable reputation and economy by calling for Arizona-style legislation that will lead to racial proling. The measure, which would turn local police into immigration enforcers, would increase the likelihood that Hispanics -- whether native born, legal immigrants or undocumented -- will be targeted for questioning. Such policies do not reduce undocumented immigration. Instead, they increase tension in communities, diminish trust in law enforcement, and undermine the positive economic environment that has been created in recent decades by all communities working together. Arizona is beginning to realize the consequences of its policy and political missteps. Tourism has fallen, conferences have been cancelled and jobs have been lost. The governor was forced to approve funding for an advertising campaign to persuade tourists to return to Arizona. Texas can do better than Arizona, but Republicans have yet to prove it, especially when it comes to their Hispanic constituents.



NEW VOTER ID GOES TOO FAR Voter ID provisions have long been opposed by civil rights activists because of their tendency to keep poor and other traditionally disenfranchised groups from voting. But the Texas voter ID law signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011 goes farther. It has provisions that are likely to keep students and the elderly from the polls.

Voting Rights Under Attack

Perry Signs Voter ID

In a state that has a history of requiring poll taxes and literacy tests for voters, the governor signed the nations most strict Voter Identication law that again disenfranchises minority and poor voters. This time, students and the elderly also are affected, as they are less likely to have photo identication cards. The Texas' voter ID law does not recognize student identication cards or any form of ID except for a drivers license, military identication, passport, concealed handgun license or a specic voter identication card to be issued by the state. Potential voters will have six days to produce a valid ID in order for their votes to count. Texas is one of nine states that falls under the Voting Rights Act requirements to get clearance of election law changes from the U.S. Department of Justice.




Lawmakers Target Hispanics At Their Peril
Hispanic voters are like all voters in that they care about the economy, jobs, education and health care, according to numerous national polls. They also want immigration solutions, not political pandering that results in policy stalemates. What Hispanic voters do not want, is to be treated differently because they are Hispanic. By ignoring Hispanics, Texas Republican legislators are treating Hispanics as separate and unequal. Eventually, Texas Republicans may come to learn what others are nding out: when it comes to the growing Hispanic vote, the smarter politicians will pay attention to the math, because if they dont get the policies right, the math will prove them wrong.


RITA ORGANIZES AHEAD OF SESSION Texans marched to the Capitol in Austin on February 22, 2011 to let lawmakers know that anti-immigrant proposals were opposed by a diverse coalitions in every corner of the state. More than 3,000 people marched that day, the largest demonstration of the 82nd legislative session.