Immigration Continues to Transform the American Electorate
Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies released a new report on how immigration has changed the U.S. electorate.
Camarota has used data from the Census Bureau to demonstrate this emerging demographic shift.
Effectively, mass migration, which includes adult immigrants and their adult U.S.-born progeny, has made significant changes to the American electorate since 2000. Such changes have largely been concentrated in a few states such as Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. In these states, larger shares of the electorate are made up of immigrants or their children.
In this analysis, eligible voters consist of all citizens, both naturalized or American born, who are 18 years or older. The CIS study looked at the share of eligible voters who are naturalized citizens or those born in America with at least one immigrant parent.
Camarota provided a brief overview of what the immigration numbers look like:
- As a share of eligible voters, between 2000 and 2020 adult immigrants and their adult U.S.-born children increased the most in New Jersey, from 23 percent to 36 percent; Texas, from 14 percent to 25 percent; Maryland, from 12 percent to 23 percent; California, from 33 percent to 43 percent; Georgia, from 4 percent to 13 percent; Virginia, from 7 percent to 16 percent; and in North Carolina, from 4 percent to 12 percent.
- Proportionally, immigration has had the most transformational impact on the electorate in states of the South. The share of potential voters who are immigrants or their children increased more than three-fold in North Carolina and Georgia. It doubled in Virginia and Kentucky, and it nearly doubled in South Carolina and Maryland.
- The growth in numbers between 2000 and 2020 in North Carolina and Georgia is by far the most striking. In North Carolina, the number of eligible voters who are immigrants or their children increased by 355 percent — while the rest of the potential electorate grew by just 22 percent. In Georgia, the number increased by 337 percent — while the rest of the potential electorate grew by only 17 percent.
- Nationally, the number of voting-age citizens who are immigrants or their children increased by 71 percent, while the rest of the potential electorate grew by just 15 percent between 2000 and 2020. As a share of eligible voters, immigrants and their children increased their share from 14 percent to 20 percent.
- While the general trend has been for the number of immigrants and their children to increase rapidly, this has not been the case everywhere. In New Hampshire, Kansas, South Dakota, Montana, and North Dakota the number of voting-age citizens who are immigrants or their children fell between 2000 and 2020.
- Reflecting the uneven growth throughout the country, there remain 12 states where immigrants and their children are less than 6 percent of potential voters.
- Nationally, in 2020 about half (48 percent) of the voting-age people of what the Census Bureau used to call “foreign stock” are immigrants and the rest are U.S.-born children with at least one immigrant parent. All of those we identify as naturalized U.S. citizens are assumed to be legally present in the United States. However, some share of naturalized citizens are former illegal immigrants who were awarded citizenship in 1986 as part of the IRCA amnesty or subsequent amnesties. Others are former illegal immigrants who received green cards over the years as part of the “normal” legal immigration process.
Migrants tend to vote Democrat by substantial numbers and do pose a threat to the GOP’s ability to win elections in the long-term. Some Hispanics are beginning to break free from the Democrat’s identity politics spell and pull the lever for Republicans. Many South Texas Hispanics recognize that Mexico is a failed state and want nothing to do with open borders policies that could potentially destabilize their localities. Hence, their support for Trump.
Regardless, immigration restriction should still be a key point of any serious nationalist movement. Democrats should be denied a voting base and the current crop of migrants should be allowed to assimilate the same way their late 19th century predecessors did after the U.S passed immigration restriction in the 1920s.
The GOP should not run away from this issue.