Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert Believes that Working Class Hispanics Support Strong Border Measures

On July 1, 2021, Texas congressman Louie Gohmert went on Newsmax’s “Cortes & Pellegrino,” hosted by Steve Cortes and Jenn Pellegrino, to talk about immigration policy.

In his appearance on the Newsmax show, he declared that working class Hispanics living on the Texas side of the border are in favor of stronger border security.

Gohmert declared,  “These are people [who] love God, they loved family, and they’re hard-working. And they are just now, many of them, getting to realize, ‘Wow, I think I fit more in the Republican Party. I seem to have more in common with them.”

Republicans have had recent successes along the border with Tejanos, a more Americanized segment of the Hispanic population who likely have ancestors that settled the area more than two centuries ago, as witnessed by Trump’s gains with them in 2020 and the surprising performance Republicans had in the McAllen mayoral race in 2021. BLP covered the latter, which indicates some movement on the part of Hispanics toward the Republican Party. Although they’re clearly not going to be voting majority Republican anytime soon, they can still move around the margins depending on the election cycle.

Though the current border crisis is likely waking up many Hispanics to the validity of having border security. Gohmert has picked up on this, saying that McAllen “seems to be largely Hispanic” and that residents of this city “want people to obey the law. I’ve had so many conversations with many of the people, locals here. And they want somebody enforcing the law.”

Gohmert may actually have a point with regards to Hispanics’ desire for stronger policies against uncontrolled immigration. According to a 2020 poll run by Washington Post and the University of Maryland, 69% of Hispanics were in favor of stopping all immigration. 

As the present border crisis grows, Gohmert said that many of the people in McAllen seem to be coming around to the idea of border security. Recent statistics bear out a growing border security disaster. According to figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which date back to October 2018, there was a record number of 180,034 encounters. Of those encounters, 14,158 involve unaccompanied minors.

On a more intriguing note, New York Magazine had a report that observed “asking voters whether they lean toward Biden and Trump, and then emphasizing the Democratic position on immigration, often caused Biden’s share of support among Latino respondents to decline. Meanwhile, Democratic messaging about investing in schools and jobs tended to move Latino voters away from Trump.”

Republicans need to start getting serious about migration. Even their intellectual idols such as Milton Friedman understood that uncontrolled migration could have a devastating impact in the context of a welfare state. With Hispanic areas gradually shifting to the Republicans, Republicans should ignore any of the conventional wisdom regarding Hispanic outreach and double down on America First populism as their outreach strategy. It’s very unlikely they’ll lose Hispanic votes doing so. In fact they might end up picking some more Hispanic votes in the process.