The Senate’s immigration rewrite would boost the number of new immigrants eligible to vote by 10 million in 2024 and by 32 million in 2036, according to a new report by the Center for immigration Studies.
The flood of new voters could greatly aid the Democratic party, which won the Latino and Asian voting blocs by more than 40 percentage points in 2012.
“The current level of immigration plus the additions from [the Senate immigration bill] S.744 would create nearly 10 million [extra] potential voting-age citizens by 2024, and more than 32 million by 2036,” said the Oct. 10 report, “How Many New Voters Would S.744 Create?”
The current immigration rate brings in roughly 1 million legal immigrants per year, and will add almost 15 million new voters by 2036, said the report. That inflow will create a 3-million-vote advantage for Democrats in 2036, assuming half of the eligible immigrant voters cast ballots and also that the Democrats maintain their 40-point advantage.
The additional immigrants added by the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill would add another 4-million-vote advantage to the Democrats’ tally in 2036, even if only 50 percent turn out to vote.
The combination of existing and increased immigration could provide Democrats with a 7-million-vote advantage from new immigrants in 2036. That margin is greater than Obama’s advantage of 4.5 million votes in 2012.
The GOP’s leaders in the House have declared they support a major rewrite of immigration law, but have yet to schedule floor votes. Polls show that increased immigration is very unpopular, especially among the voters needed in 2014 to re-eleect the GOP majority in the House.
The GOP’s supporters of the Senate bill have dismissed projections of a big Democratic ballot-box gain from immigration.
Some, such as Grove Norquist, a lobbyist and anti-tax advocate, say the GOP can win the votes of new immigrants with a small-government, economy-boosting platform.
Others GOP supporters of the bill, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, suggest that few of the immigrants will turn out to vote. ”My hope is … they will not apply for citizenship,” Bush told attendees at a June event organized by the Bipartisan Policy Council. “They want to come out of the shadows and be treated with dignity and respect, they don’t necessarily want to be citizens,” he said.
Democrats see the immigrant vote as enormous boost to their future chances. To get that voting bloc, they offer immigrants a greater flow of aid from American taxpayers, and they also offer to use government regulation to raise immigrants’ social status in comparison to native-born-Americans.
“All of the immigrants who come to America, whether it was a month ago or three hundred years ago, all of them bring their hopes, their determination, their optimism for the future, their commitment to family, faith and community,” declared House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a Oct. 8 rally in D.C. for amnesty and immigration.
“In coming here with those American traits, all of the immigrants make America more American. … Thank you for making America more American,” she declared, shortly after leading the crowd of roughly 10,000 legal immigrants, illegal immigrants and union organizers in Spanish-language chants of “Si se puede,” or “Yes we can.”
After passing the Senate in June, the Gang of Eight bill has stalled in the House.