Immigrant voters can deliver the Senate for Democrats and save us all

Felicia Persaud | 1/7/2021, midnight
Let’s face it: when it comes to Republicans and Democratic lawmakers in Congress it’s definitely a rock and a hard ...
Felicia Persaud

Let’s face it: when it comes to Republicans and Democratic lawmakers in Congress it’s definitely a rock and a hard place scenario. But the choice for most rational American voters, especially immigrant voters, is clear––we have to bet on the Donkey to stop the Elephant from stomping us into the dust.

On Jan. 5, immigrant voters in Georgia can decide the future of America and the path forward for the Joe Biden administration, by helping Democrats to take back the Senate; just like they’ve helped them take back the White House.

After all, some 480,192 immigrants or 45% are naturalized U.S. citizens and eligible to vote in the state, while immigrant voters from Mexico, India, Jamaica, Korea and Guatemala comprise the state’s top foreign-born voters, according to the American Immigration Council.

Georgia’s eligible voter population grew by 1.9 million, with nearly half of this increase attributed to growth in the state’s Black voting population, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new census data while Black naturalized citizens make up 5% of Georgia’s overall Black electorate.

These immigrant voters and their children, who are also qualified to vote, must vote for all of us in 2021, but they must especially vote for the voiceless––those 20,000 plus DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or DREAMERS, who live there, as well as the estimated 400,000 undocumented immigrants who call the state home.

This is the changing face of Georgia that Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, with their millions and dog whistle politics and policies, do not represent. They represent those who believe the South is still about White Power, and that myth in 2021, could not be further from the truth.

After all, 1.1 million immigrants comprise 10% of the population while one in ten Georgia residents is an immigrant and 7% of residents are native-born U.S. citizens, with at least one immigrant parent.

Further, one in eight workers in Georgia is an immigrant, together making up a vital part of the state’s labor force in a range of industries, especially manufacturing, construction, retail trade and health care, while 88,290 immigrant business owners account for 17% of all self-employed Georgia residents in 2018.

They generated $1.8 billion in business income, while 23% of business owners in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan area are immigrants.

Georgia residents in immigrant-led households have some $26.3 billion in spending power after-tax income even as immigrant-led households in the state paid $6.6 billion in federal taxes and $3.2 billion in state and local taxes in 2018.

Undocumented immigrants in Georgia paid an estimated $563.7 million in federal taxes and $355.2 million in state and local taxes in 2018 while DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals paid an estimated $61.4 million in state and local taxes in 2018.

Immigrant voters can also make history by sending Perdue, Loeffler and Mitch McConnell packing on Jan. 5, 2021. They must deliver for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnoc and save us all from four more years of insanity. Vote again like your life, and all our lives, depend on it, and then let’s hold Democrats accountable to ensure they deliver for us on the issues that matter most.

The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow