Immigrant voting power is on the rise and it has reached historic heights this decade, making it THE swing vote to be feared by the right, which has spent all of the past four years via the Xenophobe-in-Chief bashing and scapegoating immigrants.
According to the Pew Center’s analysis of Census Bureau data, the November 2020 U.S. presidential race will have a bigger share of eligible foreign-born voters than any other election in more than a century. This year, naturalized immigrant voters will make up more than 23 million U.S. voters, or about 10% of all eligible voters, up from 6% in 2000, according to Pew.
For the first time as well, Latino and Asians will make up the electorate’s largest racial or ethnic minority. At 7.5 million, Hispanics account for 34% of all immigrant eligible voters in 2018, slightly up since 2000. The 6.9 million Asian immigrant eligible voters make up 31% of the foreign-born electorate, also slightly up since 2000. This as a News Americas’ News Network’s analysis of the latest Department of Homeland Security data that shows that over 1 million Caribbean immigrants, many of whom make up a large swathe of the Black voting bloc, became naturalized U.S. citizens over a ten-year period from 2008-2018.
The three states with the highest share of foreign-born eligible voters are California, New Jersey, and New York, which traditionally goes Democratic, but immigrants now make up more than 14% of the electorate in swing states that matter such as Florida and Nevada. Caribbean immigrant voters are especially dominant in Florida and New York as well as parts of New Jersey and Massachusetts, the DHS data reviewed by NANN showed.
Immigrant voters are also making a difference in certain parts of Arizona, Texas, and Georgia and Johnson and Polk counties in Iowa are emerging as new immigrant hubs as well as Twin Falls, Idaho (8.5%) and Cass County, North Dakota (6.8%). Two-thirds have lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years and 63% are proficient in English.
Most of all, between 2009 and 2019, 7.2 million immigrants naturalized and became citizens, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In fiscal year 2018 alone, the middle of Donald Trump’s reign of terror on immigrants, more than 756,000 immigrants naturalized.
So, now you know why Donald Trump is fighting to keep the Census undercounted and to make it harder for minority voters to vote. It is a fact that most immigrant voters vote Democratic, a fact that scares Trump, whose administration has spent the past five months delaying citizenship dates to swear in many immigrants who would be able to vote in November. Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric coupled with his fueling of hate and xenophobia nationally have led to an atmosphere where immigrants in America are the new victims of Nazism and fascism in 2020.
Immigrants from Mexico make up the single largest group, at 16% of foreign-born voters, a community that Trump began his 2016 campaign by denigrating as “rapists” and “murderers” and riling up his base of largely non-college educated white men, with his “Build the Wall” chant.
Contrast that with the Brookings Institute and a PBS news report from Domenico Montanaro that says Trump’s base of non-college educated whites is lower this year than the last election as college educated white voters, Black voters and immigrant voters are rising. According to the PBS report, white working-class voters have dropped by four points from 2016 to 2020, going from 45% in 2016 to 41% as a share of eligible voters.
No wonder Trump is afraid and in overdrive to sow fear, discord and distrust in the democratic process that has worked well for years before he showed up. Now it’s up to immigrant voters to stand up to Trump by voting like their lives depend on it and sending him packing on Nov. 3, 2020.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.