As Hispanic and Asian-Americans account for a growing share of the U.S. electorate — one in four of all American voters by 2020 — Republicans face a political imperative in supporting a path to citizenship for many of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Among Hispanic and Asian-American voters, who gave more than 70 percent of their support to President Barack Obama last year, the establishment of a route to citizenship will be “a key determinant” in how they vote in the 2016 presidential election, a Bloomberg Government study released today shows.
Awareness of the need to re-engage Hispanic and Asian- Americans is driving Republican attempts to revise the nation’s immigration laws this year, with bipartisan groups in the Senate and House of Representatives working on plans. The Democratic- run Senate is taking the lead on legislation, with the chamber’s Judiciary Committee planning a hearing on the matter this week and leaders anticipating floor debate in May.
With Obama insisting on a path to citizenship as part of any comprehensive immigration rewrite, Republicans face another factor in persuading their rank-and-file members to support some form of legalization.