The number of foreign-born naturalized citizens U.S. citizens eligible to vote in November 2012 is important to Democrats and Republicans alike. According to data released Thursday by the Immigration Policy Center, South Carolina, where the next GOP primary will take place on Jan. 21, is home to at least 218,000 immigrants, 30 percent of whom are naturalized citizens. Florida, according to the data, is home to almost 3.8 million immigrants, and almost 49 percent are naturalized citizens.

The report adds, “There are few states where the growing political and economic clout of immigrants, children of immigrants, and Latinos is as apparent as Florida. Immigrants (the foreign-born) account for nearly 1 in 5 Floridians, and close to half of them are U.S. citizens eligible to vote:

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The Pew Hispanic Center issued a report (.pdf) this week that shows that approximately 75 percent of the 39 million people who comprise the foreign-born population living in the U.S. in 2010 are Hispanic or Asian.

In late December, the Pew issued the results of a national survey that indicated two things:

  • By a ratio of more than two-to-one, Latinos disapprove of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations of unauthorized immigrants
  • That heading into the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama and the Democratic Party continue to enjoy strong support from Latino registered voters

Latino organizations have been at odds with the Obama administration’s support for and implementation of the immigration enforcement program Secure Communities. However the United Farm Workers of America officially endorsed Obama’s reelection this Thursday.

“We are proud to endorse President Obama in this historic year during which the UFW celebrates its 50th anniversary,” said UFW President Arturo Rodriguez. “President Obama stands with farm workers and immigrants. His administration is fighting against mean-spirited partisan legislation and gratuitous attacks by Republican politicians against hard-working, tax-paying immigrants who are among the most vulnerable people in our society.”

GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney said that if elected he would veto the DREAM Act, and according to Fox News praised South Carolina’s immigration enforcement law, which is facing a federal lawsuit.

The DREAM Act would grant people who entered the U.S. illegally before the age of 16 conditional permanent resident status for a period of six years, after which they would be eligible to become legal permanent residents if they obtain at least an associate-level college degree or serve in the military for two years.

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