Friday, April 12, 2024

Conservative Hispanics Consider Leaving GOP Following Arizona Immigration Law

In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush captured 40% of the Hispanic vote, the largest percentage for any Republican presidential candidate to date.  He built on his popularity as a Texas governor and on his promise to address immigration in a comprehensive, not punitive manner.

Four years later, despite his long standing position of championing immigration reform, Latino support for 2008 Republican candidate John McCain slipped to just around 30%.  What happened in those intervening years can be seen being played out in Arizona as well as other states across the country as right wing conservatives seize the immigration debate and shape the dialogue in ways that can be seen as anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, and all out racist.

This extreme rhetoric that is leading to the passage of laws such as SB1070 in the state of Arizona is making conservative Latino voters reconsider their allegiances.

In a Wall Street Journal story on the issue, Massey Villarreal, a Houston businessman and past national chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, is quoted as saying, “It’s insulting to have Republican leaders across the country applauding this racist law. I’m sure this is going to hurt the Republican Party.”

He is not alone in his sentiment.  Adam Bustos, is a third-generation Mexican-American, who despite having voted Republican since Ronald Reagan, but is now reconsidering his party affiliation in light of Republicans actions to pass the extreme measure in Arizona that many feel incites racial profiling.

Deedee Blase, a Mexican-American resident of Phoenix who served in the Air Force, and is founder of a group called “Somos Republicanos” said, “Now I feel like we are living in the 1960s, and Arizona is the new Alabama,” she said.

The group, which urged Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to not sign the new law, said the governor’s actions amounted to “a direct slap in the face to Hispanic-Americans.”

Wall Street Journal


  1. Carmelo Junior says

    I’m from Puerto Rico and I support Gov. Brewer initiative 100%.