A couple days ago, Buzz Brockway mentioned the issue of illegal immigration in one of his posts. There is an interesting article in this month’s Georgia Trend on the topic. Tom Crawford mentions the incredible growth of Georgia’s Hispanic population, and the increase in political involvement among this group.
This is a particularly touchy subject for the GOP – do you appease the conservative base by enacting laws denying government services to illegals OR court Hispanic voters by allowing illegals the use of these services? Illegal immigrants contribute little to the state’s financial coffers and are a drain on social services. But, as Tom Crawford points out, alienating these individuals by enacting laws perceived as anti-immigrant could open the door for Democrats who are actively courting this increasingly important group of voters.
During his time as Governor of Texas, President Bush enjoyed considerable popularity among Hispanic voters in that state. In his second run for Governor of the Lone Star State, Bush received upwards of fifty percent of the Hispanic vote according to some estimates. These elections should be case-studies for GOP success among Hispanics in this and other states.