In short, yes. Here’s why:
First of all, according to a Pew Research Center study, Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in America. Latinos outpace their Caucasian counterparts in the baby-making department by two percent.
Latinos make up 16 percent of the American population. After blacks, they are America’s largest minority, and they are getting bigger.
Despite American Latinos (as a demographic that is, obviously individual values vary) sharing many similar values with the values the Republican Party pays lip service to—religious devotion, family orientation, pro-business views, etc.—they tend to vote Democrat. In fact, according to a CBS poll, 71 percent vote Democrat. That’s an overwhelming majority.
Why is that?
To answer that question, you’ve got to find understand what issues are important to Latinos.
In another Pew Research Center survey, researchers found that 32 percent of Latinos polled consider immigration reform to be “extremely important.”
However, it’s not the most important thing to Latinos. When asked to rank the importance of five issues—the economy, education, health care, national debt and immigration—immigration came in last. But compared to other demographics tested, Latinos are far more likely to consider immigration reform “extremely important.” For example, only 17 percent of Asian Americans felt the same way.
Still, Democrats have historically enjoyed the reputation as the party for minorities. And their recent championing of immigration reform only solidifies this line of thinking. Furthermore, the Republican backlash against immigration reform, and their continued efforts to “secure the border” with militarized border patrol agents and the National Guard, 1,800 mile-long fences and more and more illegal immigrant detention facilities continues to solidify their reputation as xenophobic and elitist. It can only continue to turn the tide of Latino votes toward the Democrats.
As the Latino voting bloc grows, and they see only two parties to choose from, which one do you think they’ll choose? Obviously it’ll be the Democrats.
So, for the Democratic Party, immigration reform legislation is as good as a golden ticket to another generation of votes.