The wall and the issues surrounding our southern border continue to make headlines, but immigration has already caused dramatic change to other parts of the nation as well.
According to a recent piece in the New York Times, rising immigration to California’s Orange County has led to a total transformation in the area. This once conservative stronghold is now home to a Democrat majority.
Immigration has been impacting Orange County for four decades; according to the most recent reports, about 30 percent of the county’s residents are foreign born. These immigrants are not coming from Mexico and South America, though; they have arrived from Asia and Central America over the last 30 years. This increase has triggered significant change in the area when it comes to voting, as the results from the most recent elections make clear.
According to the New York Times, falling numbers of white voters coupled with the dramatic increase in immigration has lead to the change, which spans 7 congressional districts.
“In 1980, whites made up 75 percent of the population in the district where Mr. Cisneros won. By 2017, that number dropped to 30 percent. The county’s immigrant population grew five times as fast as the general population between 1980 and 2000, and while the pace of immigration has slowed, the Latino and Asian populations continues to increase, driven by the children of immigrant families born in the United States.”
The result of these sweeping demographic changes was a total change in the way the region votes about key laws, measures and taxes. This particular county was once solidly and overwhelmingly Republican, and it slowly changed over time to become a slight Republican majority – then eventually a tossup between Democrats and Republicans. Today, the county is considered strongly Democratic.
Both the 46th District (40% foreign born) and the 47th District (30 % foreign born) seats are now held by Democrats. The remaining seats that flipped to Democrats recently range from 20-30% foreign born population.
Congressional districts in many areas continue to change when impacted by new populations and new arrivals. Democratic candidates generally benefit when an area’s demographics changes due to ongoing immigration, both legal and illegal, according to Breitbart. Ongoing chain migration (which allows newly legalized citizens to host foreign relatives) has added significantly to the population growth in this area, as has fresh influxes of illegal immigrants from the south.
President Donald Trump’s focus on immigration and desire to halt chain migration could be conservatism’s only hope for regaining a foothold again in the area — or recovering those lost district seats in Congress. According to the New York Times, the recent election sweep by Democrats is also due to the next generation of foreign residents; the children of the original Vietnamese and other Asian immigrants are more likely to vote for progressive candidates than their more conservative parents were.
Full-time, intense political lobbying, voter registration efforts and neighborhood canvassing by progressives also helped Democrats sweep the elections. The change in this area may be permanent and should be a wakeup call to conservatives in other areas impacted by changing demographics.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter