Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Will Latino Evangelicals Stick With The GOP?

A new report from the Dallas Morning News says that the anti-immigration rhetoric from the right side of the isle may cause Latino evangelicals to sit out next year's election, or even go democratic. We've already explored Latino Republicans crossing the party line to support Rick Noriega, but Latino evangelical Protestants voted nearly 7-to-3 in favor of President Bush in 2004.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez leads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, a sister organization to the National Association of Evangelicals. He and other Hispanic pastors have been working to pass an immigration bill that secures the borders, creates a guest worker program, and provides a path towards citizenship after paying a fine and proving that they've learned English.

The Bill collapsed, largely due to GOP conservatives like John Cornyn who voted against the immigration acts this that would have provided for a guest worker program, but voting twice in favor of a border fence, and for declaring English as the official national language.

"We were divided on global warming, but not on immigration," says Rodriguez. He thinks Latino evangelicals will likely stay home instead of voting Republican, and Presidential GOP candidates better listen up or risk separating a key component of their voting constituency.

William McKenzie, Dallas Morning News:

The same thing appears true for Republicans like Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who's up for re-election. Based on what I'm hearing, Latino evangelicals will sit out next year's election or go Democratic.
"Xenophobia has triumphed over an appreciation for diversity. They completely abandoned us," says Rodriguez about Republicans with a stance against immigration like Cornyn.

Democratic challenger Rick Noriega calls John Cornyn out on his waffling about the wall: "as he moves to East Texas, he's for the wall, but as he moves to South Texas, he's against the wall...This wall will not work, yet he [Sen. Cornyn] has voted for the wall on two occasions, and he needs to be held accountable for that."

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