September 05, 2006

Um, maybe voter rolls didn't increase because

... many/most of the participants were ... ILLEGAL???

The AP reports (and noted on the frontpage of the hardcopy version of the News Journal today)

No signs of pro-immigrant voter boom LOS ANGELES (AP) -- During the spring protests that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets, Hispanic immigrants chanted a promise and a threat to politicians: "Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote."

So far, however, there is no indication that such a potent political legacy is developing.

An Associated Press review of voter registration figures from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Atlanta and other major urban areas that saw large rallies shows no sign of a historic new voter boom that could sway elections.

Even in Los Angeles, where a 500,000-strong protest in March foreshadowed demonstrations across the United States, an increase in new registrations before the June primary was more trickle than torrent in a county of nearly 4 million voters.

Protest organizers - principally unions, Hispanic advocacy groups and the Roman Catholic Church - acknowledge that it has been hard to translate street activism into ballot box clout, though they insist their goal of 1 million new voters by 2008 is reachable. (My emphasis.)

The article gives several reasons why this is. Check 'em out:

"I was anticipating a huge jump in registration - I didn't see it," said Jess Cervantes, a veteran California political operative whose company analyzes Hispanic voting trends. "When you have an emotional response, it takes time to evolve."

A lack of political experience helps explain why the flow of new registrations has been halting.

Some activists acknowledge that their groups have yet to master the nuances of voter registration drives - a typically face-to-face task more complex than mobilizing a march.

Others complain that political parties with the most to gain haven't financed registration efforts.

Uh-huh. "Nuance." Gee, where did I hear that, before?

Or maybe they're ignoring probably the biggest factor: Maybe, just maybe, a very large portion of those involved in those "massive" pro-immigration rallies a few months back were ... illegal immigrants! Hence, they sure ain't gonna be in a hurry to register to vote, now are they? What's more, it's a mistake to presume that Hispanics, in particular, are automatically sympathetic to the rallies for illegal immigrant "rights" merely because they share an ethnic background. Actually, it's insulting. Why would immigrants who came to the United States -- who played by the rules -- necessarily be sympathetic to those who skirted the law and are now demanding the same rights as those befitting American citizens (not to mention legal immigrants)? People can sure be sympathetic to certain solutions to the illegal immigration situation (like favoring a guest worker program, or streamlining the process by which to become a citizen), but that sympathy gets worn when people who should not even be here rally in the streets and demand what US citizens and legal residents are entitled to.

Posted by Hube at September 5, 2006 05:08 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I know a fair number of legal immigrants from hispanic countries that hate the illegals. They had to work hard just to get into the country and they expect others to do likewise.

Posted by: Jeff the Baptist at September 6, 2006 09:53 AM

HOOT!! yup, sign 'em up and ship 'em back in one step.

Posted by: Nancy Willing at September 6, 2006 12:36 PM