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My mother, second child in a Mexican family of nine siblings, was the first in her family to immigrate to the United States when she was only 17 years old. She worked hard, took English classes at a community college, sent money home to help support her family, and in the meantime started a family with an American. A naturalized citizen as of 1997, Mom is a self-professed conservative, and votes accordingly.
But my mother is an anomaly, not only in her own family, but in the Hispanic population – and indeed, the immigrant population – as a whole.
And so I’ve always wondered: Why does the immigrant population tend to overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates, who oftentimes represent the antithesis of the work ethic and family values that immigrants cherish? And what can the GOP do to reverse this trend?
Tim Mak, writing in FrumForum describes the huge strides that Canada’s conservatives have made over the past four years in amassing the support of immigrant voters:
The Conservative Party [has] been able to reach communities who would have never been accessible – and this outreach model manages to stay true to basic conservative principles…The growing accomplishments of the Conservative Party’s strategy offers hope for right-of-center parties around the world. Ethnic outreach can, in fact, be done in a conservative way by enacting low-cost symbolic measures to get the attention of minority groups.
Win the support of the immigrant population without selling out basic conservative principles? Sounds like a lesson the GOP could afford to learn.