U.S. Immigration and Immigrant Voters on the Eve of Election 2004
For Immediate Release
American immigration a key issue in the Presidential debates, and immigrants could play a critical role in deciding the outcome of this year’s election. The Migration Policy Institute has compiled information on Latino and Asian voters, the rights of non-citizens to vote in local elections, and the decline in legal immigration in 2003.
Included in this election package are highlights from and links to previews of two articles from the Migration Information Source, MPI’s award-winning online resource.
Also included is a link to MPI’s new fact sheet with the latest figures on U.S. immigration.
and Asian-American Voters in the 2004 Election and Beyond
While the number of votes cast by whites in the presidential election rose by only four percent between 1996 and 2000, the number of Asian-American votes rose by 22 percent. The votes of Latino Americans increased by 19 percent. In 2004, Asian-American votes will probably increase by another one-third over 2000 and Latino votes by about one-quarter while the overall total will probably go up by only about four to five percent.
Latinos account for about 7.8 percent of potential voters nationwide. In the most heavily Latino state, New Mexico (40 percent), the presidential election was extraordinarily close in 2000. In Texas (25 percent) and California (19 percent), Latinos are unlikely to make a difference since Bush and Kerry, respectively, are prohibitive favorites. However, in potential swing states, such as Ohio or Wisconsin, even the one to two percent of potential voters who are Latino could play a critical role.”
Voting Rights Receive More Attention
With an estimated 12 million votes hanging in the balance, initiatives to allow
non-citizen legal permanent residents to vote in municipal and school board
elections will make a significant difference in many U.S. communities. This
article explores the pros and cons of non-citizen voting and includes a list
of countries where non-citizens can vote.
New data released by the Department of Homeland Security show that in FY 2003:
MPI Director Kathleen Newland said, “The United States has always been a nation of immigrants, and findings presented by MPI demonstrate that the political participation of newcomers remains an essential determinant of where we go as a nation.”