Mother Jones online has a very interesting article on a Hispanic Republican group (Somos Republicans) that is sharply criticizing some white members and leaders of the Republican Party for their “extremist” and nativistic views, as the party becomes more controlled by far-right members. Their letter to the leadership targets the views and likely committee positions of Texan Lamar Smith, probable chair of House Judiciary Committee, and Steve King, probable chair of House subcommittee on immigration:
Steve King has used defamatory language that is extremely offensive to Hispanics, which is found in numerous congressional records. We believe Steve King’s behavior is not appropriate for a high-level elected Republican who might be in charge of a committee that handles immigration rules. Steve King and Lamar Smith have adopted extreme positions on birthright citizenship, and promise legislation that would undermine the 14th amendment of the constitution, which both swore an oath to uphold.
After noting that the Lamar-King views have chased many Latinos to the Democratic Party, they add this:
We ask that you review Mr. King’s and Mr. Smith’s congressional statements desiring to “pass a bill out of the House to end the Constitution’s birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants,” or what Steve King has made reference to “anchor babies.” We find both this rhetoric and this un-constitutional conduct reprehensible, insulting and a poor reflection upon Republicans because we don’t want our Party to be viewed as the Party of changing the United States Constitution.
They note some Hispanic Republican candidates (including Cuban Americans) that won with the help of Hispanic voters, but then note that
Hispanics also vehemently and strongly rejected those Republicans that utilized harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric and opted for a Democrat, as it occurred in the West Coast, Colorado and Nevada.
Pointing to the 2012 election they add this worry:
Most of those states with the highest number of Electoral College delegates reside in highly populated Hispanic states such as California, Texas, Florida and New York. Hispanic Republicans have proven to be reliable for an average 30% voting bloc when it comes to voting for the Republican party, however, as proven with the 2010 midterm elections, one can see that GOP candidates such as Jan Brewer, Tom Tancredo, and Sharron Angle dipped just below that 30% when you take a look at the 2010 midterm exit polls. In fact, one can see in looking at the exit poll data that 40% of the Latino vote in Arizona went towards McCain while a mere 27% of Latinos voted for Brewer.
And they accent this:
With Representative Lamar Smith who represents Texas, our party cannot afford to risk losing Texas during the 2012 Presidential elections if he were put into a position that would create a toxic anti-Hispanic environment.