“WASHINGTON — U.S. racial minorities accounted for roughly 85 percent of the nation’s population growth over the last decade – one of the largest shares ever – with Hispanics accounting for much of the gain in many of the states picking up new House seats….
“There are going to be a lot of additional Hispanic officials elected when redistricting is done,” said E. Mark Braden, a former chief counsel to the Republican National Committee who now advises state governments on redistricting. “But folks in power don’t give up control that easily – there will be tension between the ins and outs.”
… Broken down by voting age, minorities accounted for roughly 70 percent of U.S. growth in the 18-and-older population since 2000, and Hispanics made up about 40 percent. Hispanics also represented more than half the growth share of the voting-age population in Texas and California.
“The growth of the Hispanic community is one of the stories that will be written from the 2010 census,” Census director Robert Groves said Wednesday, previewing major demographic trends, including the movement of many minorities from city to suburb. “We should see a big difference from 2000 to 2010.”
… The minority growth share in 2010 is the largest in recent memory, with only the influx of European minority immigrants such as Italians, Poles and Jews in the late 1800s possibly rivaling it in scope, said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution who analyzed the census data.”
“The new engines of growth in America’s population are Hispanics, Asians and other minorities,” Frey said. “But it’s just the tip of the iceberg. For the under-18 population – potential voters in the not-too-distant future – minorities accounted for virtually all the growth in most U.S. states.”
Meanwhile, Republican legislators and members of Congress consume themselves with trying to deny citizenship to babies born on U.S. soil and to block any possible path to citizenship for those who have come here illegally, drawn by intentionally lax immigration enforcement.
It’s a classic case of barring the barn door after the horse has escaped. The change is coming, it is unstoppable, and those who treat it as a political threat rather than an opportunity will find their stance a self-fulfilling prophecy.
– Jay Bookman