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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

The new Irish: Hispanics are upwardly mobile Americans

Hispanic immigrants are a lot like Irish immigrants who came to American in the 1800s, writes

Noah Smith. They are working-class folks fleeing poverty, seeking opportunity and eager to become Americans.

Irish immigrants in Boston in the 19th century.

His "home state of Texas is now plurality Hispanic," he writes. The culture and politics haven't changed noticeably. "Texas Hispanics still lean toward the Dems, but they shifted strongly toward Trump in 2020, and Republicans in the state still reliably get 40% of the Hispanic vote."

Just as Protestant Americans feared the influx of Irish Catholics, modern conservatives worried that Hispanic immigrants will change the culture, overwhelm the welfare system and vote for Democrats

"Until recently, some Democrats were vocal about their hope that immigration would deliver them a long-lasting electoral majority, and many still probably privately harbor the same hope," writes Smith.

But Hispanics seem to be following the path of the Irish: Assimilate, move up the economic ladder and achieve "political normalization," he writes. There's evidence they will not be "a racialized economic underclass forever."

Leaving out the brand-new arrivals, Hispanic and non-Hispanic incomes are converging, research has found.

"In a 2022 Noahpinion interview, economist Leah Boustan, author of the excellent book Streets of Gold, reported strong upward mobility even for the descendants of poor Mexican immigrants," Smith writes.

Hispanic voters prefer Trump to Biden in both the USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll and the CNBC All-America Economic Survey, writes Phil Boas for the Arizona Republic.

"Donald Trump’s Republican Party is decidedly more working class, and that has drawn especially Latino men," he writes.

"The top issue for Latinos is usually the economy," said University of Arizona political scientist Lisa M. Sanchez in a Q&A with UA News. "Research suggests that the Latino agenda looks a lot like the agendas of any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S."

“The Latino electorate is moving away from the aggrieved immigrant narrative favored by Democrats and toward an assimilating, working-class identity that mirrors its non-Latino counterparts,” wrote Mike Madrid in a December op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

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JK Brown
JK Brown
Jan 07

For years Democrats proclaimed the decline of the old white people they claimed were Republican. I pointed out, if the Republican "base" declined, it was unlikely that all the groups the Democrats claimed would remain. Some group, likely Hispanics due to numbers, would move to assert their political will as Republicans. It would never be Democrats vs no other party. Some group or party would arise once the old white bogeyman was gone. Instead, the move is happening long before the much desired decline of old white Republicans. Except the old white Republicans like Mitt Romney, they are in decline.

But we should acknowledge, the party of slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow, Redlining (FDR), establishing segregation in the federal workforce…

Jan 08
Replying to

The current state of politics in California would disagree with one's assumptions. California is an effective one party state with no significant Hispanic presence in the Republican Party. Even in Texas, most elected Hispanics are Democrats today.


Jan 07

In San Antonio, this is called Old News. Like half a century Old.

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