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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

February 7, 2006

Written by C.N.

Immigrants Becoming an Important Constituent Group

The Washington Post has an article that describes different ways in which immigrant residents of the U.S. are increasingly becoming a potentially powerful and sought-after constituent group for many politicians around the country. The article focuses specifically on the situation in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area:

Pollsters and political consultants say it will probably be a few years before foreign-born residents are major factors in statewide elections. But candidates this year aren’t taking any chances. . . .

“These are people you simply cannot ignore,” said Isiah Leggett, former chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and a candidate for county executive. “Not only are they voting, they are giving money and volunteering, so I think candidates who ignore them do so at their own peril.” . . .

“As a percentage of the statewide likely vote, these immigrant populations will still be in the modest single digits, but when you look within the greater Washington marketplace, particularly Montgomery County, these new immigrants can tip the balance,” said Keith Haller, a Maryland independent pollster.

This is just another example of what demographers have been saying all along — the U.S. population is gradually becoming less of a predominantly White, native-born population and the proportions of Americans who are non-White or foreign-born continues to increase each year. Native-born Whites will still be the largest and most powerful group of course, but they are likely to cease being a numerical majority in the next few decades.

Of course, this kind of demographic change is not going to occur without some resistance or conflict. Groups in power are not going to give up their power without a fight. Further, people of color and immigrants still have a long way to go to even begin approaching the level of institutional power held by native-born Whites.

But as the article describes, their presence is becoming increasingly significant within American society and whether native-born Whites like it or not, they will have to eventually deal with that reality, sooner or later.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Immigrants Becoming an Important Constituent Group" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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