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Georgia senatorial primaries candidate, Republican Rep. Paul Broun explained to local news reporters, “The only way Georgia is going to change is if we have all these illegal aliens in here in Georgia [and] give them the right to vote.”
This has become a popular anti-immigration reform theory in conservative circles across the country. It is thought that if immigration reform offered the estimated 7.1 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States pathways to citizenship, they would not only all follow these pathways all the way to citizenship–which according to the proposed bill would take over a decade to complete–but also all decide to vote. This theory pays no attention to the 17.6 million Hispanic Americans under the age of 18, 93% of which are American-born citizens and belong to a demographic who tend to vote as a Democratic bloc. Either way, the Republican party is in trouble, especially if they decide to oppose immigration reform and are worried about being drowned out by Democratic Latino voters.
In 2011, the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that about 425,000 undocumented immigrants of all ethnicities live in Georgia. This is one of the highest rates in the nation. Broun and others in conservative anti-immigration reform circles believe that undocumented immigrants who are currently barred from most federal benefits programs will access them and support their expansion, thus supporting democratic ideology and policies. Broun explains to local news reporters, “It only helps the Democrats if we legalize illegal aliens in this country who the Democrats want to put on federal welfare programs.”
Combined with his fierce anti-immigration rhetoric, comments indicting evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies straight from the pit of hell,” Representative Broun has top Republicans worried that he won’t be able to stand up to Democratic candidates in the state’s senatorial election.
Source: Sarlin, Benjy. “Georgia Republican warns ‘illegal aliens’ will turn state blue,” MSNBC. January 7, 2014. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/paul-broun-illegal-aliens-immigration-reform.