Democrats and Republicans alike are watching the results of the Texas Primary election to see if the Trump administration’s position on immigration will have an impact on the results.
WHAT WAS VOTER TURNOUT?
Texas has not seen a Democrat win a statewide election since 1994, the longest losing streak in U.S. history. But Democrats are optimistic that Washington’s inaction on DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, can help them win in the November midterm election. Immigration lawyers in Houston are hopeful that this large turnout means that DACA reform is an important issue for Texas voters. The turnout for the Texas Primary gives some clue about the upcoming November election. Texas had about 800,000 early voters, either in person or my mail. This is up from the 2014 midterm elections by about 300,000. Turnout from Democrats was up 150% from the last midterm election, with high turnout in 6 counties that have high Latino populations.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR DEMOCRATS?
Democrats have their sights set on 5 congressional districts in Texas. One of them is the 23rd district, which is a swing district and home to ⅓ of the U.S. border with Mexico. Election results show that El Paso and Bexar counties had high Democrat turnout; both of which are in the 23rd district. Although the boosts in voter turnout were affected by the issues of border security and DACA, these issues will likely be more important factors in the November election. Unlike the primaries, where the candidates were not in disagreement within their respective party, the November election will have Democrats, who are for immigration reform, against Republicans, who will favor building a wall. Whoever wins in November, it will have an important impact on the future of Houston immigration law.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR REPUBLICANS?
Texas is a Republican stronghold. A core issue for Republicans is also immigration reform, as well as strong border security. Republican positions on immigration also include stopping illegal immigration and limiting legal immigration. These are positions typically held by older, white Republican males who tend to show up to the polls in large numbers. Some Republican candidates in Texas have expressed the position that Dreamers should consider moving back to their country of origin. Republican Rep. Joe Barton’s district, who is not seeking reelection, is home to 7,700 Dreamers. He has expressed that Congress should pass a legislative fix to DACA, and has been outspoken about the Republicans need to court more Latino voters. Republican Rep. William Hurd also supports DACA and immigration reform and he has expressed his dislike for the border wall.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR HOUSTON?
Polls show time and again that voters, both Republican and Democrat want a DACA fix. A study by Harvard Center for American Studies showed that 76% of voters want a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, including 63% of Republicans. It would be beneficial to both Democrats and Republicans at the polls in November to find a bipartisan solution to DACA before November.
Texas is home to an estimated 120,000 DACA recipients, 80,000 of which live in Houston. If Washington is unable to reach a legislative fix for DACA, these 80,000 recipients are left with a very uncertain future.
Davis & Associates are highly qualified immigration attorneys in Houston. If you have questions or concerns regarding DACA or your immigration status, please call our offices for a consultation with one of our expert immigration lawyers in Houston today.