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Florida GOP Tiring of Hispanic Support

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"Florida GOP Tiring of Hispanic Support"

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Gabriel Arana did an interesting piece last week about the existence or lack thereof of a “Hispanic Vote.” I think there mostly hasn’t been such a vote in US history, though there’s certainly a made-in-America Hispanic identity. He’s right, however, that growing political assault on Latinos naturally breeds a kind of solidarity: “if there’s a surefire way to make groups forget their differences and band together, it’s to attack them, which is exactly what laws like Arizona’s SB 1070 have done.”

So I was interested to see that William Snyder will chair the judiciary committee in the Florida House:

The name is probably familiar to those who will recall that Snyder has already introduced an illegal immigration bill in the Legislature that he said would be the envy of those who are partial to what the state of Arizona originally attempted to do with its illegal-immigration legislation.

Snyder’s bill was controversial even before it was discovered that it contains a provision that allows some individuals to be presumed to be legal in the U.S. if they can show proof of Canadian citizenry and or a passport from a “visa waiver” country, which means in most cases somebody from Europe. Citizens of those countries can visit for 90 days without having to obtain a U.S. visa., though they may be required to obtain a Homeland Security permit.”>discovered that it contains a provision that allows some individuals to be presumed to be legal in the U.S. if they can show proof of Canadian citizenry and or a passport from a “visa waiver” country, which means in most cases somebody from Europe. Citizens of those countries can visit for 90 days without having to obtain a U.S. visa., though they may be required to obtain a Homeland Security permit.

Florida is an interesting place in these terms. The post-Castro Cuban exile community that moved there was very right-wing in foreign policy terms and gravitated to the GOP. That meant Florida conservatives were used to collaborating with members of an ethnic minority group, and the Florida Republicans had more success than Republicans elsewhere in getting other groups of Hispanics to vote for them as well. But even though (or perhaps because) immigration laws don’t apply to people from Cuba, that community naturally reacts poorly to policy initiatives that appear to be grounded in ethnic prejudice. Marco Rubio, for example, is not a fan of Arizona’s approach to immigration. But apparently the sub-section of the GOP that’s historically been most successful at courting Hispanic voters is tired of all that.

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