This week House Republicans have tied themselves in knots trying to pass a “border crisis” bill, in part because conservatives are demanding that any such legislation be accompanied by efforts to restrict or even repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, under which the president suspended deportations for DREAMers. You’d think to watch them that placating the nativist wing of the GOP was the only factor that mattered. But as I pointed out today at the Washington Monthly, a big price will be paid among Latino voters:
I would assume that Republicans are at least dimly aware that the anti-DACA provisions they are toying with to get conservatives on board a border refugee bill will come at a political cost. If not, they should check out this reminder from the polling firm Latino Decisions:
The push to dismantle DACA will significantly alienate Latino voters according to recent surveys carried out by Latino Decisions. President Obama’s 2012 administrative order on DACA, which provided temporary relief to more than 550,000 undocumented young people was overwhelming supported by Latino voters. In our June 2014 poll with the Center for American Progress, 84% of Latinos said they would be more enthusiastic toward the Democratic Party if DACA was renewed by President Obama in 2014. This high level of enthusiasm cuts across all segments of the Latino electorate….
DACA was a defining issue in 2012 for Latino voters and it continues to be a policy of utmost support. If Republicans wish to woo Latino voters, ending DACA is a severely misguided strategy as history proves. Back in 2013 the GOP already voted to defund DACA and in a July 2013 survey, we asked how favorable or unfavorable Latinos would feel toward the Republican Party if House Republicans voted to cancel all funding for the DACA program. In this survey, 75% of Latinos said they would be less favorable toward the GOP than they already were. Favorability also dropped significantly among likely GOP supporters: Evangelicals by 75%, political Independents by 73% and among Latinos who had previously voted Republican by 66%.
Messing with DACA is a really bad idea for a party that’s already struggling to cross the threshold of credibility with a Latino demographic that’s only going to become more important every year.