Many wondered why Texas Republicans pushed congressional redistricting in 2002, eight years ahead of schedule. One obvious answer: because they had the power to do so. But another, better answer: because 2002 may have been their last chance to do so.
I say their last chance because Texas is now a majority-minority state, and minorities have historically voted Democratic.
Texas has become the fourth state to have a non-white majority population, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today, a trend driven by a surging number of Hispanics moving to the state.
According to population estimates based on the 2000 Census, about 50.2 percent of Texans are now minorities. In the 2000 Census, minorities made up about 47 percent of the population.
Texas joins California, New Mexico and Hawaii as states with majority-minority populations — with Hispanics the largest group in every state but Hawaii, where it is Asian Americans.
Five other states — Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia, New York and Arizona — aren’t far behind, with about 40 percent minorities.
Of course, this fact did not dissuade Tom DeLay from demonstrating the degree to which he is out of step with the political realities in the Lone Star State.
“Before any legislation on guest worker program, we must secure our borders,” DeLay said.
“I am totally opposed to amnesty, which rewards criminality,” he said.
Increased funding for immigration law enforcement personnel, and guidelines for a comprehensive strategy for national detention of illegal immigrants are in the works, DeLay said.
Also, there is a slight change in the philosophy of detaining immigrants. Unlike the excuses in the past that there are no beds available to detain illegal immigrants, the new attitude is, “go pick them up; we will find the beds,” DeLay said. the National Guard could be used to put up tents and detain the illegal immigrants, he said.
DeLay was critical of the “sanctuary policy” of the city of Houston and said that needs to be changed. In this context, DeLay alluded to a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. John Culberson that would enable the Texas governor to deputize individuals in Texas to enforce immigration laws.