As New Hampshire voters head to the polls today, multiple reports have documented the role immigration may play in shaping voters’ decisions.
“Donald Trump’s immigration message may resound in New Hampshire,” the New York Times writes.
“Immigration is a high-priority issue for New Hampshire voters,” reported the Associated Press, describing the issue of illegal immigration as “a paramount concern to New Hampshire voters.”
According to a November CBS poll, 63% of Republican New Hampshire voters said a candidate “must agree” with them on immigration; 86% GOP New Hampshire voters said that illegal immigrants have “broken the law and should be penalized”; 83% said that illegal immigrants “harm national security,” and more than three-in-four GOP voters in New Hampshire (77%) believe that illegal immigrants drive down wages.
Below are five ways in which immigration has impacted New Hampshire.
Immigration Levels and the Electoral Impact
Under our nation’s current federal immigration policy, the United States admits roughly 90 immigrants each year for every baby born in New Hampshire. Of that immigration flow, the U.S. resettles approximately seven permanent Muslim migrants on green cards or as refugees each year for every one child born in New Hampshire. This does not include the hundreds of thousands of additional Muslim migrants admitted every year for temporary work or study.
As a result of the nation’s visa dispensations, “immigrants and their children are growing shares of New Hampshire’s population and electorate,” writes the Immigration Policy Center: “The foreign-born share of New Hampshire’s population rose from 3.7% in 1990, to 4.4% in 2000, to 5.7% in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New Hampshire was home to 75,175 immigrants in 2013.”
More than half of immigrants in New Hampshire, 53.8% or 40,448 people, were “naturalized U.S. citizens in 2013, meaning that they are eligible to vote,” the American Immigration Council states. Similarly, “in New Hampshire, 92.4% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute”– meaning that when they turn 18, they too will be eligible to vote.
Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, and Disney CEO Bob Iger’s immigration lobbying firm, the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), has celebrated the electoral implications caused by the demographic transformation taking hold of the Granite State. PNAE had endorsed both Marco Rubio’s 2013 amnesty bill, as well as his 2015 immigration expansion bill.
“Map The Impact of Immigration Across the Nation,” a project of PNAE describes how the influx of immigrants could turn the state more blue:
The growing number of foreign-born citizens in New Hampshire will also cause a demographic shift that has the promise of drastically shifting the electoral map. According to a study by the Partnership for a New American Economy, the foreign-born Hispanic and Asian populations in particular could cause the the electoral makeup of 18 key states to change substantively. In New Hampshire, there are a total of 12,000 unregistered Asian and Latino voters. Between 2012 and 2016 there will be a total of 8,187 newly eligible Hispanic and Asian voters, by 2020 that number is expected to grow to 16,968. In a high impact scenario, this demographic change could result in 3,944 additional democratic voters in 2016 and 6,057 by 2020.
According to a 2011 Pew survey, Hispanics have a more negative view of capitalism (55%) than do supporters of Occupy Wall Street (47%). A 2012 Pew Hispanic Center survey found that 75% of Hispanics and 55% of Asians prefer bigger governments that provide more services as opposed to smaller government that provides fewer services. Similarly only 11% of America Muslims identify as Republican or lean-Republican.
Yet the 2013 Rubio-Schumer bill, endorsed by PNAE, would have expanded the immigration influx to even greater levels. In the span of a single decade, Rubio’s immigration bill would have permanently resettled 100 immigrants on green cards for every one New Hampshire Republican who turned out in the last Presidential election.
A green card is the pathway through which foreign nationals apply for U.S. citizenship, which would entitle them to vote in U.S. elections, access welfare, and bring over their family members through chain migration.
According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, “Since the early-1980s more than 7,500 refugees have made New Hampshire their home … Refugees come to New Hampshire from more than 30 nations and represent a diverse group of ethnic minorities.”
The data shows that of the 3,317 refugees who resettled in New Hampshire between 2008 and 2014 only four of them came from Europe; the rest came from non-Western countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
According to federal government data, the Department of Labor approved 3,956 Labor Condition Applications (LCA) for New Hampshire employers for 2015. LCA is the first step an employer must take to bring over a foreign worker on an H-1B visa to fill an American job. This means that nearly 4,000 New Hampshire jobs in 2015 alone could potentially be filled by foreign workers on H-1Bs.
Interestingly, Cognizant filed 818 Labor Condition Applications for New Hampshire jobs for 2015. Cognizant was recently named in the Disney discrimination lawsuit for its role in bringing in lower-wage foreign workers to replace the American workers, who already filled those positions. Marco Rubio recently introduced legislation to triple the H-1B visa program. Rubio’s legislation was endorsed by Disney CEO Bob Iger through his immigration lobbying firm, the Partnership for a New American Economy. Disney is also one of Marco Rubio’s biggest financial boosters, having donated more than $2 million, according to Open Secrets.
Moreover, a 2014 report from the Center for Immigration Studies analyzing government data found that “since 2000, 71 percent of the net increase in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job in New Hampshire has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal) — even though the native-born accounted for 65 percent of population growth among the working-age. As a result, the share of natives holding a job in the state has declined significantly … the first half of this year , 75 percent of working-age natives in the Granite State held a job. As recently as 2000, 79 percent of working-age natives were working.”
Strains on Educational Resources
In addition to its electoral and economic implications, large-scale green card dispensations also place burdens on state resources such as education.
According to the New Hampshire Department of Education, “More than 4900 English Learners (ELs) attend New Hampshire schools. EL students speak 136 languages; the most commonly spoken are: Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Bosnian, Russian, Arabic, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Maay, and Nepali. While the majority of ELs have come to this state as immigrants with their families or as adoptees joining a new family, many were born in the US. Among the immigrants are numerous refugees who have been resettled in New Hampshire communities.”
The Department of Education’s “English Learner Education” 2015 Budget documents the strain this has put on budgetary resources: “According to the Census Bureau’s ACS data, the number of school-aged ELs has risen from less than 1 million in 1980 to over 4.2 million in 2012 in the 50 States, DC, and Puerto Rico… ACS data show that from 2006 to 2012, the EL population increased by… 42 percent in New Hampshire.”
The report notes that New Hampshire “has experienced larger increases in this population over a very short period of time… [having] experienced more than a 19-percent increase in their immigrant population during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe. These demographic trends – the overall increase in ELs over the past three decades and rapid recent growth of the EL and immigrant populations in States lacking an infrastructure for serving them – underscore not only the ongoing need for Federal assistance but also the need for effective educators to meet the educational needs of ELs and for information on effective instructional practices.”
New Hampshire has struggled from a surge in heroine trafficking. As USA Today reports, “The rate of heroin-overdose deaths between 2002 and 2013 nearly quadrupled, claiming more than 8,000 lives in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But it has hit like a sledgehammer throughout New England and in tiny New Hampshire, where at least one person dies every day of an overdose, many only blocks from the local headquarters of barnstorming presidential candidates. Statewide, at least 400 people died last year, and the final count could could climb to more than 430 when toxicology analyses are completed, according to the New Hampshire State Police Crime Laboratory.”
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter recently wrote, “In 2014, more people died from drug overdoses than any year in U.S. history: 47,055. That’s more than die in car accidents — and it’s not even close. This is a huge, horrible problem — and it’s a problem caused entirely by the fact that Mexico is on our southern border.”
Reports documenting the rise of the heroin epidemic in New Hampshire prompted Donald Trump to underscore the importance of sealing the border at his rally last night in Manchester. Trump said: “We’re accepting people in… by the thousands, and you look at New Hampshire, you look at this area with the problems you have– the problems you have the drugs. We’re allowing people to come into this country that we have absolutely no idea who they are, where they come from.”
As Breitbart News reported in 2014, the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughan has observed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest data from 2011 through 2013, shows that federal officers have arrested “more than 200 members, leaders and associates of transnational criminal gangs operating in New England… Those arrested were citizens of more than a dozen foreign countries, including Mexico, Somalia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Cape Verde, El Salvador, Colombia, Vietnam, Sudan, Thailand and Cambodia.”
During his speech, Trump also made the broader point about the size of the nation’s criminal alien population as it relates to the population of New Hampshire: “We have 179,000 illegal criminal immigrants — illegal criminal — these are people that have been convicted of crimes, some very big crimes. That means that we have 179,000 people here that have committed crimes that shouldn’t be crimes — that shouldn’t be in the country … 179,000 people is bigger than any city, by a lot, in New Hampshire. That’s a massive amount of people.”
Indeed, the Senate Immigration Subcommittee noted that New Hampshire’s largest city, Manchester– where Trump was holding his rally– has a population of 110,000. The report notes that “the number of at-large criminal aliens order removed dwarfs” the population of Manchester by nearly 70,000.
On Friday, Sen. Jeff Sessions– who has emerged as the intellectual thought leader of the conservative nation-state movement– outlined the five questions he believes every candidate seeking the Party’s nomination must answer. The five questions were focused specifically on immigration, trade, and crime.
Donald Trump was the first candidate to respond to the Sessions’ test.
In his response, Trump said, “After my inauguration, for the first time in decades, Americans will wake up in a country where their immigration laws are enforced.” With regards to nation’s record high visa issuances and immigration numbers, Trump said, “I will support legislation to reduce the numbers, and will oppose legislation to increase the numbers. My suggested reforms include a requirement to give all open jobs to Americans first — instead of importing foreign replacements. This plan will appeal to voters from all walks of life by making it easier for workers in this country to find jobs and support their families. It will also help minority workers, youth, and previous immigrants who face intense job competition from waves of incoming foreign workers.”