Tim Kaine Cheers End of White Majority in Spanish Address

Matt York/Associated Press
Matt York/Associated Press

During an Arizona speech delivered in Spanish, Sen. Tim Kaine cheered the demographic transformation of the United States caused by the nation’s federal immigration policies, telling his Latino audience on Thursday, “You are the future of America.”

“By 2050, communities of color will represent the majority of our population,” Kaine said. “So, of course, Latinos will help shape the future of America because you are the future of America.”

As the Pew Research Center has documented, this demographic transformation is largely the result of the changes to visa issuance policies enacted into law in 1965 that lifted the immigration controls put in place by Calvin Coolidge during the 1920s. In 1965, Ted Kennedy helped usher in policies that offered American green cards to the entire world. The demographic change that resulted is almost entirely through legal issuances of immigration visas to people from non-Western countries.

In 1970, fewer than one in 21 Americans was foreign-born. Today, as a result of the federal government’s four-decades-long green card gusher, nearly one in seven U.S. residents was born in a foreign country. The transformation has been felt across the nation. For instance, in Kaine’s state of Virginia, up until 1970, only one in 100 Virginians was born outside of the United States; by 2012, 11 in every 100 Virginians was foreign-born, according to a recent census study conducted by UVA researchers.

Pew projects that if visa issuances continue at their current record pace — as they will unless Congress passes a law to change them — “by 2065, the composition of the nation’s immigrant population will change again. … The country’s overall population will feel the impact of these shifts.” It continues, “Non-Hispanic whites are projected to become less than half of the U.S. population by 2055 and 46 percent by 2065. No racial or ethnic group will constitute a majority of the U.S. population.”

Yet during his remarks, Kaine laid out how a Clinton administration plans to hasten the demographic transformation through expansive immigration policies that would essentially bring about the dissolution of national borders.

Kaine explained how a Clinton-Kaine administration would “end family detention,” “close private detention facilities,” freeze deportations, and would give citizenship—and, by extension, voting privileges and access to federal benefits—to the illegal population.

Kaine also doubled down on his pledge to expand President Obama’s executive amnesty:

A few months ago, the Supreme Court put DAPA on hold. That was devastating for millions of families. But it’s important to note that the Court didn’t actually rule on the substance of the case. Hillary and I have always said that DAPA is squarely within the President’s authority, and we will keep fighting for it.

Additionally, Kaine promised to continue birthright citizenship — meaning a pregnant foreign national in the country illegally can give birth to a child, who will be awarded U.S. citizen, and is, therefore, entitled to collect federal welfare, vote in U.S. elections, and eventually obtain green cards for his or her parents, despite their prior illegal entry into the United States.

Polling data from Pew suggests that 83 percent of the American electorate is opposed to Clinton’s vision of expanding immigration. Yet during a private speech to Goldman Sachs executives, Clinton declared that Americans who want to limit immigration are “fundamentally un-American”— an astonishing statement given that polling shows an overwhelming majority of the American public wants to see immigration levels frozen or reduced.

During his remarks, Kaine also attacked Trump’s prior calls for assimilation and language patriotism. Specifically, Kaine denounced Trump’s criticism of Jeb Bush for campaigning in Spanish to become President of the United States. Trump said, “I think it’s wonderful [to speak Spanish] … but we have a country where, to assimilate, you have to speak English. We have to have assimilation to have a country. … This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.”

Kaine denounced Trump’s view and argued that it “just [makes] sense” that a U.S. lawmaker, who is elected to represent American citizens, would discuss important U.S. domestic policies in Spanish:

Spanish was the first European language spoken in this country. A few years ago, I gave the first speech ever delivered in Spanish on the Senate floor. Since we were debating a bill about immigration, explaining it in Spanish just made sense – especially since it’s the language of more than 40 million people in this country who are most affected by this issue.

Technically, becoming a U.S. citizen requires one to achieve English language proficiency, so Kaine’s message in Spanish undermines one of the core tenets of American citizenship– albeit one that is already in tatters, as one in five U.S. residents now speaks a language other than English while at home, according to a 2014 report.

Within the next few years, if Congress does not act to enact immigration curbs, the foreign-born share of the population of the U.S. will soon shatter all known historical record. As Pew has noted:

Fifty years after passage of the landmark law that rewrote U.S. immigration policy, nearly 59 million immigrants have arrived in the United States, pushing the country’s foreign-born share to a near record 14%. For the past half-century, these modern-era immigrants and their descendants have accounted for just over half the nation’s population growth and have reshaped its racial and ethnic composition. … Immigration since 1965 has swelled the nation’s foreign-born population from 9.6 million then to a record 45 million in 2015. … At the time [that the immigration rewrite was enacted], relatively few anticipated the size or demographic impact of the post-1965 immigration flow. … After the replacement of the nation’s European-focused origin quota system, greater numbers of immigrants from other parts of the world began to come to the U.S. Among immigrants who have arrived since 1965, half (51%) are from Latin America and one-quarter are from Asia.

The record importation of foreign nationals has largely benefited Democratic politicians like Kaine and Clinton. As Reuters reported last year:

Immigrants favor Democratic candidates and liberal policies by a wide margin, surveys show, and they have moved formerly competitive states like Illinois firmly into the Democratic column and could turn Republican strongholds like Georgia and Texas into battlegrounds in the years to come.

A 2014 report authored by University of Maryland Professor James Gimpel similarly found that “the enormous flow of legal immigrants in to the country — 29.5 million 1980 to 2012 — has remade and continues to remake the nation’s electorate in favor of the Democratic Party.”

Interestingly, while the importation of Democrat-leaning voters diminishes the electoral impact of conservative voters, it is, ironically, Republican officials who have led the push to resettle even larger numbers of immigrants inside the country. Just last month, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected Donald Trump’s call to enact immigration controls so that “immigration levels, measured by population share, [remain] within historical norms.” Ryan, who shares Clinton’s desire for open borders, stands opposed on this issue to nine in ten of his Republican constituents.


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