Latino vote

My parents are Cuban and Panamanian. I grew up in Miami. I travel broadly in Latin America but reside in Brazil, which speaks Portuguese, not Spanish.

So what am I?

This may seem an irrelevant question to many, but as the American presidential season kicks into high gear there's been a lot of confusion about how to refer to people alternately called Hispanics or Latinos.

Immigration has taken over the 2016 Republican presidential race. See, for instance, Donald Trump's position paper that included a call to deport those in the country illegally and to challenge the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — the one that says anyone born in the United States is an American citizen.

A new poll from the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision has some bad news for Republicans. Democrats once again hold a big lead among Latino voters going into the next presidential campaign.

But there are a few bright spots for Republicans. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has made big strides in closing the gap in a hypothetical matchup against Hillary Clinton, and both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have Latino parents.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

In the political battles over voting rights in Texas frequently the accusation is made that redistricting and voter ID are driven by attempts to reduce the impact of minority voters in the state. It’s a charge that the Republicans behind the laws and maps flatly deny. However a new book “Latinos and the Voting Rights Act,” builds a case that voter ID and redistricting are designed exactly to reduce Hispanic voter outcomes.

   

Texas continues to be a hot bed for testing what can be done with a gutted Voting Rights Act. This week five residents of Pasadena Texas filed a lawsuit against their City Council. They say a recently reconfiguring of the city's council districts dilutes the Latino vote. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund is joining the case. Nina Perales is MALDEF’s Vice President of Litigation and lead counsel in the case.

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