November 17, 2019 Your Source for Brentwood News

Opinion: Will Asians Spur Big New Political Changes?

“Asian immigrants are feeling fearful because of President Trump’s ban on entry to this country by residents of several Muslim-majority countries.” Photo: Facebook.

Elias column header

The same sort of panic that hit California’s Latinos after the 1994 passage of the anti-illegal immigrant Proposition 187 is now hitting many of this state’s almost 6 million ethnic-Asian residents.

Latino fears in the wake of 187, which sought to keep the undocumented out of public schools, hospital emergency rooms and seemingly anyplace its authors could imagine, led to citizenship applications and then voter registration by more than 2.5 million Hispanics over the next three years.

They caused a political revolution in California, which morphed from a swing state equally likely to elect Republicans or Democrats into one of the most staunchly Democratic states in the Union. Only one Republican has been elected to statewide office in the last 20 years, the almost non-partisan former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who won out in the 2003 recall of ex-Gov. Gray Davis.

Now Asian immigrants are feeling fearful because of President Trump’s ban on entry to this country by residents of several Muslim-majority countries and his attempts to restrict the number of political and humanitarian refugees allowed in, plus a drive to deport Vietnamese refugees with any kind of crime on their record, no matter how old or minor.

Asians also remember the Japanese internment during World War II, in which 120,000 Japanese-Americans were held in remote camps for several years.

“You hope things like that can’t happen again, but they really can,” said one green card holder from Thailand. “So I will become a citizen.”

Like her, thousands of Asians in California, from countries as diverse as China, the Philippines and India, see citizenship as the best protection from a potential future expulsion.

If they become citizens in anything like the proportions of Latinos who felt similarly in California after passage of 187, they could spur vast political changes well beyond this state’s borders. In fact, if both they and citizenship-eligible Latino immigrants ever register in large numbers, they could turn several once-solid Republican states into battlegrounds or cause them to lean Democratic.

And Asians here are applying, although there are impediments Latinos did not face in the late 1990s. Example: Of the 220,000 immigrants in Orange County now eligible for naturalization, nearby 30 percent are Asian. Of them, about 4,500 applied for naturalization through the first three quarters of 2017. If that trend continues statewide for the remainder of Trump’s current term, more than 150,000 Asians will be added to California’s voting rolls.

Because they’re registering largely for the same reasons as Latinos once did, they probably won’t change this state’s political composition. But what about other states? Taking Texas as an example, more than 680,000 Asians are now eligible for citizenship but have not applied. That could make for big change in a state that in November almost gave a Democrats their first statewide victory in more than 20 years.

Yes, the $725 naturalization application fee is a roadblock for many. So is the required blizzard of paperwork. But Texas saw more than 20,000 citizenship applications from Asians last year. If Latinos, many even more apprehensive about Trump’s policies than Asians, register in Texas in similar percentages – and they have not yet – they could combine with Asians to turn Texas Democratic. For that state contains more than 3 million Hispanics who have not sought naturalization despite being eligible.

For sure, the numbers indicate fear among both Latinos and Asians has not reached the same levels it did among California Hispanics after 187.

But what happens when and if Trump begins serious work on his long-advertised border wall? And what if he attempts mass deportations of illegal immigrants, as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions advocated during his days in the Senate?

For sure, hate crimes against immigrants of all kinds increased during Trump’s presidential campaign and his first year in office. If that trend accelerates, it may spur the kind of fears that pushed Latinos to get naturalized here.

Isaac Newton’s third law of motion tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Just as former President Obama’s policies produced the backlash that elected Trump, so Trump’s policies may already have begun producing an even stronger national backlash against him and his party.

Email Thomas Elias at [email protected] His book, “The Burzynski Breakthrough: The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It,” is now available in a soft cover fourth edition. For more Elias columns, visit www.californiafocus.net.

Related Posts

Thief caught on camera inside car equipped with new key fob in Brentwood: Brentwood Westside Local Show November 15, 2019

November 15, 2019

November 15, 2019

Brentwood Westside Local Show – November 15, 2019 – All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes.*...

Brentwood Developer to Turn Westside Pavilion Macy’s Into 230,000 Square Foot Office Complex

November 15, 2019

November 15, 2019

$180 million development next to separate Google campus underway By Sam Catanzaro A Brentwood developer will turn the former Westside...

Billionaire Wants to Build Think Tank in High-Risk Fire Zone

November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019

Nicolas Berggruen’s plan for a Berggruen Institute in Brentwood raises safety questions By Sam Catanzaro Opponents of a proposal to...

Brentwood Frank Lloyd Wright Sturges House Turns 80

November 12, 2019

November 12, 2019

Sturges House in Brentwood Heights By Keldine Hull It’s been 80 years since the completion of the historic George D....

Report of Burying Power Lines in High Fire Severity Zones, Fostering Event at the Skirball: Brentwood Westside Local Show November 11, 2019

November 12, 2019

November 12, 2019

Brentwood Westside Local Show – November 11, 2019 – All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes.*...

Brentwood Resident’s Heirloom Ring Survives Getty Fire

November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019

By Keldine Hull As Brentwood residents cope with the aftermath of the Getty Fire, an unlikely discovery offers a glimmer...

Getty Fire LAFD Townhall a Chance to Debrief

November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

Informational town hall this weekend By Sam Catanzaro The Palisades and Getty Fire burned nearly 800 acres combined and destroyed...

SB 40: Big Changes for Underwriting California Insurance Policies

November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

By Karl Susman On November 5, 2019 a notice came out from the California Department of Insurance regarding immediate changes to insurance...

Archer school for girls is getting a remodel, New salsa class is coming to Brentwood: November 8th, 2019

November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

Brentwood Westside Local Show November 8th, 2019 – all your local news and events in under 5 minutes.* Archer school...

Home Cooked Meals With Chefs for Seniors

November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

By Keldine Hull Chefs for Seniors offers a unique and tailored dining experience for senior citizens in the comfort of...

LA City Council, Airbnb Come to Agreement for Home-Sharing Compliance

November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

Enforcing new regulations that went into effect Nov. 1 By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City Council has approved an...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Farmers Market Fall Produce

November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

Reporter Jacki Karsh heads down to the Santa Monica Farmers Market to hear all about what to do with Autumn...

Lily the Pink – Helping Women Look Their Best

November 5, 2019

November 5, 2019

Sandy Allbright’s permanent makeup studio in Brentwood  By Staff Writer For women who want to look their best all the...

Producer Norman Lear Relists Brentwood Mansion for Nearly $40 Million

November 5, 2019

November 5, 2019

Famed producers asking for $15 million less for the 8+ acre estate By Chad Winthrop Famed television producer Norman Lear...

Homeless Have Deaths Doubled Countywide

November 5, 2019

November 5, 2019

LA County Public Health releases report on fatalities among homeless population By Sam Catanzaro Over the past five years, the...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *