Near the end of a recent column about the November election I noted that the power of public employee unions and a seismic demographic shift have made California the bluest of blue states. That demographic trembler merits closer attention.
According to data gathered by the Public Policy Institute of California, in 1970 almost 80% of the state’s population was classified as white. A bit over 10% was Hispanic, and most of the rest of the Golden State’s residents were African-American or Asian.
Fast-forward to 1990 (after the immigration amnesty of 1986) and the Census Bureau identified a full quarter of the state’s population as Hispanic—over seven and half million of the state’s 30 million total.
The bureau’s 2009 estimate puts the Hispanic percentage near 37 and the white, non-Hispanic figure at 41 per cent--numbers that prompted the PPIC to label California a “Minority Majority” state.
Nothing but a continuation of this numerical trend is anticipated for the future--based on immigration data, birth rates, and figures fingering the folks moving elsewhere.
The political result of this population shift is that a state that voted nine times for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon just re-elected Barbara Boxer to her fourth Senate term by an overwhelming majority—despite an unemployment rate that stands above 12%.
California voters also returned Jerry Brown to the Governor’s Mansion where he is likely to sign the “Dream Act” bill that Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed twice.
That bill allows financial aid for higher education to go to “undocumented students” who have completed three years of high school in the state and possess a high school diploma or GED. The proposal, however, is only a minor immigration magnet compared to the Dream Act that Sen. Harry Reid is pushing in Washington D.C.
As currently configured, this legislation not only provides an educational or military pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants up to the age of sixteen, it also offers a green-card reward for family members who brought them here illegally—a bonanza that eventually extends even to relatives of the adult lawbreakers.
In short, what is portrayed as a bill specifically targeting educational opportunities for youngsters dragged illegally into this country as small children is, in fact, an attempt by open-borders politicians to cram as many Democrat-leaning voters into the country as possible.
A more narrowly tailored bill tied to strict border enforcement would deserve serious consideration. But legislation that excuses fraudulent applications and rewards even the relatives of adult scofflaws is primarily designed to turn every state into California.
But who then would pay for California’s public union pensions?