We’ve been talking about the ‘sleeping giant’ for some time… Straight from the experts at NDN, here’s a “Preliminary Analysis of the Latino Vote”: Hispanics Participation Rates Continue to Increase, Hispanics Have Decisively Swung to the Democrat, and Hispanics Provided The Margin of Victory in These Four States.

With its unprecedented size and level of political engagement this cycle, the Immigrant Vote has grown into one of the most important new blocs to monitor coming out of this historic election. Since numbers are king today, here are a few whoppers to keep in mind as the results roll in: 1.6 Million, 8%, 44%, 16, 500,463…

The massive spike in Latino and immigrant citizen turnout we’re set to see this year is also a direct result of large-scale voter mobilization efforts by campaigns and organizations like the We Are America Alliance. Candidates beware: come January, this new voting bloc will be demanding that the next president make real strides to bring his party on board to fix our dysfunctional immigration system, not just our dysfunctional economy.

GoVote.org is a handy new site that provides voters all the information they need on where to vote early, polling places, ID requirements, and more- in English and Spanish. All first-time voters have to do is put in their zip code, and voila- problem solved. Now there’s no excuse not to vote- so pass it on. Empower your friends. Go vote.

The highest court in the land has decided to hear the case of Ignacio Carlos Flores-Figueroa, a Mexican citizen who found himself behind bars after he was convicted of “aggravated identity theft.” According to Flores-Figueroa’s lawyers, he made up a Social Security number so he could get a job at a steel plant in East Moline, Ill. He was sentenced to more than six years in prison.

According to a new Immigration Policy Center report, New Americans’ share of registered voters exceeded the 2004 victory margins in 16 states, including the battlegrounds of Florida, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. Indeed, New American Voters- immigrant citizens and the citizen children of immigrants- are the fastest-growing new voting bloc in the US. Since 2006, they’ve accounted for 1 in 10 registered voters, but ‘turbo-charged’ citizenship and voter registration efforts that built off of the momentum of the 2006-2007 immigration marches have only driven these numbers higher.

Get ready, poll workers. The We Are America Alliance and its member groups have just announced their success in registering 500,000 new voters. For many of these half-million voters, immigration reform is a top priority, as it was in 2006 and 2007, when immigrants and advocates flooded the streets in the largest marches in our nation’s history.

A recent poll entitled, “National Survey of Latino Protestants: Immigration and the 2008 Election,” charts the latest attitudes of Latino Evangelical registered voters, a significant part of the Latino electorate in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Florida. It sheds light on what’s driving Latino voters in these battleground states, and shows just how large a role immigration is playing in determining Latino Evangelicals’ political affiliation.

According to today’s Des Moines Register, the Agriprocessors raid set taxpayers back $5.2 million. “That means it has cost taxpayers an average of $13,396 for each of the 389 illegal immigrants taken into custody.” So let’s do the math, shall we? If it cost $13,396 to arrest each undocumented worker in the United States, and estimates are that there are at least 11.5 million people who fit that definition, then you, I, and the rest of American taxpayers could be looking at forking over $154 billion to ICE alone.

We’re still waiting, and we’re running out of time. With only one debate left, the one issue that seems to be missing in action is immigration. Its absence is somewhat puzzling, as this issue is of particular importance to Latino voters.