tags: , , America’s Voice Research on Immigration Reform

2010 Latino Voter Race Update: Nevada – U.S. Senate

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[See “The Power of the Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections” for information on Latino voters in other states]

Latino Voter Percentage of Overall Electorate Latino Voter Turnout 2000 (in thousands) Latino Voter Turnout 2004 Latino Voter Turnout 2008 Growth in Latino Turnout, 2000-2008 Growth in Latino Turnout, 2004-2008
12.4% 45 72 119 164.44% 65.28%

Nevada was one of the key Democratic pickups in the 2008 Presidential contest, and Latino voters were a crucial factor there.  Barack Obama won Nevada with 55% of the vote compared to John McCain’s 43%.  Latinos represent 12.4% of voters in Nevada and 76% of them voted for Obama in 2008, helping him win a state which was won by George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is running for reelection in 2010, in what is expected to be a very close race.  The race pits one of the Senate’s most vocal champions of comprehensive immigration reform against Sharon Angle, a Republican candidate supported by the Minuteman PAC. [1]

Senate Majority Leader Reid has, on several occasions, expressed his desire to make another attempt at passing comprehensive immigration reform this year.  On his Senate website, Reid states that he remains “committed to comprehensive immigration reform and hope that we are able to enact it soon.” [2]  During an April 10 rally in Las Vegas, he promised to push for immigration reform that could lead to U.S. citizenship. “We’re going to have comprehensive immigration reform now,” Reid said. “There are no excuses. This is something America needs. We’re going to do immigration reform just like we did health care reform.” [3]

“I believe immigrants here without legal status must be required to register with the government, learn English, pay their taxes, pass criminal background checks and pay fines and penalties for being here unlawfully–or face deportation,” Reid wrote in a letter published April 18 in the Review-Journal. “Far from getting on an ‘expedited path to citizenship,’ they must go to the back of the line.” He also calls for effective border security and tough sanctions against employers who hire illegal immigrants, and wants to improve legal channels leading toward U.S. citizenship. “Right now we have a system where our back door is broken and our front door is shuttered,” Reid wrote. “We need to keep out criminals and those who will not contribute meaningfully to our society, and welcome the best and the brightest and those who will work hard to help our economy to grow.”

Reid says that he opposes the Arizona immigration law saying that it illustrates why the United States needs comprehensive immigration reform, “because the issue is too big and too important to do in a piecemeal way,” while Sharon Angle supports the measure. [4]

Angle has said that she opposes “amnesty proposals, which send a ruinous signal that breaking the law is acceptable in our country.” [5] She also supports increasing physical security along the U.S. borders, including “military assistance” to help the Border Patrol do its job. [6]

[1] Sharon Angle campaign ad.
[2] Senator Harry Reid.
[3] Las Vegas Review-Journal, 5/3/10.
[4] Ibid.
[5] SharronAngle.com.
[6] Las Vegas Review-Journal, 5/3/10.