The Republican Party is risking a serious political backlash if it continues to oppose President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform, according to a new study from the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration released yesterday.
The report studied the demographics of children whose immigrant parents would gain from the expansion of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, which a Texas judge put the brakes on last month. The report discovered that as many as 5.5 million Americans live with either one or two parents who would be able to obtain work permits and be protected from the threat of deportation as a result of the action taken by the president. Almost 600,000 of these already vote, with 1.7 million likely to be able to vote by the end of this decade.
The authors of the report say that such voters are likely to be unimpressed by the Republican Party’s recent efforts to try to prevent the expansion of the deferred action program. “People remember,” says co-author and USC director Manuel Pastor. “I think the heated debate over the last couple of years will probably have long-lasting political impacts.”
Pastor warns that children who become eligible to vote in the next five years are unlikely to look favorably on political parties and individual politicians who attempted to deny their loved ones the legal rights determined by the president. Around 17% of California minors alone have a minimum of one parent who would be eligible for DAPA.