Schumer: Tea Party Opposes Immigration Reform Because America Is Becoming Less White

AP

In a speech Thursday urging progressives to fight back against the tea party, Sen. Chuck Schumer cited the changing demographics in the United States to explain conservatives’ opposition to immigration reform.

“Yes, things have changed. White Anglo-Saxon men are not exclusively running the country anymore,” said the New York Democrat. “President Obama lost the white male vote 35 to 62 percent yet he recaptured the presidency — by 5 million votes and a resounding electoral college margin.”

“It also explains why so many on the right vehemently opposed the Senate immigration bill, a bill that actually embodies many conservative, non-governmental principals: reducing our deficit by billions, growing our economy, creating jobs and spurring new entrepreneurial activity,” he said. “In a pre-tea party world, the Senate immigration bill would have been welcomed by House Republicans. However, the tea party rank and file know it’s a different America. It looks different; it prays different; it works different. This is unsettling and angering to some.”

Schumer, the No. 3 Democratic senator, is a leading author of the Senate-passed immigration overhaul, which has stalled in the Republican-led House.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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