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

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January 23, 2014 1:34 p.m.

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.

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